October 2013 In Review: Belated Edition
Mike is late with this one, so he doesn't get dessert.
11.14.13 - 9:47 AM
October was an eventful month. It was the start of Nintendo actually releasing some new games, we posted four podcast episodes, and we posted reviews of so. many. episodic games. Read about all this and much more in this admittedly late edition of Month in Review!We've been slow on special features for awhile, with Game of the Month being the most common one we've posted. We did crown an October Game of the Month for October, but we also posted our meaty Top 20 PSP RPGs feature, which involved the input of many editors. Look for the DS edition of the feature later in November!
Our podcast crews are back! After a busy month getting re-acclimated to their fall schedules in September, Rob, Stephen, Derek, and special guests cranked out two episodes of each show in October. We began with Random Encounter #70 - A Whole New World, where your podcast trio discusses Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX and how gaming has changed over the years. While there was Zelda talk and more in Random Encounter #71 - Soul Food, it's really all about Dark Souls II.
After a lengthy hiatus and almost equally-lengthy editing process, Rhythm Encounter returned with Rhythm Encounter #10 - Falcom Tomfoolery, a massive 2-hour-48-minute discussion of Falcom's musical history. This episode featured special guest Tom Lipschultz of XSEED Games, whose Falcom knowledge humbled us all.
Did you know there's pumpkin spice M&sMs? Lattes? Cupcakes? Cookies? Air fresheners? Lotion? Pumpkin spice is in everything, so it was only fitting that our fall and Halloween music-themed 11th episode of Rhythm Encounter would be titled Pumpkin Spice.John Tucker started off our October reviews in style, with his opinions on both chapter 2 and 3 of The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief. Another adventure series now wrapped up is Deponia, so be sure to read Sam's Goodbye Deponia review.
Also in graphic adventures, Neal tackled the first episode of the morbidly surreal Leviathan: Last Day of the Decade, as well as KickBack's Lost Echo. Meanwhile, Bob reviewed The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1.
No stranger to visual novels, Andrew shares his thoughts on Episode 1 of Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos.
Zackery spent some time in the Underworld with Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness. I don't want to say that the game is exactly what you probably expect, but... well... At least he had a better experience than John Tucker did with Agarest: Generations of War. So that's something.
If you want to get an idea of Kyle's excellent use of adjectives, you'll want to read his review of Legends of Aethereus. A decidedly less abysmal game, Dave spent some time with the return of Shadowrun in... Shadowrun Returns.
After a less-than-stellar impression with the previous title in the series, Derek reviewed Rune Factory 4, which seems to have restored his faith in
Dave doesn't feel the same inescapable lust towards Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that some of us do. He's wrong. Okay, I'm kidding, but for a distinctly different impression of the game, you should read his review journal entry.
Derek did what I should have done and have thus far failed at: he reviewed The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, confirming that this is the definitive version of the GameCube classic.
New-as-of-this-summer writer Luna Lee reviewed Professor Layton Vs Gyakuten Saiban Magical Mystery Music, the soundtrack to Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney that has simply gorgeous cover art.
Opinions vary on the use of retro pixel art in modern games, but I have to say, when combined with modern lighting like Legend of Dungeon has done, I like the outcome. According to John Tucker, the game itself is quite good too.
He didn't get nearly as much time as he'd have liked, but Rob played with the beta of Dark Souls II. Of course he did. And he wrote about it.
Do you like the many, many chocobo themes from over the years? Then Compi de Chocobo is the album for you.
Ashton reviewed Pokémon X & Y, and... it wasn't our Game of the Month for nothing. And while we wait for X & Y to get a soundtrack release, John Tucker reviewed the massive 170+ track Nintendo DS Pokémon Black•White2 Super Music Complete album.
