Sore limbs aside, I made it my mission to attend the second day of E3. I had the honor of having an appointment with the legendary developer, Daedelic Entertainment. A company known for point and click adventure titles and some turn based RPGs. Recently, they have been at work with a handful of titles. I got to see the final installment to the delightful Deponia series and a unique turn based strategy rpg called Blackguards.
Goodbye Deponia is the third and final installment in the Deponia point-click adventure series; it is bigger and better than the previous game. With a larger environment and story driven gameplay mechanics it proves Goodbye Deponia is going to be one hell of a sequel. The artwork is in full HD and everything is hand dawn and hand animated. The game is also great for beginners. You do not need to play the previous games to understand what is going on.
Blackguards is a strategy turn based rpg. With a great art direction and gameplay formula behind it. Something that I found particularly interesting was the option to switch weapon Sets in cobat. While I know this is prevalent in MMOs and other kinds of RPGs, it isn’t very common in the turn based scene. Small additions like that allow the player to prepare for any situation but at the same time, possibly hinder themselves due to the hoarding of items. Most turn based games have a sort of speed up option to keep the pace relatively fast, Blackguards however is naturally fast paced and by god it is wonderful. While I like turn based games, some of them feel as tough they drone on and on. The world map is large and there are going to be plenty of side quests to distract you from the main story like a good rpg.
After my meetup with Daedelic Entertainment I went to talk with the fine people from Nippon Ichi Software America. I got to see and hear about news regarding Disgaea D2 and Guided Fate Paradox. Unfortunately I did. Not get a chance to play Time and Eternity which is what was playable on the show floor.
I got a look at the new Disgaea game, it is the first sequel to a Disgaea game but at the same time it isn’t it called Disgaea Dimensions because this game takes place in an alternate dimension where Laharl becomes Overlord but no one treats him like one so he must create a name for himself. We see the original three in full HD like Disgaea 4. The subline of D2 is “A Brighter Darkness” because after the fourth installment if Disgaea NIS wanted a Disgaea game that was brighter despite having some darker tones to the game. So visually speaking, this game looks to have more vibrant colors. The magichange system has been replaced with a “piggyback” system so the player doesn’t have to sacrifice the monster in battle.
You can fuse characters, somewhat similar to Mugen Souls and the Dark Senate is back. There are plenty of. Additions to. The game to make. It feel new and different and the new Disgaea game looks and feels like it will be a nice contender.
The second game shown was Guided Fate Paradox a turn based rogue-like dungeon crawler. Quite an interesting step in NISA’s repertoire of games. The game has a similar artwork to Disgaeas and the music is brilliant. You move on a grid one square at a time and you progress through dungeons killing as many monsters as possible. There is a twist though, when you level up, you do not get the stat increases until you die. A rather unique mechanic in this genre but that is what we need in games today.
Weapons and armor you equip will change the appearance of your character. Dungeons are randomly generated, and the game is very fast. Your hockey’s can be customized with abilities to make your dungeon crawling go at blinding speeds. Guided Fate Paradox is by far one of the most unique jrpgs and dungeon crawlers I have come across.
I rushed over to Namco Bandai again because I was given the opportunity to talk about the latest Armored Core installment, Verdict Day. It’s been a while since I had played a great armored core game, those were in the Ps2 days. I didn’t get a chance to play the game but I got to see some gameplay and talk with a developer.
We can say that the latest Armored Core additions have been somewhat lackluster and disappointing. Verdict Day plans on bringing back classic gameplay that made the game so fun to play. With over 150 new types of weapons and 90+ new body parts Verdict Day is going to be that game where you spend more time customizing than being in combat. Money is always an issue and solution but keeping your mech in top notch condition as well as fully stocked with ammo is not free. You will have to find a nice balance between getting funding and mech upgrades which is something that as a strategy gamer love.
Along with the single player fun, you can go online and participate in a weeklong faction war between three factions. I associate this kind of thing with Chromehounds because that’s where it was done the best. Your battles will change how the course of the war has changed and in your squads of 5 you must fight other players and AI to gain control of points of interest. If you do not have 5 friends to play with no worries. There is a new kind of AI controlled mech you can use. Their behavior can be programmed with presets, or fine tuned down to the number of steps and shots to take. In a way, this new addition makes Armored Core feel like a strategy game.
It does not stop there either. There will be one person randomly chosen at the start if a match to act as a commander. This person will direct their mechs and allies around the battlefield. This person will act as a coach of sorts and it sounds great, I just hope it is executed well. Complete with emblem customization and mech coloring two mechs will look the same. The game also has a collectors edition only available on Namco’s website. From what I saw and heard, Verdict Day is the Armored Core I have been wanting for some time now.
After getting hyped about the new Armored Core title, I got to meet with Camille Lisoir from Cyanide Studios to talk about Dogs of War and Aarklash Legacy. Aarklash Legacy is a sequel to Confrontation based off the board game with the same name, and Dogs of War is a turn based MMO based in the same universe as Confrontation. Both games look great in almost every aspect.
Aarklash Legacy has learned from the previous installment of Confrontation and fixed many of the control issues and response time to make the game more accessible. The amount of customization is sort of a hit and miss. Many of your characters will look the same no matter what is equipped by the fine tuning of their development is just what I was expecting. It is filled with thought and “Do I really want to upgrade that?” A pause functionality has been implemented to issue orders better and you will need this to dodge projectile or focus down an enemy. The difficulty is still there and the game will prove to be very difficult as the game goes on. The art is one of my favorite aspects of Aarklash Legacy.
Dogs of War is a faction based pvp turn based rpg. It plays a lot Ike the Blood Bowl games with team creation and game flow. It looks really clean and the team creation is something you will be constantly doing. The game looks smooth and is currently or almost in beta.
At this point all of my appointments were finished. I wanted to head over to the Indiecade to check. It some of the college made games and small gems from the Internet. I came across three, Flash Frozen, Witch Hunt, and In A Window. All three of these games were really unique in their own way.
Flash Frozen is a survival game where you must survive freezing temperatures. That is not the only worry as a living ice monster is roaming the corridors. The controls are solid and tight, the goal is simple, and the challenge is there.
The next game I played was Witch Hunt developed by some students at BYU college. It was is top down shooter. You play as the witch that falls in love with a Prince Charming of sorts but he is “stolen” by a beautiful maiden. So like any witch, he grabs a gun, and hunts after the princess so she may win over the prince that was stolen from her. The game consists of playing as the witch and killing the forest creatures that try to protect the princess. The game is hilariously violent and is very challenging.
My friend and coworker pulled me over to play this game called, “In a Window” a charming platformers that will challenge your reflexes but more or less your ability to see the obvious. It teaches you how to play by playing the game, it allows you to think but doesn’t hold your hand with tutorials. It’s is a game you have to play to really understand.
That is what I did on my second day of E3 to to. See and play a lot of cool games. Below you will find release dates/windows for the games mentioned in this article and links to websites (when applicable).
Armored Core: Verdict Day: Xbox 360, PS3 TBA
Guided Fate Paradox: PS3 Fall 2013
Disgaea D2: PS3 Fall 2013
Aarklash Legacy: PC 2013
Dogs of War: PC 2013/2014
Goodbye Deponia: October 2013