Tag Archives: Bandai Namco

J-Stars Victory Vs+ Review

Back in 2007, I came across a game shop that specialized in selling import games. I stumbled across this DS game that caught my attention, since the cover art had Naruto, Yugi, Goku, Yusuke, Ichigo, and other popular (and some not so popular here in the US) characters sprinkled across it. Naturally I ended up buying it simply out of sheer curiosity and I was pleasantly surprised to find a rather accessible fighting game akin to Super Smash Bros., albeit with Shonen Jump characters.

Last year, Japan was treated to a 3D version of this brawler, J-Stars Victory VS, which once again pits many Shonen Jump characters in a brawl together, though this time ditching the Super Smash Bros. rules, and instead focusing more on 3D arena combat. A year and a half later, through some miracle work no doubt, considering all the various licensing, we got an updated release in America with a brand new Arcade mode and some rebalancing of characters. So was it worth the wait?

J-Stars Victory VS+ is developed by Spike Chunsoft, the folks behind the Budokai Tenkaichi series, which is why I'm rather confused by the clunkiness of the combat. I'm not going to say that the Tenkaichi games had amazingly fluid combat, but it certainly had a better sense of flow, with attacks that connected to one another and rarely any downtime. J-Stars does have its high-octane moments, however, it also suffers from some downtime, which in a fighting game filled with over-powered anime heroes, feels like a step back.

A bulk of the game consists around picking a two-person team as well as a support character, and duke it out with similar opposition. The control scheme is rather simplistic, which is always favorable in 3D fighters as it makes learning every character a breeze, and instead allows the player to focus more on the action, rather than precise button inputs. However, the first disconnect is with the movesets themselves. In traditional 3D fighters, once again referring to greats like the Tenkaichi series, a lot of experimentation stemmed out of connecting simple melee combos with character's super moves. In J-Stars, that's impossible, because there simply is no way to connect those two. Each time you pull off a combo, there is a slight lull between the time you can pull off a super move, meaning the opposing character has enough time sidestep. This sort of disconnect means you're always either mashing combos, or you're simply throwing special attacks, never both in tandem.

Another big issue I have is with the characters having invulnerability for a few seconds after being knocked down. While on paper that sounds fair, giving the downed player or opponent enough time to stand up and gather their bearings, what it ends up actually doing is creating an incredibly boring downtime where I'm forced to watch the opponent stand around until the crosshair tells me it's once again cool to attack him. As I played the game in the office, a co-worker came up and asked me whether the fighting is similar to the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games, at which I sadly replied no, and just imagined how much better that simple yet fluid combat would work within a game like this.

With the negatives out of the way though, I can't deny that J-Stars does have redeeming qualities. I mean, what other game lets you pit Goku, Rurouni Kenshin and Yusuke on a team against Seiya, Arale and Koro-sensei. J-Stars certainly isn't trying to win points as a technical fighter but rather showcase its ability to cater to pure, unadulterated fan service.

Even though the combat itself isn't as polished as I would have liked, it's undeniably flashy. Whether you're pulling off one of the many combos, performing a special or super attack, or simply destroying the environment around you, it's a spectacle.

That holds especially true for Victory Bursts, which can be activated by the team that's currently kicking more ass. When prompted, you can activate the Victory Burst which, depending on the pillar of Shonen Jump you have active per character, will either increase damage, defense or lower stamina consumption. While you're in Victory Burst, you can also activate each character's Ultimate. These are devastating attacks similar to ultimate attacks in previous Tenkaichi games. The action stops and focuses on the character that activated it, resulting in a grand attack that more often than not demolishes the opponent. Goku for example summons a spirit bomb which he throws at the opponent and then turns Super Saiyan and Ace from One Piece summons his giant Entei finisher.

The game is tied together through a single player mode called J-Adventure, which has you picking between four teams consisting of characters like Luffy, Naruto, Toriko and Ichigo. While they all have somewhat different encounters, each storyline is pretty similar, which makes it somewhat redundant to go back and actually play through the rest. You're tasked with sailing the seas in a constantly upgraded ship as you collect Hero Emblems for Korin (From DBZ) while encountering various team-ups of characters. The story itself is laughable and entirely skippable. The dialogue remains in Japanese with no dub whatsoever, which I personally didn't have an issue with, considering I enjoy watching subbed anime. However, the writing itself is so nonsensical that you won't get much enjoyment out of actually sitting through a bulk of it.

Your friends can jump in and help you out in story mode as well, giving them a chance to take over the AI. This is fantastic since the AI isn't always the brightest when it comes to helping you out. The only strange thing about this is the screen real estate. For some reason it was super important for each character to have their own UI on each side, making the actual gameplay screen super tiny. Sitting at a distance, it equated to looking at a 3DS screen up close.

Those who wanted a single player challenge outside of the story mode, can try their hand at Victory Road, which lets you choose a team to go up against various pre-determined characters for a test of supremacy. There's also the all new and quite devilishly difficult Arcade Mode which wasn't present in the original game. Trust me when I say you'll want to brush up on the game before venturing here.