Sean Schafianski likes to remaster Final Fantasy tracks. His latest effort is Final Fantasy VII Remastered Tracks: Volume I, which Neal listened to and critiqued. Soon after, Joshua reviewed the Final Fantasy IV OST Remaster Version, Square Enix's own definitive version of FFIV's music.While it released in digital form in September, October 4th was the official retail release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Nintendo's biggest 3DS release, of course, was Pokémon X & Y.
It was only 20 days ahead of release that Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut finally received a release date. Oddly, Natsume did the same thing by announcing in early October that Hometown Story — a new sim from Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada — would release on the same day as Deus Ex HRDC, October 22nd.
Kemco is no stranger to releasing classic-style RPGs for modern smartphones. Their most recent was Chronus Arc, which is now available for Android in addition to the already-released iOS version.
Following the acclaimed Walking Dead Season One, Telltale has released Episode 1 of The Wolf Among Us, their latest 5-episode adventure series. Based on Bill Willingham's Fables graphic novels, the series is also coming to PS Vita and iOS soon.
Capcom's digital-only Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies released on October 24th.Idea Factory, most recently known to us as the folks behind titles such as Hyperdimension Neptunia and the recent Agarest: Generations of War, formed Idea Factory International, which will operate out of California. The official site is now live, as well.
Demon Gaze developers Experience announced a new dungeon RPG, Tokyo New World Record, coming in January to PS Vita.
Following a PSP game released earlier this year, Sword Art Online is getting a new PS Vita game in Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, which releases next year in Japan.
Drakengard 3 was officially confirmed to be coming to North America in 2014. I think this was a given, unlike some Square Enix releases, but it was pretty cool to get a confirmation before the game is even out in Japan. Also confirmed for Western release in 2014 is NIS' Mugen Souls Z.
As Square Enix gradually releases more and more classic Final Fantasy titles on mobile platforms, it was only a matter of time before Dragon Quest got the same treatment. Now, Square Enix has announced that Dragon Quest I-VIII are coming to iOS and Android, along with some side games such as Dragon Quest Monsters. In related but no less important news, Final Fantasy VI is finally on its way to iOS and Android as well. This version will feature sharper artwork, to better fit the hi-res screens we have today. Hopefully the new sprites retain the spirit of the original, because lovers of FFVI can be pretty hardcore (I'm one of them).
An aside to Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut's release date, the potential of the Deus Ex Universe and the teaser artwork we saw has us excited.
Another game coming to iOS and Android — and PC & Mac — is a remake of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. Jane Jenson's 1993 classic is being updated by Phoenix Online Studios and will bring a game designed for 640x480 monitors into 2048x1536 (that's Retina iPad resolution, if you're curious) hi-res glory. Look for it in 2014.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has had an interesting life since launch. But lest you worry that BioWare is letting the game languish, they announced a new expansion, Galactic Starfighter, launching February 4th, which puts you in the pilot's seat of any number of Starfighters in epic space battles. Hard to argue with that.
We try to maintain a professional exterior here at RPGFan, but on the night Square Enix officially announced Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMix, I'll admit that a few of us chatting on Skype went instantly into squealing fanboy (and fangirl) mode. Can it be 2014 now?
SEGA's Demon Tribe — from Panzer Dragoon producer Masayoshi Kikuchi — comes to iOS this winter.
That Tales of Xillia Collector's Edition was cool, right? We're getting another wonderful Collector's Edition here, this time for Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. Oh, and Chronicles now has a release date in North America and Europe. Along similar lines, Bravely Default is getting a gorgeous Collector's Edition in Europe and Australia, while North America and Europe will see a limited edition The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 3DS XL bundle.
Aksys confirmed that Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Great Curry God is indeed coming this year, on December 10th, specifically. Even better, they announced that a localization of Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi for PS3 is coming... one day!
While it was a given to happen, Telltale announced The Walking Dead: Season 2, with the first episode releasing before year's end.
