Stardew Valley Review

As mentioned in another post here, I spent much of this past weekend playing Stardew Valley on the PC. Stardew Valley is a game that harkens back memories of popular retro games such as Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. The game is fun and relaxing… however, like most games in this genre, the gameplay can get tedious and repetitive at times. Stardew Valley also suffers significant development delays and setbacks, which is not surprising considering the entire game, from the graphics, to music, to programming, was all made by just one person. It doesn’t get anymore “indie” than that. Despite these few small flaws, the game is one of the highest rated Steam games of all time with nearly 50,000 Overwhelmingly Positives since its release in February 2016. If you’re still wondering if Stardew Valley is worth playing, read my Stardew Valley Review below.

Title: Stardew Valley

Developer: ConcernedApe

Publisher: Chucklefish

Platform: PC (also recently released for Xbox One, PS4, and soon to be released for Nintendo Switch)

Genre: Farming Simulation

Where to Buy: PC Version on Steam Here.

Release Date: February 2016

Geeky: 2/5  –  This is a low budget indie game, so you won’t see triple A graphics here. And given the genre and nature of farming simulation games there isn’t much action going on. I also feel the controls and UI are clunky, to the point of detracting from the gameplay (read more about that later in this review). However, given that 1 man made everything in this game, that’s pretty impressive and worth an extra star at least for effort!

Sweetie: 4/5  – Everything about this game exudes charm and cuteness. However, the characters feel impersonal and the story a bit lacking, costing it to lose 1 heart for “sweetie” factor.

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Concept: 8/10 It’s hard to believe this game has been out for less than a year; it’s so wildly popular and became an instant fan classic, that even games by fully staffed development teams have not made nearly as successful games or seen as many sales or positive reviews in years worth of time. And day by day new fans come to experience Stardew Valley for their very first time and fall in love, and continue to share their experiences. I was somewhat late to join the party, starting back in maybe July of 2016.

At that time, people were growing restless with lack of progress made on features that had been promised such as multiplayer. Here we are another 6 months later, and there’s still no word on when multiplayer will be added, just simply that it is in the works. The game has received several updates and improvements, including finishing “routes” for “new” characters (The characters were already present, but now you can date more of them).

And that’s important because really… the game of Stardew Valley is like the game of your life. Stardew Valley’s open sandbox environment and multiple choices and decisions that you will make, all shape what will happen. Will you get married? have kids? Choose a life of adventure exploring dungeons, fishing all day, or focus on rebuilding your grandfather’s farm? Or maybe just sit at the tavern, playing games, and wasting your virtual life – the choice is yours.

Although the game starts slow, once it picks up, there will be numerous choices you must make (which you’ll start to notice around maybe Fall of the first year or so)… Things such as deciding if you want to let fruit bats live in the cave near your farm or if you want to use the cave to grow mushrooms. Hopefully by Fall of the first year you’ve had time and resources to upgrade your house or add new buildings that let you craft new recipes and add new gameplay elements such as making pickled vegetables, fruit preserves, wine, cooking meals from your crops in your new kitchen, etc. Characters at times may also ask you questions which may impact the game or change their friendship towards you, such as asking you what types of books you like to read, etc. Lil bit by lil bit you will begin to see how YOUR farm in Stardew Valley differs from that of your friends’ farms. (Or how it will differ for you on subsequent playthroughs).

There are also numerous in-game events held throughout each season such as festivals, cooking contests, dance parties, and more. If you’ve been working on your social skills in the game and making friends, or even romances, these special events will be even more special, having someone to share them with.

You start with little in way of resources to begin the game and with little to do. When I first started playing, it was tedious. It felt like work, like real life. It was made somewhat worse by bad controls and UI… However now, as my first year in Stardew Valley draws to a close, the game has me firmly hooked. I couldn’t believe I stayed up until 1am playing it lastnight, and I want nothing more than to go home and play it again as soon as possible. — Soon you will be able to take Stardew Valley with you everywhere you go with the Nintendo Switch! For many, this means starting all over from scratch though and replaying through these tedious first few hours of gameplay as I seriously doubt it will sync your game saves — though it would be awesome if it did!

Stardew Valley is slow paced, and definitely not for everyone. There is some combat; however, at least on the PC, the combat is simple and basic at best, and involves no strategy, and just mindless clicking. The controls also make any actions, from combat, to fishing, to farming, a real pain at times. However, despite these flaws, Stardew Valley shines because of the charming retro vibe and relaxing gameplay mechanics. It’s one of the best casual games around and guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy. It is just simply a “Feel Good Kind of Game”.

Gameplay: 6/10 If you’ve ever played a Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game then you will be right at home in Stardew Valley. The basics of gameplay include planting, watering, and harvesting crops, conversing with townsfolk, dating/marrying a townsfolk, upgrading/decorating your home, exploring dungeons, collecting and crafting items, and joining in various events. — It was also marketed as an “Online or Multiplayer” farming game (which drew many fans who have long dreamed of an Online Harvest Moon — however, that feature, which arguably is the game’s MAIN feature, is still no where to be seen and with no estimated release date a year later.

I’m critiquing the gameplay for the PC version right now since it’s the only version I have played as of time of review. While the features of the gameplay would get high marks here in terms of the vast amount of things to see, do, choices and consequences, and customization, the score ultimately suffers due to terrible controls and UI. Please note for this review I play on a laptop and do not use a mouse. I am a keyboard only user. As such, there are some things that just DON’T work. Period.