One of the pretty neat features that further helps you build your characters in very specific ways are the unlockable J-Cards. These cards can then be slotted into a deck that further boost your stats, but also come with some downsides. For example, a card can boost your attack power but lower defense, or perhaps increase the speed at which you acquire your energy at the cost of movement speed. As the game goes on, you can unlock multiple decks so you can freely switch between them depending on the character you're using.

While I was expecting a bit more from developer Spike Chunsoft, it's still undeniably fun to unleash a team of Shonen Jump stars against each other. If you can overlook the slightly clunky combat mechanics and instead turn your brain off and focus on the fan service, you might enjoy your time with J-Stars Victory VS+.

Bottom Line

Brimming with a variety of characters and fan service, yet lacking the fluidity of Spike Chunsoft previous fighting games. Casual anime fans need not apply.

Bandai Namco’s new VR project lets players confront their fears

Project I Can, a suite of virtual reality experiences in development at Bandai Namco, allows players to conquer their fears in the safety of VR.

The non-gaming applications of VR have been the subject of heated discussion since the medium’s inception. VR tourism is an especially popular field, but the therapeutic applications of VR’s immersive qualities also hold considerable potential. Project I Can demonstrates how VR can be used to simulate otherwise dangerous or terrifying experiences as a form of exposure therapy.

The current frontrunner for Bandai Namco’s experience is Fear of Heights, an aptly titled piece of acrophobia therapy. The simulation tasks HTC Vive-adorned players to walk the plank at dizzying heights, and for a good cause: to rescue a virtual kitten. 

Project I Can also includes Ski Rode, Real Drive, Escape Ward Omega, Train Meister and Argyle Shift. At a glance, the experiences seem to cover the fear of small spaces and the fear of driving, among others. Additional details are available on the project's official site.

Source: YouTube

Via: Eurogamer 

The 'big Dark Souls news' was a clothing line and its kind of awful

Yesterday, Namco Bandai teased that they had some 'big Dark Souls news' to share today. As it turns out, the 'big' news was a bunch of merchandise for purchase. Currently the clothing line is only available in Europe, but it will more than likely spread out to other regions if it is popular enough.

The shirts, hats, sweaters and tank tops come with various classic memes plastered on them such as, 'Never Trust a Chest,' 'Praise the Sun' and 'You Died' set above a counter and a broken controller. 

Now, these clothes wouldn't be such an abomination if there weren't version of them that already existed and looked 10 times better. Just glancing at the 'Praise the Sun' and 'Sun Bro' searches in Etsy yeild better results than a majority of the clothes revealed.

The clothing like wouldn't be so bad if Namco hadn't teased it the way the did, but all these memes on shirts just make me think of one thing — Steve Buscemi.

They got me, they got me good. I expected some cool PS4 theme.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Review

I can honestly say that I never prepared myself for a game review as much as I have prepared for One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3. You see, I played the first game, and mildly touched on the second, but I felt disconnected from them. Sure, you could say it's just Dynasty Warriors with a One Piece skin, but I wasn't connected to the story or the characters, both of what One Piece is apparently very well known for, and known for doing extremely well.

I decided earlier this year to actually watch all available episodes. Thanks to Crunchyroll, which has all the episodes available, I had all the means to do so. Unfortunately, I never met my goal to watch all 700+ episodes, though I did finish just over 500 of them, way more than enough to get myself acquainted with the story and characters. I now knew all about Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, his beginnings with Shanks, his trials with various Warlords and his unbridled determination to become the Pirate King.

While it may seem excessive to watch that many episodes simply to get myself prepped for a review, I do admit that a part of me has always wanted to watch the show, and this was the perfect excuse. But how does the game actually hold up?

Chances are you've heard of Tecmo Koei's vastly popular Warriors series. Pirate Warriors 3 is essentially those games, but gone are the flamboyant Chinese Dynasty and Samurai characters, but replaced with the colorful cast of One Piece. It's Bandai's third take on the One Piece X Dynasty Warriors formula and it certainly seems the most refined.

Pirate Warriors 3 focuses on delivering the series' canon storyline, by focusing on major battles throughout the various arcs with dozens of wild characters to unlock with even wilder powers. That means you'll start off with the recruitment of your crew, starting with Zoro, and ultimately make your way to locations like Skypiea, Thriller Bark and even take part in the great Summit War.

Let's look at what works, what doesn't and what we think of Bandai's latest foray into the world of Pirates.

The Positives / The Negatives

The Verdict

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Arslan: The Warriors of Legend Review

When it comes to the Musou franchise, or the Warriors franchise here in the US, I'll play just about any of them. I'm always quite surprised at just how much care and attention Koei Tecmo puts into these games, not only representing their source material rather well, when it comes to adaptations, but also in terms of making each game have unique mechanics. Especially since the Warriors series usually falls prey to the "been there, done that" mentality by a lot of gamers.

Arslan: Warriors of Legend is yet another video game adaptation of an anime, which I've sadly never heard of. Unlike my rigorous preparation for the third One Piece: Pirate Warriors game, I went into Arslan: Warriors of Legend completely blind.

Despite that, I still very much liked what I played, and the game did a pretty solid job at introducing me to a world I've never heard of previously.