Ys: Memories of Celceta is finally releasing in North America soon, and now is confirmed for Europe in 2014.October started with a 3DS-centric Nintendo Direct, which coincided with the release of Etrian Odyssey Untold and the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies demo. This was also our first look at Bravely Default in English and Zelda: A Link Between Worlds' non-linear progression. Later in the month, Nintendo warned players about a save glitch in Pokémon X & Y, but quickly solved the issue in a patch.
Also on October 1st, Zeboyd Games launched their Kickstarter campaign for its next retro-inspired RPG, Cosmic Star Heroine. Said campaign wrapped up on October 31st, exceeding its $100,000 goal by over 30%.
Following up on last year's release of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, Beamdog's Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition now has a release date, and it's not far off: November 15th!
We learned a bit about Lightning Returns: FFXIII, specifically how Vanille fits into the story, and the game's Outerworld service. In general FF news, Square Enix formed a "Final Fantasy Committee" aimed at upping the quality of the series moving forward. Not only that, but Lightning Returns director Motomu Toriyama casually mentioned the possibility of an Eidos-developed Final Fantasy title. It's interesting speculation, to say the least.
Utada Hikaru may be creating Kingdom Hearts III's theme song, or may not. It seems a given, but like you, we await an official confirmation.
Dragon's Crown is surprisingly getting a major player-requested feature: Cross-Play support. As a game released on both PS3 and PS Vita, gamers have been clamoring for the two to interact in multiplayer mode, and it's finally happening. I think I may finally have to buy it...
Laura Shigihara is widely known for her vocal work on Plants Vs. Zombies, and around here, we adore her contributions on To The Moon. Her next project is the soundtrack for Rakuen, now available for pre-order.
Trion Worlds' now free-to-play MMORPG Rift is now available on Steam, making the game just that much easier to get into.
Live in Europe? Like Geralt? Then you'll be glad to know that Namco Bandai will be distributing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in your neck of the woods.
Daedalic's Blackguards may have been pushed back from October to a January release, but you can play the game via early access right now, with progress that carries over to the full release.third English trailer early in the month, plus several new screens and videos later on. Also from NIS, we have a new gallery for Mugen Souls Z. Finally for NIS, we have some new media for Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
A followup to our Nintendo Direct post also contained a new Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies trailer.
We debuted a gallery for the just-announced Tokyo New World Record.
Along with two gender-specific videos showing the game's opening, Nintendo also showed off Mega Charizard X for Pokémon X. We also saw new trailers for Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, one about gameplay and one about music.
Even more screen shots surfaced of Gust's PS3 remake of the PS3 Atelier Rorona, New Atelier Rorona: Origin Story of the Alchemist Arland.
Compile Heart can't stop releasing videos for Fairy Fencer F. We also finally debuted a gallery for the game. Speaking of Compile Heart (and Idea Factory), Aksys opened the official website for Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God and released this all-new trailer.
Meanwhile, Namco Bandai continues to trickle out character trailers for Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, this time focused on Raine. They also showed a rather dark Tales of Xillia 2 trailer at New York Comic Con.
Look at that, we made it a few paragraphs in before Lightning Returns came into play! October saw new media focused on Vanille, and an exciting 8+ minute gameplay trailer. In other Final Fantasy media, come see new Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster screens.
Elsewhere from Square Enix, we saw Final Fantasy XIV: ARR's PVP in action. While it's concept footage, this Kingdom Hearts III demo is running on the actual game engine, and shows a Disneyland ride influence in the game that's just magical. Also, just before its release, we saw new Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut footage. Now that it's officially going to release outside of Japan, watch five minutes of Drakengard 3's gameplay and take a look at new screen shots.
Tears To Tiara II features an interesting "do-over" battle mechanic that allows players to undo up to 20 turns and try a new strategy. See this and more in a new 10-minute video.
The last batch of October media came with these new Dark Souls II screen shots.So that was October. A busy month, but I have a feeling it's only the start of a busy fall. With new consoles and games still to come, November should be a fun month to recap. And hey, maybe I'll even be on time next month! Again, apologies for the delay, but thanks for reading!