Like for example, I read that to put bait on a fishing pole you left click the bait then right click the fishing pole, but nothing happens when I do this. Luckily, you can fish without bait, but with some tools you aren’t so lucky. I assume that loading the slingshot with stones also works in the same fashion but can’t figure out how to load it with ammunition either which makes it completely useless to me. At the fall grange faire, the controls for fishing were different than fishing on the main map too! In the main map I can use my button shortcode which is C as opposed to mouse clicking, — this for some reason does not work at the fall grange faire and you have to use the mouse (in my case keep in mind, I’m using my laptop’s “touchpad” which you can click/scroll/operate like a mouse.) —

I have read that PS4 controllers will now work in Steam so I may have to try that and hope they are supported in Stardew Valley. I also do have a usb mouse – but given that I play largely from my bed, it makes finding a place to put the mouse a challenge. I am surprised because quite simply, this is a casual game. If I were expecting to smoothly play a triple A title without a mouse, from my bed, well that would be my own fault for having unreasonable expectations… but the truth is, there’s nothing here that should require finesse or skill.

And it’s not just a little bit cumbersome, it’s that things completely don’t work in some cases as illustrated above at worst. At best, I find myself constantly turning away from my target while fighting in the dungeon, or watering an empty square next to the plant I’m trying to water. Or I’ll forget I have an axe equipped and accidentally kill a crop I’m trying to work with (OK so that last one is my fault 🙂 lol).

The gameworld is not that large, but you walk really slow, which makes it seem a bit larger (Please note for this review, I’m critiquing the default map, not the new ones added in after release). You will also find that you get weak from exhaust and/or injuries easily when you first begin playing, and that even adding new weapons, armor, and accessories, doesn’t seem to speed up combat as much as you might hope.

Despite these weaknesses, the gameplay is actually fun and enjoyable with a wide variety of things to do and see. In fact, there’s often not enough in-game hours in a day to do everything. I love rainy days in the game so I can go fishing or explore the dungeons without wasting half a day tending to my crops. I also love that as you continue to do something in game, such as fish or fight monsters, you gain levels of proficiency with different skills and at certain levels, these skills branch off and force you to choose a path, with different pros and cons, which further customizes your experience from that of your friends – and also greatly adds to replay value.

There could be some other features added that would further enhance gameplay, difficulty and challenge, such as making certain foods expire – would also create need to use the preserve machine — or making for example icecream melt after so many in-game hours. As it stands right now you could buy or grow an item in year one, and eat it 5 years later without risk of getting sick, etc. They could even add a temporary debuff “Food Poisoning” that would wear off after so many in game hours.

Story: 6/10 – Well the story is that you write your own story. You decide exactly what you want to do, who you want to be with, and shape your own virtual life. It offers a ton of customization and the story does branch and reveal different routes based on who you date and other decisions you make within the game, but largely, by the end of the first year, the story has felt weak and bare bones at best. The in-game events do help to spice things up however, I suspect that after the first year they will be less exciting since you’ve already seen them. — However, it makes up for this in the amount of customization, freedom, and exploration that these open world sandbox games are best known for. Watching slowly as your farm takes shape and beginning to set a path for yourself and discover how to make your farm uniquely your own is truly the best aspect of this game, and that will become even more of a big selling point once multi-player finally gets implemented so you can visit friends’ farms.

Characters: 6/10 – Well, there’s a lot of them, but none of them are terribly interesting… They will recycle through the same dialog over and over. In the beginning, as to be expected, many of the characters are distrustful of you (You’re a stranger afterall!), and so they do not talk about anything meaningful or overly deep. Getting close to people, just like in real life, takes time. Relationships take work, and Stardew Valley is no exception to that rule… I have yet to see if the characters, or story for that matter, get more interesting past the first year, but with well over 30 hours of real life put into the game, that’s more time than one should be expected to “wait and see” if things improve.

Right now my highest relationship, according to the fortune teller at the fall grange fair, is with Shane, one of the newly added routes in a recent update. He is sorta the Tsundere type. Rough on the outside. He often plays guitar in the tavern. He likes Hot Peppers, Spaghetti, and Pizza for presents, and he is a cold unfeeling jerk lol. At least initially. I think there may be more to him, which is why I was curious to pursue him. I think his route shows the most promise for “character development” if written correctly. It will be nice to see him warm up and hopefully be less of a jerk over time lol.

Other characters seem to pay homage to various Harvest Moon games, there’s a guy named Linus (not dateable) living in a tent who reminds me of Gustafa from Harvest Moon on the Gamecube. There’s Harvey who is a doctor, Demetrius a scientist (who at time of this review is not dateable), Sebastian who is a stereotypical Emo/Goth guy, Alex a fitness nut,  a Magician (I don’t believe he’s dateable either), Clint who is a Blacksmith, and Elderly couple. The tavern workers, a Museum worker, a Carpenter (female), Goth girl, Librarian (female), and a handful of others.