I can tell you now, before you click over to the next page, that if you've never been a fan of the Warriors series, Arslan won't make you one now. Despite its crisp visuals and interesting story, and even slightly new mechanics, it's still a game about taking on thousands of soldiers head on with various characters.

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Get pumped for Dark Souls 3 with the new launch trailer

 

The day has finally come and Dark Souls lll is finally available. If you are still on the fence on what to get on the biggest day in gaming for 2016, perhaps the new Dark Souls lll Ash Seeketh Embers launch trailer will help you out.

 

The launch trailer, which you can watch above, shows a great combination of fear, music, and action brining he players to maximum hype within under a 3-minute span. The trailer also shows off some of the terrifying bosses that you will come across in the game, check it out!

 

Apparently Dark Souls III on PC suffers from a few bugs, some of which make the game unplayable. One of the worst bugs brings a game crash when players approach the first bonfire. Even if a player manages to make it past the first bonfire, the game crashes at Firelink Shrine and sometimes the game just crashes because it feels like it.

 

There are "fixes" for these problems such as setting the "Lighting Quality to Low", removing the shield when approaching the bonfire, or starting as a Knight. As of now, the "start as a Knight" fix seems to be the best solution.

 

Dark Souls lll is now available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Dark Souls 3 patch goes live today, brings balance to weapons and fixes minor bugs

Dark Souls 3 has been out for a week now and it has been getting great reviews while breaking all sorts of records. However, there are some bugs that need fixing and Bandai Namco is already on the case.

 

Patch 1.04 (PS4 and Xbox One) and 1.03.1 (PC) will be deploying later today. It will be bringing many fixes to the overpowered weapons in the game like the Greatsword and Farron Flashsword.

 

To get the full list of changes checks down below:

 

• Performance adjustment for Greatsword.

• Battle performance adjustment for Dancer’s Enchanted Sword and Winged Knight Twin axes.

• Performance adjustments for Soul’s Greatsword and Farron Flashsword.

• Fix for issue where multiple items become impossible to use at Road of Sacrifices, Farron Keep, Cathedral of the Deep after clearing the game.

 

These fixes are great, but Souls players will have to be waiting a little while longer for multiplayer problems. From Software did manage to issue an apology on the matter.

 

“Password matching done under the following conditions may result in an extended amount of time required for the match to complete,” the developer said. Many players are signed in the corresponding area. There is a large gap between the levels of the players who are using the password.”

 

Did the patch fix what you wanted? Let us know in the comments below!

 

A Dark Souls board game is in development

Board game creator Steamforged Games today announced its collaboration with publisher Bandai Namco on the development of an official Dark Souls board game.

“As Dark Souls fans, we could not be more excited to be given the honor of developing a board game that embraces everything that makes Dark Souls the deep, compelling game experience that it is,” Steamforged said in an announcement.

The Dark Souls board game will be launched on Kickstarter this month. A release date has not yet been given, nor has Steamforged outlined where in the Dark Souls timeline the game will be set.

Fear not, ye of little faith (in crowdfunding): Steamforged Games’ previous board game, Guild Ball, was essentially a medieval take on soccer, and raised over 300 percent of its original Kickstarter goal.

Now then, time to speculate on the name of the mystery Dark Souls board game. I’m partial to Hungry Hungry Humanity, I admit. Something a little more mature? Settlers of the Catacombs, perhaps? Sorry You Died Again?

Wait, I’ve got another one: Capra Demon Kerplunk?

Source: Steamforged Games

Via: Eurogamer 

Dark Souls 3 '80s style VHS cover now available to download for all platforms

When April Fools happened a couple of weeks ago, most people thought that most of the pranks were only jokes, however, Bandai Namco managed to bring some of their prank to life with a downloadable box art cover of Dark Souls lll as a '80s VHS movie.

The prank trailer that you can watch above imagines the iconic difficult, yet rewarding RPG — Dark Souls lll, as a '80s VHS movie. If you happened to like the retro style of the box art, then you will be very happy to know that you can now download the box art for your preferred platform right now.

Here're the links to each platform:

  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Dark Souls lll launched earlier this week bringing the darkness and brutal gameplay back to gamers. The launch trailer, which you can watch by clicking here, shows a great combination of fear, music and action bringing the players to maximum hype within under a 3-minute span. The trailer also shows off some of the terrifying bosses that you will come across in the game, check it out!

Have you played Dark Souls lll yet? Let us know in the comments below!

Dark Souls 3 breaks company records, new trailer released

 

Dark Souls 3 is the latest entry in the Souls series and Bandai Namco has recently announced that it is the most successful day-one launch in the company's history while also being the fastest-selling as well.

 

The game launched last week and it brought plenty of gamers to a dark a gritty world of hellish creatures and animals. In news of how well the game is doing, Bandai Namco put together an accolades trailer with almost two minutes of gameplay footage, check it out above.

 

Later today, a new patch will be deployed for Dark Souls 3 spanning across all three platforms — PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The patch is said to balance, adjust and fix bugs, to get the full list of updates, click here.

 

Have you picked up Dark Souls 3 yet? Still on the fence, read our review right here.