Friday, February 8, 2013

Localizations, Please! New Year, New Begging Edition

A huge slew of games that went without much news regarding if they were ever coming to the West has been announced to actually be localized. I'm referring to titles like Pandora's Tower (Wii), Ys: Celceta: Sea of Trees (Vita), Project X Zone (3DS), Rune Factory 4 (3DS), and Muramasa Rebirth (Vita). Never to be satisfied, SuperPhillip Central is here to identify some current games out there with little to nothing in the way of localization news that we'd like to see come to the West. This edition focuses on games on the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita.

Dragon Quest X (Wii U)

The Wii version of Dragon Quest X came out in Japan late last year, and it saw a high number of players exploring the game's expansive online world with others, fighting slimes, and leveling up. In fact, over 600,000 people purchased the game. Not bad for a console with a notoriously basic online infrastructure. Still, that version will no doubt have no chance to make it to the West, but what about the upcoming Wii U version with more in the way of graphical enhancements? An MMORPG on Wii U is just the type of game that is attractive to me, and I'm sure others.

Dragon Quest VII (3DS)

A remake of the PlayStation One classic, Dragon Quest VII hit Japanese store shelves yesterday, continuing the assault to Nintendo 3DS owners' wallets with all of the appealing games coming out for the system over there. The remake boasts unique improvements, most notably the entire graphics of the game have been totally revamped. Currently, the only way to play Dragon Quest VII in the West is to have a PS1 or backwards compatible system and shell out a considerable amount of money for the game-- and that's just for a used copy. Let's not even talk about how much a shrink-wrapped copy is selling for!

Tales of Hearts R (PSV)

Another remake, but this time of a Nintendo DS game that never left Japan, Tales of Hearts R takes the RPG action of the original and remakes it into a fully 3D world. Dialogue is voiced completely this time around, new events pertaining to the main game have been included, and two new party members can join the fray. A focus on air combat has also been implemented. I know we have an embarrassment of riches lately with JRPGs, especially with the release of Ni no Kuni and Xenoblade Chronicles, but Vita owners only have Persona 4: Golden to play in the RPG department (regardless of how great that game is), so it'd be nice to see more in  the way of the genre on the handheld.

Fantasy Life (3DS)

Fantasy Life is a Brownie Brown-developed and Level-5 published game that released in Japan in 2012, fresh off the heels and hype of Animal Crossing on the Nintendo 3DS. While there are some similarities between the two games, Fantasy Life is a totally different beast, filled with combat in addition to the high amounts of customized gameplay. The icing on this cake is the fact that famed Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu worked on the music for the game. Actually, the icing on the cake is that the game is being well received by its homeland, and it makes me wish that us Westerners would get a chance to see what all the buzz is about.

Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney (3DS)

Speaking of Level-5, the localization fate of this last game on the Localizations, Please! might just be up to them. The game sold relatively poorly in Japan, considering the names attached to the title. However, this crossover is one that fans of both franchises have been dreaming of since before it was even announced. The actual gameplay consists of two familiar parts: exploration featuring coming across puzzles to progress the story, something Professor Layton aficiandos should welcome, and trials, a hallmark of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney franchise. Here's hoping the Japanese sales of the game don't hamper the hopes of the game coming to the West.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ubisoft and Rayman Legends: Screwing Over Gamers and Possibly Their Own Developer All At Once

The news of Ubisoft of Rayman Legends going multiplatform, but most importantly, delaying the finished Wii U version until September, shook the gaming world. If you could sift through the editorials claiming the Wii U was now most certainly doomed after only three months on the market, or the arguments between console warriors on various sites, then you could see just how crappy this decision actually was, for gamers and for the developers of Rayman Legends, and why you shouldn't think of boycotting the game despite this maddening news.

Wii U owners were looking forward to the game not only because the game looked fantastic (the E3 and resulting playable Wii U eShop store demo alone both turned heads), but because there was nothing else to look forward to in February. There was literally nothing for Rayman Legends to compete against. Wii U owners are starving for games in this post-launch drought period. By September, they will have plenty from Nintendo to play, and Rayman Legends could possibly just be a passing thought to many. Not to mention that Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 users will be too busy playing Grand Theft Auto V, as well. Now, so many gamers I see are saying they will wait for Legends to fall in price as new consoles and bigger titles will take precedence over Ubisoft Montpellier's hard work. That is an absolute shame.