Despite not having much “depth” to the characters (at least after almost a whole year of time passing in game), the characters themselves are charming, and always busy and on the move. They breathe life into the game and keep it feeling active and bustling year round. Not only these human characters, but the animals on your farm, the monsters in the dungeon, and even just little touches like birds and butterflies randomly flying or a squirrel quickly climbing a tree, or a rabbit running through the bushes, they all make the game seem… living. It seems as if every character has a mind of their own and a life of their own. This is a big plus and part of the game’s unique charm.

Graphics: 8/10 – Keep in mind, this is an indie game that wanted to go for a retro-vibe. If you’re not a fan of “outdated” graphics, RPG Maker style games, and Isometric Top-Down view style games, then this is not the game for you. — That said, Stardew Valley is for you if you grew up with the 16 bit Harvest Moon games, don’t mind “indie-retro” games, like to customize the appearance of your character, and like “cute” bright graphics.

Everything about Stardew Valley is exceptionally charming. And there is a lot of work that went into everything from the tile sets used in town or your farm, to the dungeons, character portraits, or animations. As mentioned above, the environment really feels almost like it’s alive somehow, with so many small details and little touches, falling leaves, wind, rain, animals, and background animations that really add to the charm and little extra love that was poured into this game.

I’d like to see maybe a tad more detail on the character sprites, and even more options added for character customization and more interior decorating items, or more various monster designs and not just recolors – but that’s just a wishlist, already, the artwork is pretty great if you’re a fan of pixel style games.

I did take off a few points for the following:

  • It gets pretty hard to see where I’m going at night. I dunno if it’s my monitor settings – and I am well aware you can craft items like torches and etc to brighten things up, but I get pretty lost.
  • Also some items can be hard to see if they’re behind trees, or other tall graphic items, and this too, can at times cause you to feel “stuck”.
  • Lastly, back to the UI again, it is just a lil bit clunky and could use some refinement.

Music: 10/10 – The soundtrack is one of my favorite things about this game. It is infectiously catchy. Not only does it feature great music, but sound effects are skillfully used to further create immersion and once again give rise to a game world that feels bursting with life. Sound effects for weather effects, animals, monsters, and machines and tools all help paint a picture of what life in Stardew Valley is all about.

Replay Value: 10/10 – Despite myself criticizing many things in this game such as terrible controls and user interface, lack of promised features and development setbacks, and a rather barebones story and characters who are dull and cliche, there’s just something indescribable about the gameplay itself. It is just a fun game. It’s not a perfect game… but it is one that I would recommend. I can seriously see myself sinking hundreds, or even thousands, of hours into the game, a single playthrough takes probably a hundred hours or more, and if you want to try a different profession or pick a different husband or wife, you’ll be starting a new farm, as the game autosaves every night which takes the freedom of creating multiple save files from a single playthrough out of your hands.

When I play Stardew Valley, I feel like I’m living a second virtual life, I come to care about my character, her friends and relationships, the farm, the city, and everything that’s going on in the game world. It offers me a challenge with several aspects being only discovered later in the game, and that too keeps the experience feeling fun and fresh and wondering what will happen each time I play.

Stardew Valley is a game that pulls you in with all of its charm — However, it could do with some fine tuning to greatly improve certain gameplay and story aspects.

Would I play it again? Absolutely. Given the sheer amount of things to see and do, it is impossible to accomplish everything on a single playthrough and no two farms are exactly alike.

It is that feeling, that my farm, my village, my animals, my crops, my house, my little virtual family, that they are unique and truly unlike anyone elses’ that is the driving force that makes me want to sit down and invest my precious time and energy into this game. That and the kawaii cute graphics and charming nature of the game that seem to just suck you right in.

And once Multiplayer gets implemented, kiss your real life goodbye, as the 50,000 people who think “Overwhelmingly Positive” things about the game, as well as thousand of new players, will be busy visiting their friends’ farms and experiencing brand new gameplay elements.

Stardew Valley is constantly evolving with new maps, new characters, new skills, new recipes, and new fun!

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Stardew Valley Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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5 Best Anime Games of 2016

5 Best Anime Games of 2016

Continuing the long standing tradition of converting shows and comics into video games (or vice versa), 2016 has delivered us a slew of very decent games. Compared to their predecessors, these games have come a long way from the old days when Bandai meant a relatively short and generic gameplay experience.

But enough stalling; you came here for a list of great games, and here it is! Just be sure you’ve got the right console to play on.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

If you’re into fighting games and follow the Naruto universe, this one is definitely for you. Continuing the visually flamboyant style of the previous Ninja Storm games (as well as the absurdly long title conventions), Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 offers a vast selection of characters from the series and a quick way to catch up on the story if you haven’t been following.

As with the last installments, the gameplay takes place in a 3D arena using a fighter style system. The controls are relatively basic, being nearly identical between each of the characters, but with differences more pronounced in character speed and in visual showoffs.

Much like Marvel vs. Capcom titles, you can choose more than one hero at a time and pair their attacks together for varying combinations. Overall, it’s a satisfying title and one you won’t want to miss if you enjoy fighters, Naruto, or both.

Digimon: Cyber Sleuth

We never expected to see another Digimon game, but here it is in all its shining glory. Digimon: Cyber Sleuth is an RPG that features turned based team combat and mixes elements of mystery solving and monster collecting.

While it may not be breaking into any new territory, what seems to really set this Digimon installment apart is the plot. Despite some of the usual oddities in translation, the story is genuinely well put together with lots of laughs and an unexpectedly adult-oriented depiction of moral ambiguity.

