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E3 2014 Game Previews

June 20th, 2014 by Crowbar Comments

E3 has plenty of games. Here is a small preview for a few of the games I checked out. Most of these I was given a hands on experience. Keep in mind that all of these titles are currently in development and anything can be changed upon final release.

Fairy Fencer F – NIS America: Release N/A – Playstation 3: Fairy Fencer F is a turn based JRPG with a small tweak. You can move about the battle freely to position your fighters in advantageous positions. This system was seen in NIS America’s game, Mugen Souls. The character progression is appears to be complex, but once you grasp the concept, it is something that is very easy to comprehend. In addition, there is a combo attack mastery system which gives you the ability to level abilities so they can be stronger. The game’s overworld is a simple map with points to click on so you can instantly travel to where you need to go. A new addition to the JRPG genre is an in-game achievement system that gives you bonuses for tasks completed such as walking a certain distance.

Harvest Moon 3D – Natsume: Release Date Fall 2014 – Nintendo 3DS: Harvest Moon for the 3DS is a rather drastic turn from most of the previous Harvest Moon games, but not in a bad way. The game reminds me a lot of Minecraft though with it’s new approach to the terrain in the game. You can now alter the landscape all around you by raising the land, digging to lower it, filling in river areas to create farmable swamps, and even building bridges to cross large cliffs and rivers. The full scope of the Terraforming functions was not made available at this time, such as if you need to bring stone from another location to build or if it just magically appears. The tool system has also been revamped, you no longer need to “Equip” the right tool for the job. The game automatically gives you the right tool for the job depending on what square you highlight on the grid, whether that’s digging, planting, watering, or cutting down a tree. You even get to jump in this game, and it is needed to navigate some of the terrain. The gameplay style is a large departure from what we know from previous Harvest Moon games, but the gameplay and story itself appears to be a throwback to the N64 and Super NES versions, trying to honor the roots it came from.

Book of Unwritten Tales 2 – Nordic Games – Release Date Q1 2015 – PC: A direct sequel to The Book of Unwritten Tales release about a year ago, the game will revisit areas and characters from the first game. The game features a retro art style akin to mid 80’s animation and a classic Point and Click gameplay style. The game is aiming to have 20 hours of basic gameplay and additional content for each of the four playable characters. The game will be heading to Steam Early Access later this year.

Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom – Little Orbit – Release Date November 2015 – Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS, and PC: The Adventure Time games are surprisingly entertaining. The previous game on the consoles, Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know was a great throwback to classic dungeon crawling action RPGs I grew up with. The new game seems to take a lot of hints from a classic Legend of Zelda game we all love, A Link to the Past. You play as Finn on a mission for Princess Bubblegum to found the “No Name Kingdom”. When he gets to the Kingdom, he forgets what Princess he was supposed to put in charge, luckily they were all captured. So Finn has plenty of time to save the princesses and decide who is supposed to be in charge.

Skylanders Trap Force – Activision – Release Date October 2014 – Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS, PS4, Xbox One: Kaos releases the worst villains from Cloud Cracker prison. This send pieces of Traptanium to the real world in the form of Trap Crystals. Now the Skylanders must work together with the new Trap Masters in order to round up all the escaped prisoners. Three trap crystals are used to contain the villains you defeat and allow you to summon them to fight for you in tag-team style. You can only have 1 villain per crystal but in the new massive Adventurer Hub you have something called the Villain Vault that allows you to swap the stored villain with any of the other villains you have captured. The only limitation is that villains have types just like the Skylanders, so to use a villain in battle you need a matching crystal type. You can still capture villains in the Villain Vault and use them once you get a crystal. This Skylanders game will of course support all the previous figures.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment – Focus Home Interactive – Release Date N/A – PC, PS3, Xbox 360: New players to the series will need to keep in mind that this is a pure investigation game. No fighting. No chases. Just puzzles and investigations. There are 6 cases in the game total, but don’t let that give you the impression that the game is short as each investigation can take several hours to complete. Your goal in each investigation is to gather clues to reach deductions about the solution to the case. Use the tools at your disposal to help you along the way like Detective Vision, or even equipping disguises to obtain information. There are multiple ways to solve each case by linking the clues. These can be very convincing so choose wisely. You may just put the wrong person in jail. It also gives you ranking based on how others solved the cases so you can see how often other people picked the same solution as you did.

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Crowbar is an angry young man, but he knows his games. We all have our passions and his come alive when his digital self is hammering baddies, solving puzzles or flying. He also has a penchant for dressing like giant penguins, but we promised him we wouldn't mention it.

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