The Wii U version of Rayman Legends IS finished. The only reason it was delayed was for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 ports. That is astoundingly dickish. More so than the upstanding journalist at IGN who led Wii U owners to believe today's news would be positive (he knew what he was doing). Look, it's great that the game is going to be available to be played by millions of more people. Anyone who argues against that is rather silly. It's not great that those who were ready to play it in just three weeks get news that the game was delayed-- not by a week, not by a month, but by seven months. It's not Wii U owners who exclusively get screwed here, so take your "cry me a river, Wii U losers" comments to your average garbage gaming message board or YouTube comment section where they belong. No, gamers as a whole are the ones who get screwed. We could have had the chance to play what I still think is going to be a fantastic platformer in three short weeks. Now, all of us have to wait seven months.

And for what? There is honestly little reason to delay the Wii U version to coincide with the Xbox 360 and PS3 ports. Was it because Ubisoft was worried the game wouldn't sell because of the low install base? Well, you can't have an install base without games to get people to want a given console, and Rayman Legends was ironically one of those games that would have expanded the install base. Instead, now the install base for the Wii U will stay dormant until who-knows-what comes out, thus the install base remains low. Completely anti-productive and perhaps self-fulfilling in the prophecy department. Quite possibly the only feasible reason gamers can come up with for this decision is marketing costs, and even then, Nintendo has supported the game firmly, even spotlighting the game smack dab on the Wii U eShop's front page with an awesome demo.

Nintendo made an environment that is open to 2D platformers. The success of New Super Mario Bros. U proves that Wii U owners have a heavy interest in the genre, so why delay a game that is in a loved genre by Nintendo fans, was set to release during a quiet period where the console's owners were thirsty for games, and was completing finished? The mind just boggles.

This news most certainly does NOT rock!
Beyond all of that, however, is what gets me most furious about this delay-- those poor mistreated fellows at Ubisoft Montpellier, the most fabulous group within Ubisoft, yet the group that is treated the most like dirt. This is going off a "rumor" that is pretty much confirmed as true. A developer on the team posted on a Spanish forum, EOL, his frustrations with the entire situation (translated from a member on NeoGAF). It turns out the team barely saw their families and worked long hours on the game simply because they thought the game was releasing at the end of the month. Ubisoft suits today simply changed the release date to September, thus putting all the laborious hours of work on the game, as the developer put it, "for nothing."

The translation from a NeoGAF user named beje:
"I completely understand you but you have to understand one thing. This is not a decision taken by the development team, this comes from really really high up, so please don't pick on the game. 
If you're pissed, imagine how we feel. Think on the situation, we've been making overtime with this game practically since May preparing E3, and then almost a demo per month (Gamescom, Wii U presentation, shops, eShop, etc...) and at the same time trying to actually finish the game. We had a first delay because it was obvious we couldn't finish on time but we gave it all to be there on February. What face do you think we had when the week we had to close the game we're being told it's not going to be released? I couldn't believe it. 
For practical matters, you'll have to wait for some months for the game to be released and will most likely serve for more content to be added and do it better. For us, this means we've spent 6 months barely seeing our wives, kids, and friends for nothing because, after all, such a haste wasn't needed. Believe it, it was a hell to swallow these news. 
Even then I'm firm in what I said back in the day, Rayman Legends is an excellent game and will still be, and the team that's making it doesn't deserve to have your back turned on them just because some men in ties one day took a wrong choice. This industry is really that shitty."
As someone who is going into the game design part of the industry (and as a current college student who does a lot of crunch time), this hurts my innards to read.

Nonetheless, here's an important thing to take from all of this. No matter how infuriating this news and delay makes you, you can't be happy if the game bombs, and you shouldn't boycott the game. Rayman Legends really does deserve your support. The publisher definitely doesn't, but the development team definitely does.

And what good would boycotting the game really do? If it doesn't sell, then how would it negatively affect Ubisoft? They will still make big bank on other ventures like Assassin's Creed and Just Dance no matter what happens with Rayman Legends and your ill-conceived sense of justice. Meanwhile, and in a hypothetical situation, Ubisoft Montpellier gets shut down, the employees are fired, and 2D platformers are seen as a "big risk." That isn't good for anyone, and certainly not this industry! I'm sure some of these random thoughts about this mess have been expressed by many of you already, but the point here is that this situation deserved to be handled much better by Ubisoft, much like the treatment of the glorious people at Ubisoft Montpellier themselves.