Unlike other monster collectors, adding Digimon to your collection is as simple as just battling. There aren’t any involved capture mechanics, so if you’re looking for something a little simpler, this should do the trick.

We recommend this one for anyone that enjoys sitting down to a good old JRPG plot. Just don’t be surprised if you find it a cut above the usual in the story department.

One Piece: Burning Blood

If it seems like a lot of anime games are fighting games, that’s because it’s largely true. One Piece: Burning Blood is no exception to that rule, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. Faithful to the show’s plot (particularly in the visuals), the game incorporates mechanics into battle not seen in most arena style fighters.

Perhaps one of the most unique game elements is the introduction of Logia type devil fruit powers and Haki. Characters can access their special abilities with a button press and just like in the show, they’ll gain the benefits (for instance Logia types being immune to regular attacks or being able to physically pass through characters).

Although the controls could stand to be a tad more responsive, the game is gorgeous. And for what it’s worth, the lack of game balance seems to fit the character of the show fairly well, considering how characters such as Nami are compared to Doflamingo. Give this one a try if you’re a One Piece fan.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

After the success of the first Dragon Ball Xenoverse and in company with the ongoing Dragon Ball Super series, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 takes what made the first title good and runs with it by introducing new types of character customization and abilities and just generally looking nicer.

For those who don’t know, Xenoverse incorporates certain elements of MMO-type games, so expect to do a lot of your play online. Maybe consider picking yourself up a Virtual Private Network service if you’re looking to feel a bit more secure, as it can keep your internet connection safe and encrypted.

Otherwise, it’s an interesting mix of fighting game and RPG. Battles consist of arena style fights, but there’s also world exploration, questing, and character development to keep you busy. In the meantime, there’s also a plot going on that focuses on time travel and allows you to relive some of the more memorable moments from the show.

While we don’t expect Xenoverse will have the same staying power as some of the larger MMOs, that isn’t the goal; online play is largely supplemental to the main game and serves more to give you an opportunity to play with other people without the effort of calling friends over to sit down and play.

Pokémon Sun/Moon

We may be cheating a little with this one considering that the Pokémon anime is based on the games and not the other way around, but how could we not mention such a great game!? Pokémon Sun and Moon add to the franchise what so many of us have been hoping for since 3D started to become a part of the franchise: a nicer looking game.

While building on many of the series’ classic elements by adding new Pokémon and moves, Sun/Moon also adds regional variations to already existing Pokémon, such as the Ice/Steel version of Sandshrew or the Grass/Dragon version of Exeggutor.

Online play has also changed quite a bit with the introduction of the Plaza, where you can meet other players and challenge them to battles or ask for trades. In true Nintendo tradition, it’s also a bit slower and less convenient than we’d like, but it’s functional enough for what it tries to do.

Fortunately for new players, the game’s main story continues to be relatively easy, but thankfully Nintendo has also seen fit to add a considerably harder postgame. Did we mention that Pokémon Snap elements have returned? Get ready to snap some photos!

And stay tuned—rumor has it that the third game version of the Sun/Moon series will be released for Nintendo’s new console, the Switch. We’re waiting with anticipation!

About the Author: Faith has a personal interest in all things anime, particularly when it comes together with video games. She’s also an cybersecurity blogger, focusing her writing on helping users and businesses avoid hackers and malware.

5 Best Anime Games of 2016 was originally published on

Target Xbone Black Friday 2016 – Save $50 on any Xbone S Bundle + Get a Free $40 Target Giftcard

Target’s blackfriday ad has been leaked online and appears to offer up a $40 giftcard + $50 off any Xbone S bundle for black friday.

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This means effectively that (as long as you can get use out of the giftcard for other purchases at Target) your out of pocket cost is just $209 for the system + game – In the ad it mentions specifically Minecraft or Battlefield 1 but the ad does say the offer is good on ANY Xbone S bundle.

This may quite possibly be the best price we see on an Xbox One this holiday season!

Target Xbone Black Friday 2016 – Save $50 on any Xbone S Bundle + Get a Free $40 Target Giftcard was originally published on

Countdown to Black Friday with New Deals Every Day on Amazon

Amazon just launched their Black Friday Pre-sale event. You can check back every day for new items at http://amazon.com/Black-Friday/…

Already they are offering up some pretty sweet deals for geeks and gamers. I recommend bookmarking and checking back as often as possible. I’m hoping for a PS4 Bundle or Console to go on sale. I have enough already to purchase, but since it is that time of year, saving some money never hurts, and I’ve waited this long already to get myself the newest consoles, so might as well hang in there a few more weeks and see what happens!

Last year, amazon had amazing black friday and cyber monday exclusive gaming bundles for all three major game systems including Xbone, PS4, and WiiU. This year the savings should be even greater since the technology continues to age and the market gets even more competitive with new consoles such as the Xbox Scorpio, PS4 Pro, and (soon to be released) Nintendo Switch, which means the standard Xbox One, PS4 Slim, and possibly Wii U will need to discount their inventory to see a strong finish this year.

PC Gamers are not to be forgotten, RIGHT NOW amazon has awesome Black Friday deals on headsets, lightup keyboards, game controllers, gaming mice, and more. There are some great deals such as headsets for 65% off, hot new release games for both console and pc at up to 75% off and many more.