What do you think about this past day's incident? Do you think it is really crappy of Ubisoft to pull a seven month delay that on gamers who were feverishly awaiting Rayman Legends, just for the reason of releasing with the 360 and PS3 ports? Do you feel bad for the development team? Do you totally disagree with the premise of this piece? That's fine, too. Post your thoughts in the comments section.

The Handheld Wars: 3DS vs. Vita: Or Quiet Down and Enjoy Both

It seems after every "gamers should stop embarrassing themselves and their hobby by acting like total jackasses" opinion piece gets some traction in the gamer collective and then proceeds to fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes in this case), you would think that we here at SuperPhillip Central just can't take the hint. Console wars-- or the subject of this piece, handheld wars-- are here to stay in the industry, no matter how pitiful, sad and immature it makes us look to outsiders.

First of all, we here at SuperPhillip Central have seen the worst in gamers. We've seen pathetic "I want X to go out of business because I hate them so much" posts, and "I hope Y game bombs horribly" quips in YouTube comment sections. I, personally, have accepted that a lot of gamers that unwittingly represent the industry (not trying to cast a wide net and throw everyone under the bus here) are never going to grow up*.

*That is a huge insult coming from a guy who quit a job at a certain well-known Nintendo-centric site after telling the staff that their organization was absolute garbage and telling the owner to piss off. In some way, a good portion of gamers are worse than that!

This piece is not about the hundreds of legitimate articles that pit the two platforms against one another to help consumers pick the one that is right for them. This piece is about the discussions (see: wars) between gamers over which is superior, be it because of brand loyalty, hatred of a company, or what have you.

The fact of the matter is that in all of the arguments about which of the current generation of handhelds is superior-- the Nintendo 3DS or Sony's PlayStation Vita-- seldom do we get some level-headed discussion. It seems to usually get interrupted by a vocal minority who only wish to tear the opposition a new one. The truth is that both handhelds have finally come into their own and they possess a fantastic catalog of games for everyone.

Platformer fans (which we begin with because we love platformers at SuperPhillip Central) can hop through colorful worlds as Mario in two unique titles: New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D Land. Vita owners can play the greatest new franchise to come up from this past generation, LittleBigPlanet, with a new Vita-exclusive entry of the game. Or they can hop in for some Rayman Origins enjoyment in anticipation for the Wii U's Rayman Legends. In addition to those games, take Sly Cooper with you wherever you go with the recently released Thieves in Time (they don't have to be exclusive to the Vita to count).

Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita (Vita)
Action lovers on the Nintendo 3DS can kill bioweapons of all shapes and sizes in Resident Evil: Revelations, soar through the skies as Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising (SuperPhillip Central's Game of the Year 2012 runner-up), and enter intense dogfights with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy. Meanwhile, those with a Vita can take Nathan Drake and Uncharted on the go with Golden Abyss. You also cannot go wrong with Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, bringing another console-centric series to the Vita. Don't forget the gravity-defying Gravity Rush. Finally, the upcoming Soul Sacrifice is set to overwhelm the senses and accelerate the pulses of its players with its awesome boss-battling action.

Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (3DS)
Don't forget racing games either. The 3DS and Vita are bringing the goods here as well. For the 3DS, you have the seventh mainline installment of the Mario Kart franchise, whereas with the Vita you get the latest in the Wipeout series, Wipeout 2048. Both platforms give you a taste of meme favorite Ridge Racer as well.

Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
Wipeout 2048 (Vita)
Roll with the punches with fighting games, which both platforms having a minor stake in the genre. The 3DS gives you Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition and Dead or Alive Dimensions. Meanwhile, the Vita gives you Street Fighter X Tekken.

Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition (3DS)
Street Fighter X Tekken (Vita)
Then there are role-playing games to be had like those found on the 3DS when you utilize Flowmotion to defeat foes in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, or use strategy to outwit your opponents in Fire Emblem: Awakening. Even Mario gets in on the RPG goodness with Paper Mario: Sticker Star. On the Vita side, the RPGs are coming with titles like Final Fantasy X HD and Phantasy Star Online 2. (I saved a certain Persona game for a later section, gang!)

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS)
Phantasy Star Online 2 (Vita)
Or how about some gonzo gaming (i.e. stuff that is off the wall and/or unusual)? The 3DS and Vita have got you covered there, too. The 3DS has you covered with titles like Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Freakyforms, Pushmo and its sequel Crashmo, and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. The Vita has stuff like Touch My Katamari, Little Deviants, New Little King's Story, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz, and the phenomenal Sound Shapes.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS)
Sound Shapes (Vita)
With all that newness on both platforms, why not take a look back at the past? Remakes and ports are on both platforms. The 3DS has one of the best games of all time made better in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, a Nintendo 64 classic in Star Fox 64 3D, and Tales of the Abyss. Vita owners can enjoy the absolutely enthralling Persona 4: Golden, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, and the upcoming Muramasa port, which will look gorgeous on the Vita screen.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
Persona 4: Golden (Vita)
But I know what some of you might be thinking. You might be thinking in that "knowledgeable" head of yours that you can't afford both handhelds, so that means you somehow have an excuse for your potentially embarrassing behavior (i.e. trolling message boards and comment sections against the handheld you hate). To borrow a saying from our U.K. readers, that is absolute rubbish. You might even have the world's most specific taste imaginable that somehow you only gravitate to the games of one system and the other has zero that you have any interest in. How convenient, no? If you have read all of the games for each platform this piece has listed and still cannot admit that the other handheld might have a game that interests you, then you are beyond saving.

The reality here is that both platforms are here to stay, they have a terrific lineup of games, and their libraries are only going to get better. If only the debates (don't make us post examples) between gamers would get better as well.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Most Overlooked Nintendo 3DS Games - Part Three

Welcome to our third installment of the Most Overlooked Nintendo 3DS Games. As always with the Most Overlooked, these are games that were overlooked by the masses, and perhaps even a lot of gamers out there. Perhaps this list will interest you in titles you hadn't heard and/or read much about, or give you a fresh perspective on a title you were unsure of. On this edition we have an Atlus-published hack 'n slash game, the rare online loot RPG, and a game full of word puzzles.

Code of Princess

If you enjoy old-school hack and slash games like I do, then Code of Princess is probably already in your library of Nintendo 3DS software. If not, then perhaps you should still give the game a glance. There are approximately 50 unique characters to play as (though only four for the story mode), and various RPG elements, including gaining experience, upgrading stats, and acquiring new equipment. The Nintendo Network allows four players to play cooperatively or competitively online for some multiplayer mayhem. Perhaps it's the fate of most Atlus-published games to live a life of being niche, but Code of Princess is a title that is worth an action fan's while.

Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning

A story that should sound familiar, the village of Harvest Moon 3D, Echo Valley, was once a prosperous community until the economy went down the tubes. Now, your main character is tasked with rebuilding the infrastructure of the village. Are you up to the task? Well, not many people were. The Harvest Moon series was always a niche series, and the first game in the series made solely for the 3DS continues that tradition. From creating new buildings to simply watching over your haul of crops, Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning revamps the classic formula into a modern gaming world.

Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive!

The original Freakyforms was a digital-only title, exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS eShop. I found it particularly fun, albeit not for everyone (as this review suggests). The retail version of the game, Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! added into the mix dungeons where Formees could do battle with one another, and players could find new Formee actions, in addition to everything the original game had. The title was released in both retail and digital forms for a suggested retail price of only $19.99. Much better than the MSRP for other smaller-scale games that have arrived on the Nintendo 3DS. It's just a shame more people missed out on this whimsical and charming game.

Heroes of Ruin

As seen on SuperPhillip Central, straight from the mouth of this next game's developer, Heroes of Ruin's sales "did not have enough commercial impact." While the game is most certainly flawed, particularly post-game, Heroes of Ruin offered something that remains rare for handheld systems, an online multiplayer loot-based action-RPG. For those that take the plunge, they will find a game that definitely had a lot of passion put into it, and something worthy to play. Plus, who hasn't dreamed of slicing up bipedal sharks as a caped lion? Not I!

Crosswords Plus

Stick with me here. The idea of crosswords might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but the handwriting recognition and slick menus make for an accessible game for anyone. Throw in word searches, anagrams, and words of the day, and you have a game with easily over 1,000 puzzles. The main reason I believe the game did not do as well as its predecessor (being on a system with less casual appeal notwithstanding) is the $29.99 asking price. That is just way too much for this type of game. Perhaps it would have done much better at a lower price point and as a digital download only.


There are another five games that many have missed out on. If you have somehow missed a previous installment of the Most Overlooked Nintendo 3DS Games, then feel free to take a glimpse at the following two articles:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Luigi's Mansion (GCN) Retro Review

Time for the first review of February 2013. It is of the retro variety. In anticipation of next month's Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for the Nintendo 3DS, SuperPhillip Central reviews the original GameCube launch title Luigi's Mansion. Let's see how "spook-tastic" (boo this man for using that phrase) the game is eleven years and change later.