Amazon even has a page set up specifically for gaming deals here: http://amzn.to/2evLcYi

or a general one for Electronics here: http://amzn.to/2evMYZH

I’m also needing a new gaming laptop, and Amazon has a page for PC and Laptop deals here: http://amzn.to/2elLmON

Video Games not your thing? Maybe you want some boardgames, legos, cute plushies, dolls, or figures? If so amazon also has a page for you here: http://amzn.to/2fp9ssJ

And the sales will continue into cyber monday as well and Cyber Monday has it’s own page for deals which will be located at http://amzn.to/2fk9JB3 once it goes live later this month.

 

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Per Amazon’s site:

“Black Friday Deals–The Party Is Just Getting Started!

Black Friday 2016 will be here soon, but we didn’t want you to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to save on Black Friday deals, so we are counting down to Black Friday 2016 with exciting deals today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and…you get the picture. Stop by each day through November 24 for early Black Friday deals, including sales on electronics, low prices on DVDs, magazine subscription specials, toy bargains, and fashionable deals for women, men, kids & baby, and more. You’ll find our best Black Friday deals, and Deal of the Day bargains you won’t want to resist for holiday gifts.

Something else to be excited about–at Amazon, Black Friday 2016 isn’t just a day to us–it’s a whole week! We’ll kick off Black Friday Deals Week early with Black Friday deals and sales all day every day that week, including Black Friday, with those big after-Thanksgiving sales you’ve been waiting for. Trust us, if you love a good deal, you won’t want to miss it!

To continue the excitement, we have made Cyber Monday 2016 a whole week too! We’ll be kicking off Cyber Monday with a week’s worth of cyber deals, just in time for you to get back to work after Thanksgiving … and shop online. Shhh … we won’t tell your boss! You’ll find more great deals every day during Cyber Monday Deals Week.
So stop by any day, or better yet, every day. We’ll be here with great deals!”

 

Countdown to Black Friday with New Deals Every Day on Amazon was originally published on

Third-person Action RPG *Anima: Gate of Memories* due June 3 on Steam (Windows/Linux), PS4 & Xbox One, North American PS4 launch to take place June 7

The folks at Badland Games just emailed me their press release for their upcoming title: Anima: Gate of Memories which is based on a series of books. It is being developed by a small team and heavily involving the author of the novels.

This looks to be a really fun, story-rich RPG with multiple endings, choice-based dialogue system, beautiful graphics, and fun combat system. I’m seeing if I can get a key so I can share some more details and possibly stream or upload some videos for you guys – but until then, enjoy the press release and official trailer below!

Third-person action RPG *Anima: Gate of Memories* due June 3 on Steam (Windows/Linux), PS4 & Xbox One, N. American PS4 launch to take place June 7

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Action RPG Anima: Gate of Memories Available June 3rd (Steam, PS4, Xbox One)

 

North American PS4 Release on Tuesday, June 7th

 

MADRID — May 26, 2016 — BadLand Games and Anima Project proudly announce that the much-anticipated RPG Anima: Gate of Memories will be released digitally on June 3, 2016 on Xbox One, Steam, and PlayStation 4. In North America, the PlayStation 4 launch will take place on June 7th.  Anima: Gate of Memories will have both a standard and collector’s edition PlayStation 4 box release in select territories on June 3rd.

 

Anima: Gate of Memories is a third-person action RPG focused on combat and exploration. Players will enjoy a deep and multifaceted story where their choices and actions directly impact the journey and decide the characters’ fates. As players travel through the tower of Arcane and the gorgeously animated world of Gaia, they’ll endure epic battles with formidable opponents — each with special features and gameplay.

 

Join The Bearer and Ergo — agents of an ancient society called Nathaniel which for centuries has protected mankind from the darkness — on their journey to recover an old artifact called The Byblos that has been stolen by a renegade of the order. After a long pursuit — crossing areas ravaged by war — they are able to corner the fugitive in the middle of an ancient construction. All at once, the entire area is swallowed by light. Our protagonists awake inside a strange structure where they are no longer alone; strange beings have also been summoned there. Soon, both will discover that something darker than they could imagine is about to begin — a war in the shadows in which they will have a leading role.

 

Based on the international Anima: Beyond Fantasy RPG books, Anima: Gate of Memories is being developed by the author and Anima Project — a small team of developers.

 

Key Features

  • Multiple endings: Your choices and actions will influence the journey and decide the destiny of the characters.
  • Epic battles with formidable opponents: Challenge many legendary entities, each with their own special features and gameplay.
  • Deep combat system: The combat system combines RPG elements with fast-paced action and spectacular attacks and spells.
  • Unique locations: Travel through the tower of Arcane and the world of Gaia across stunning backgrounds and places.
  • A huge world: You can move with great freedom — visiting different locations and having the option to always retrace your steps to revisit areas, discover new secrets, and unlock access to previously inaccessible places.
  • Customizable skill trees: Enhanced your characters’ abilities by increasing their stats.

 

Pricing & Availability

Anima: Gate of Memories will be released digitally on June 3, 2016 for Xbox One, Steam (Windows/Linux), and PlayStation 4.  (In North America, the PlayStation 4 launch will be on June 7th.)  On June 3rd, the title will also have a standard and collector’s edition PlayStation 4 box release in select territories. The game will retail for $19.99.