Who You Gonna Call? "LU-IGI!"

When the Nintendo GameCube was originally unveiled, it seemed to be a given that a new game starring Mario would launch right alongside with it. In November 2001, Mario was nowhere to be found. Instead, Luigi took up the starring role for once in a different type of Mario spin-off in Luigi's Mansion. The game not only was a spooky romp, but it was a nice tech demo of the graphical prowess of Nintendo's new 'Cube. More than a decade later, and Nintendo is finally releasing a sequel to the game, much to fans' rapture. Before Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon rises on the Nintendo 3DS, how does the original Luigi's Mansion fare after all these years?

Luigi receives a message in the mail congratulating him on winning a luxurious mansion. Reveling in the news, Luigi lets his brother Mario know, asking for the two of them to meet one another at the mansion to celebrate. However, when Luigi arrives at his won mansion, not only is the mansion not like the one on the brochure, but it's infested with ghosts! Add into the equation that Mario is missing and Luigi isn't the bravest plumber on the planet, and you have a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, a researcher of the paranormal named Professor E. Gadd enters the picture and gives Luigi two special devices: a ghost-sucking Poltergust 3000 vacuum and a Game Boy Horror handheld device.

There's little time for pleasantries--
Mario is missing! 
At the beginning of Luigi's Mansion, all but a few doors are firmly locked shut, with the only means of opening them is via a key. Generally the way to get keys is through turning on the lights in a room by sucking up all of the ghosts inside. When a key is collected, the Game Boy Horror will show a map of the mansion, and which specific door the acquired key unlocks. Each room is properly named, so they are easy to recall and navigate to.

Get acquainted to collecting a lot of keys.
Move over, Dirt Devil-- The Poltergust 3000 is quite the capable vacuum as well. I don't see any ghost-busting capabilities on your standard issue Dyson vac either... Regardless, when a ghost appears and is caught in Luigi's flashlight, it will act like a deer in headlights for a brief moment, showing its weak point, its heart. (The closer your flashlight shines on a ghost, the longer it will be vulnerable for Luigi to start sucking up.) It is at this moment where you hold down the right shoulder button to begin vacuuming. A ghost will not go down without a fight. It will start to furiously survive by moving madly in all corners of the room. By holding the C-stick in the opposite direction that the ghost moves, the ghost's health dwindles more quickly. Once it hits zero, Luigi successfully captures it. A word of caution, as getting hit while vacuuming will interrupt the process. The controls can take some getting used to, but ten minutes of pure gameplay will make it seem like second nature.

Luigi's Mansion focuses a fair portion of the gameplay on puzzles, whether related to the environment or ghost-related. The majority of rooms have a special portrait ghost in them that need to be put back into their pictures. The catch with these particular poltergeists is that their hearts won't appear through the normal means of shining Luigi's flashlight on them. In these cases, some ingenuity is needed. One of the earliest ghosts will only reveal its heart through having all of the instruments in the room begin playing. Another will be ready to be vacuumed up when it yawns. These portrait ghosts have much more health than your average specter, so sometimes it might feel like an endurance match to reel them in.

The portrait ghosts possess the most personality.
At an early point in the game, Luigi unwittingly opens a hatch on the floor that unleashes a flurry of Boos into the mansion. He is then tasked with vacuuming them as many of the fifty as he can. The game requires you to at least catch forty to face the final boss. Regardless, catching these Boos isn't as fun as you might think... or maybe it's just as bad as you might think.

When a room has been cleared of all "ordinary" ghosts (just how ordinary a ghost can be is beyond me) and the lights have turned on, many rooms will have a Boo hiding inside them. Luigi's Game Boy Horror has a signal on it that will indicate when he is close to a Boo. Blue means there are no Boos to be found, yellow means there is one inside the room, and red means Luigi is very close to it. Once found, Luigi can begin sucking up the ghost. However, many times the Boo will flee from its current room to an adjacent room, meaning you have to follow if you want to capture it. On many occasions I found myself trekking back and forth between hallways and rooms just to suck up 15 out of 150 HP of a Boo. Sure, a Boo's health doesn't regenerate, but it is still a tedious hunt to be had.

Outside of ghost hunting, Luigi can amass mad money in his mansion. Drawers, shelves, coat racks, treasure chests, and more are loaded with coins, dollar bills, pearls and gems to collect. Once the game has been finished (which won't take most players too long, perhaps 5-8 hours), the game tallies your total money gathered and rewards Luigi with a real mansion worth living in. Depending on how much money he amasses, Luigi can live in a shack or a mansion that royalty would be jealous of.