 

Assets

Trailer

YouTube

https://youtu.be/nimAxpPBoVY

 

Download

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9186800/announcement_trailer_Anima_Gate_of_Memories_ESRB.zip

 

Screenshots & Logos

IMGUR

http://imgur.com/a/UcDuR

 

Download

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9186800/screenshots_Anima_Gate_of_Memories.zip

 

Concept Art & Wallpapers

IMGUR

http://imgur.com/a/4H7e0

 

Download

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9186800/concept_art_Anima_Gate_of_Memories.zip

 

Social Media

 

BadLand Games

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Badland.Indie

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/badland-indie

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BadLand_Indie


Anima Project

Twitter – https://twitter.com/animaps

 

About BadLand Games

BadLand Games is an international publishing company that firmly believes in the need to support emerging talent. We are passionate gamers on a mission to find the diamonds in the rough. Working alongside talented developers, we bring captivating, outstanding games to the masses. We’re always on the lookout for enthusiastic and dedicated developers with all sorts of games from beat ‘em ups and RPGs to puzzle games — and everything in between. To learn more about BadLand Games, please visit http://badlandgames.com

 

About Anima Project

Anima Project is an indie studio formed by just three people who have dedicated their lives to games. After 10 years working on the acclaimed Anima: Beyond Fantasy RPG book series, they have decided to go further using their experience to create videogames. To learn more about Anima Project, please visit http://www.gateofmemories.com

 

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Media Contact

Luis Levy

Co-Conspirator

Novy PR for BadLand Games

luis@novypr.com

Third-person Action RPG *Anima: Gate of Memories* due June 3 on Steam (Windows/Linux), PS4 & Xbox One, North American PS4 launch to take place June 7 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Which Video Game Console Should I Buy?

The question that never dies, “Which console is best?” It has fans fiercely defending their champion console while bashing rival consoles; but what everyone fails to realize is, the console is only as good as the games available on that console. I’m talking about exclusive titles for those systems. With the holidays almost upon us, I hope you will find this information useful if shopping for a new gaming device for yourself or for a gift for someone else.

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Sure, specs matter; people want the best graphics, fastest processors, and biggest hard drives. For that, nothing can beat a PC. They will always be on the cutting edge of technology, AND when yours starts to show signs of age, you can upgrade it easily. The same cannot be said for gaming consoles.

So why do people even buy game consoles then? The answer is simple; each console gets games that are “exclusive” to that system that you can’t play anywhere else (except you could emulate them on your PC, but the performance may suffer especially for newer titles/systems). So that leaves little choice but to shell out the cash for a new system when there’s a game that you want to play.

If you’re buying for yourself, the answer is simple, just ask yourself “What style of games do I want to play?” If you enjoy FPS (first person shooting games) and Sports games, you’re going to want the Xbox 360. If you enjoy RPGs (Role Playing Games), and Anime styled JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games), you’re going to want the Playstation 4. If you enjoy Quirky, Casual, “Party” games (games that can be enjoyed by the whole family or a group of friends in your living room) You’re going to want the Wii U. If you like all of these types of games, you’re probably going to want all of these consoles – but with the prices ranging from $300-$500 a piece, you’re looking at some serious cash to complete your collection. So which should you buy first?

To answer that question, take a look at what’s currently available, as well as what’s coming out in the next 3 months for the system you’re considering. Here is a list of exclusives to help get you started!

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PS4 Exclusives:

Alienation (Shooting)
Basement Crawl (2d Action)
Bloodborne (Action RPG)
Brawl (Action / Party Game)
Deep Down (RPG)
Disgaea 5 (SRPG)
Drawn to Death (Shooter)
Dreams (Art Simulation)
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (Adventure)
Fat Princess Adventures (Action Adventure)
Godzilla (Action Adventure)
Gran Turismo 7 (Racing)
Guns Up (Action)
Hotshots Golf (Sports)
Horizon Zero Dawn (Action RPG)
Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II (RPG)
Infamous First Light (Open World Action-Adventure)
Infamous Second Son (Open World Action Adventure)
Kill Strain (Action)
Killzone Shadow Fall (FPS)
Knack (Platformer)
The Last of Us Remastered (Action Adventure)
The Last Guardian (Adventure)
N++ (Platforming)
NieR (Action)
Omega Quintet (RPG Simulation)
Onechanbara Z2 Chaos (Action)
The Order (3rd Person Shooter)
Persona 5 (RPG)
Phantasy Star Online 2 (MMORPG)
The Playroom (Virtual Reality)
Ratchet & Clank (Platformer)
Rime (Adventure)
Rocketbirds 2 Evolution
Sengoku Basara 4 (Action)
Shadow of the Beast (Action)
Shenmue III (Open World RPG)
Stories The Hidden Path (Action RPG)
Tearaway Unfolded (Platformer)
The Tomorrow Children (Puzzle, Sandbox)
Uncharted Nathan Drake Collection (Action Adventure)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Action Adventure)
Until Dawn (Survival Horror)
Wattam
What Remains of Edith Finch (Puzzle)
Wild (Action Adventure)
Without Memory (Action Adventure)

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Wii U Exclusives:

Art Academy (Art)
Bayonetta 2 (Action)
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker (Platformer Puzzle)
Devil’s Third (FPS)
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Platformer)
Dr Luigi (Puzzle)
Fatal Frame V (Survival Horror)
Game & Wario (Party)
Hyrule Warriors (Action)
Just Dance Wii U (Rhythm)
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Platformer)
The legend of Zelda Windwaker HD (Action RPG)
The Legend of Zelda (Action RPG
Lego City Undercover (Adventure)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Sports)
Mario Kart 8 (Racing)
Super Mario Maker (Platformer Sandbox)
Mario Party 10 (Party)
Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (Puzzle)
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Action RPG)
Nano Assualt Neo (Shoot em Up)
NES Remix (Arcade)
NES Remix 2 (Arcade)
New Super Luigi U (Platformer)
New Super Mario Bros. U (Platformer)
Nintendo Land (Party)
Pikmin 3 (Adventure)
Pokemon Rumble U (Action RPG)
Pushmo World (Puzzle)
Rabbids Land (Party)
Rodea the Sky Soldier (Action)
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (Platform)
Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem SMT X FE # (RPG)
Sing Party (Karaoke)
Sonic Boom (Action Adventure)
Sonic Lost World (Platformer)
Splatoon (3rd Person Shooter)
Star Fox Zero (Action)
Super Mario 3D World (Platformer)
Super Smash Bros (Fighting)
Tank! Tank! Tank! (Action)
Wii Fit U (Fitness)
Wii Party U (Party)
Wii Sports club (Sports)
The Wonderful 101 (Action)
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Action RPG)
Yoshi’s Woolly World (Platformer)

Xbone Exclusives:

Crackdown 3 (Third Person Shooter)
Crimson Dragon (Shooter)
Fighter Within (Fighting)
Forza Motorsport 5 (Racing)
Forza Motorsport 6 (Racing)
Gears of War 4 (Shooter)
Gears of War Ultimate (Shooter)
Ghost of a Tale (Action Adventure)
Halo 5 (FPS)
Halo Master Chief Collection (FPS)
Kinect Sports Rivals (Sports)
Phantom Dust (Action)
Powerstar Golf (Sports)
Quantum Break (Shooter)
Raiden V (Shooter)
Rare Replay (Compliation)
Recore (Action Adventure)
Scalebound (Action Adventure)
Shape Up (Fitness)
Sunset Overdrive (Action Adventure)
Xbox Fitness (Fitness)

If shopping for someone else, the best thing to do, is ask them what console they want, or buy them a giftcard for $400 (the cost of the console plus 1 game). Because everyone’s tastes are different, just because you like a certain game doesn’t mean your friend, family member, or significant other will share the same views. Why waste the money on a console they won’t play? That’s why a giftcard or taking them with you to pick out the new system is best.

For me, personally, There is no clear cut “winner” in the battle for “best gaming console” It is too subjective of a question and merely comes down to what games you want to play. I’m saving my pennies to buy a PS4 for Persona 5, as well as a Wii U for SMT X FE # and Xenoblade Chronicles. I have little to no interest in Xbone at this time, with the only exclusive that I have mild interest in being Scalebound. But your mileage may varry, It depends on what type of gamer you are.

Which Video Game Console Should I Buy? was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Katamari Damacy Review

Title: Katamari Damacy

Genre: Platform / Puzzle

Platform: PS2, Xbox 360

Publisher: Namco

Release Date: September 21, 2004

Language: English

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Geeky Factor: 

Sweetie Factor: 

Overall: 53/70 76% C  “Good Game For Girls”

Story: 2/10 The story in Katamari is really silly and crazy (as is much of the game itself). It follows a prince whose father has accidentally destroyed the universe and you find yourself in the role of said, young prince, ordered by your father, to go “roll up” the planets to put them back into the sky; meanwhile your actions are also impacting a human family back on earth whose father is an astronaut who’s unable to travel to the moon due to the king of the universe destroying the cosmos. The story is often told with still images, or silent clips and movies, and really plays a huge backseat compared to the gameplay. The fact is, story is not this game’s strong suit, but it doesn’t NEED to be, because the gameplay stands alone.

Gameplay: 10/10 The gameplay in Katamari is what it’s all about! This game is CRAZY fun and addictive! It’s easily one of my favorite games of all time based solely on gameplay alone. The concept is simple but yet challenging and incredibly fun. You start off as a very small creature given a magic ball with the power to “roll up” any objects which are smaller in diameter than it; you start “rolling up” small objects such as paperclips, buttons, etc; and grow bigger, and as you grow bigger the objects that were obstacles for you before, now get rolled up when you come into contact with them, cars, people, animals, entire buildings, everything in the environment is interactive. If however, you bump into something larger than your current ball, it will break a few pieces of your ball, making you smaller. You are under intense time limits and have to have mad skills to race around the map rolling up as many objects as possible before the time is up while avoiding obstacles which would take away from your mass. You also can rollup “cousins” (other characters to play as), and presents on each level; which give reason to replay some levels to get 100% of the goodies.

Concept: 10/10 As weird, crazy, silly, and possibly drug induced, as this game is, it’s still delightful. At the time of its debut it was a revolutionary, one of a kind, masterpiece that quickly became classic due to its unique concept and fun and addictive gameplay. You do have to wonder what these creators were thinking though. They have some fantastic imaginations, that’s for sure!