Search high and low for cold
hard coins and cash!
There are four chapters in Luigi's Mansion, which the game calls "Areas." After an Area has been concluded (i.e. the boss has been beaten), Professor E. Gadd will paste every poltergeist back into its portrait and award money to Luigi. Depending on how quick you captured a portrait specter, you get one of three portraits of that ghost.

You can't help but feel sorry
for Mario's shadow-- I mean-- Luigi.
After you have embarrassed the final boss, reunited with Mario, and seen the end credits roll, Luigi's Mansion offers a second quest of sorts. This hidden mansion has a reversed floor plan of the original mansion. Ghosts are stronger, causing more damage, but so is the Poltergust 3000. Ghosts that took twelve seconds to suck up in the initial game now take a handful. This new mansion adds to the replay value of what would be a very short single-player adventure.

Luigi's Mansion is still a stellar looking game. It is all of the touches added to the game that make the sum so appealing. From Luigi nervously humming along with the music in hallways, to shadows cast by different points of light, to Luigi's breath showing up in the chilly recesses of the mansion, there is a lot to appreciate in Luigi's Mansion. Still, after 11+ years, the game looks and feels great.

Spooks aren't generally what you'd expect from a Mario spin-off, but that is what you will sometimes get with Luigi's Mansion. The game will most definitely deliver thrills and fun too. Even though I had mostly remembered the solutions to most of the puzzles Luigi's GameCube launch title possessed, I still had an enjoyable time. The puzzles are smart, the difficulty is challenging and balanced, and there are some signs of longevity. I say bring on Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Nintendo!

[SPC Says: 8.0/10]

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3, PSV) Launch Trailer

While most of the gaming world is caught up in Dead Space 3 fever, SuperPhillip Central is devoting part of the day to Sly Cooper's newest adventure, Thieves in Time. The game is now available, and it's only for the insanely low price of $39.99 for the PlayStation 3 version and $29.99 for the Vita version. If you buy the PS3 version, you automatically get a code for the Vita version as well, so that is without a doubt the better deal. Catch the excitement with this launch trailer for the game.

Monday, February 4, 2013

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Fantasies, Phantasies, and Dreams Edition

Welcome to a new week here at SuperPhillip Central. This week's edition of SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs includes music from Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, and Phantasy Star Online Ep. 2.

v306. Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (DS) - Putting Words Together

A short but positively sweet piano solo for the beginning of Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, Putting Words Together may be brief, but it certainly packs an emotional punch. Hitoshi Sakamoto delivers a superb soundtrack for this offshoot of the Final Fantasy Tactics series.

v307. NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (Wii) - Wandering Wildness

While NiGHTS's long-awaited return into the spotlight might not have been as spectacular as fans had been hoping, Journey of Dreams certainly had a magnificent soundtrack, as evident by this song, Wandering Wildness.

v308. Phantasy Star Online Ep. 2 (GCN, XBX) - A Longing to Ancient Times PART I

From one Sega game to another, Phantasy Star Online Episode II appeared on the Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox near both platforms' launches. A Longing to Ancient Times PART I begins with a tranquil piano introduction before starting to layer more instruments on top for a fuller sound. At 1:20 you get the full backing of the brass for a truly moving sound.

v309. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (Wii) - No More Riot

This is a heavy metal vocal song that contains phrase from the main theme of No More Heroes, Beam Katana Chronicles. It's No More Riot, and it is performed by the Taku Yoshioka Squad. The theme is heard during the level featuring Nathan Copeland as the assassin target. I'm not one to generally listen much to heavy metal, but No More Heroes lured me in and didn't let go.

v310. Graffiti Kingdom (PS2) - Hsien Human Palm

One of my favorite composers for video game music, Yasunori Mitsuda, and one of his lesser known works, the soundtrack for the PlayStation 2 cult classic Graffiti Kingdom is full of childlike wonder and whimsical themes. Such a theme is Hsien Human Palm, featuring banjo and harmonica, which evoke an Old West feeling onto the listener.


That closes out another week and edition of VGMs. Until we see you next week, why not check out the VGMs Database where every song spotlighted is present?

LEGO City Undercover (Wii U) New Trailer

The start of a new week brings a new trailer for LEGO City Undercover with it. This March release seems to be packed with content, humor, and charm. At least that is the impression that I get from the trailer. Watch it and perhaps you will get that impression too.