Characters: 5/10 Character development is not this game’s strong suit, none of the characters have much history, back story, lore, personality, etc and none of the characters really mature or evolve throughout the game. The characters however ARE all very unique and cute/funny, although not very deep or relatable.

Graphics: 8/10 I love the cute, colorful, “sugary sweet” art style of this series of games. However, the polygons are rather simplistic, and the graphics look a bit dated even for their time back then; but I still rate it highly, especially when looking at it from the prospective of my target audience (young female gamers) I think they will love the colorful and zany level designs in this game.

Music: 10/10 The music is one of my favorite parts of this game; and one of my favorite soundtracks of any game. I had the theme song for years as my ring tone 🙂 The track is memorable and distinctive to this series; and it puts me in a happy “peppy” mood and fits the mood of the game perfectly.

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Final Scores:

Geeky Factor: 4/5

Sweetie Factor: 4/5

Story: 2/10

Gameplay: 10/10

Concept: 10/10

Characters: 5/10

Graphics: 8/10

Music: 10/10

 

Overall: 53/70 76% C  “Good Game For Girls”

I want to stress that this game is “better than a 76” but due to my scoring system I cannot overlook the fact that it essentially has no story or character development; however it’s one of those games that doesn’t really need one! If you ignore those two score marks, then it becomes 56/60 or 93%!! That probably more accurately reflects my own opinion regarding my enjoyment of the game and how much I’d be willing to recommend this game to anyone; but my readers expect story-centric games, and this falls short in that area so I had to give it a more objective review.

Katamari Damacy Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Katamari Damacy Review

Title: Katamari Damacy

Genre: Platform / Puzzle

Platform: PS2, Xbox 360

Publisher: Namco

Release Date: September 21, 2004

Language: English

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Geeky Factor: 

Sweetie Factor: 

Overall: 53/70 76% C  “Good Game For Girls”

Story: 2/10 The story in Katamari is really silly and crazy (as is much of the game itself). It follows a prince who’s father has accidentally destroyed the universe and you find yourself in the role of said, young prince, ordered by your father, to go “roll up” the planets to put them back into the sky; meanwhile your actions are also impacting a human family back on earth who’s father is an astronaut who’s unable to travel to the moon due to the king of the universe destroying the cosmos. The story is often told with still images, or silent clips and movies, and really plays a huge backseat compared to the gameplay. The fact is, story is not this game’s strong suit, but it doesn’t NEED to be, because the gameplay stands alone.

Gameplay: 10/10 The gameplay in Katamari is what it’s all about! This game is CRAZY fun and addictive! It’s easily one of my favorite games of all time based solely on gameplay alone. The concept is simple but yet challenging and incredibly fun. You start off as a very small creature given a magic ball with the power to “roll up” any objects which are smaller in diameter than it; you start “rolling up” small objects such as paperclips, buttons, etc; and grow bigger, and as you grow bigger the objects that were obstacles for you before, now get rolled up when you come into contact with them, cars, people, animals, entire buildings, everything in the environment is interactive. If however, you bump into something larger than your current ball, it will break a few pieces of your ball, making you smaller. You are under intense time limits and have to have mad skills to race around the map rolling up as many objects as possible before the time is up while avoiding obstacles which would take away from your mass. You also can rollup “cousins” (other characters to play as), and presents on each level; which give reason to replay some levels to get 100% of the goodies.

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Concept: 10/10 As weird, crazy, silly, and possibly drug induced, as this game is, it’s still delightful. At the time of it’s debut it was a revolutionary, one of a kind, masterpiece that quickly became classic due to it’s unique concept and fun and addictive gameplay. You do have to wonder what these creators were thinking though. They have some fantastic imaginations, that’s for sure!

Characters: 5/10 Character development is not this game’s strong suit, none of the characters have much history, back story, lore, personality, etc and none of the characters really mature or evolve throughout the game. The characters however ARE all very unique and cute/funny, although not very deep or relateable.

Graphics: 8/10 I love the cute, colorful, “sugary sweet” art style of this series of games. However, the polygons are rather simplistic, and the graphics look a bit dated even for their time back then; but I still rate it highly, especially when looking at it from the prospective of my target audience (young female gamers) I think they will love the colorful and zany level designs in this game.

Music: 10/10 The music is one of my favorite parts of this game; and one of my favorite soundtracks of any game. I had the theme song for years as my ring tone :) The track is memorable and distinctive to this series; and it puts me in a happy “peppy” mood and fits the mood of the game perfectly.

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Final Scores:

Geeky Factor: 4/5

Sweetie Factor: 4/5

Story: 2/10

Gameplay: 10/10

Concept: 10/10

Characters: 5/10

Graphics: 8/10

Music: 10/10

Overall: 53/70 76% C  “Good Game For Girls”

I want to stress that this game is “better than a 76” but due to my scoring system I cannot overlook the fact that it essentially has no story or character development; however it’s one of those games that doesn’t really need one! If you ignore those two score marks, then it becomes 56/60 or 93%!! That probably more accurately reflects my own opinion regarding my enjoyment of the game and how much I’d be willing to recommend this game to anyone; but my readers expect story-centric games, and this falls short in that area so I had to give it a more objective review.

Katamari Damacy Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie