Terry Pratchett Dies At The Age Of 66

Terry Pratchett Dies At The Age Of 66

Sir Terry Pratchett, renowned humor/fantasy author, best known for his Discworld series has died at his home in the village of Broad Chalke, England surrounded by friends, family and cat.

Pratchett was one of the UK’s prominent genre writers, surpassed only by JK Rowling in terms of fame and audience reception. His first book, The Carpet People was published in 1971, but it was in 1983, with The Colour of Magic, the first of his Discworld novels, that he gained a reputation in both the UK and the rest of the world as one of the premiere comic fantasists of 20

th

century.

Since then, his work output rivaled that of Stephen King, writing anywhere from two to three novels a year on average, with over 70 books to his name in a bright and lengthy career. In addition to collaborations with other talents, such as Neil Gaiman with their novel Good Omens, his work made the transition to games. 1995 saw the first Discworld point and click adventure, with more following in later years.

However, it wasn’t just Terry Pratchett himself that was into both writing and games. His daughter, Rhianna Pratchett began a career as a game journalist in the UK that transitioned into writing for games, such as the new reboot to the Tomb Raider franchise.

Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, after a mysterious stroke led to extensive medical examination. Despite the diagnosis, Pratchett maintained good humour about his situation and continued to write novels, even managing to finish his latest work through dictation and speech recognition software. He extensively chronicled his struggle with Alzheimer’s in documentaries and even donated US$ 1 million to research after discovering that the research budget for the illness was equal to only 3% of what is annually devoted to cancer research.

As with the passing of Leonard Nimoy, this is another painful blow for those fans of genre work. The world of fantasy is a smaller, sadder place with passing of Terry Pratchett and he will be missed.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Has A New Release Date

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Has A New Release Date

RPG fans can rejoice as the highly anticipated game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new release date.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the third game in The Witcher series. Players play as a Witcher named Geralt of Rivia. As a highly skilled monster hunter, players will go off on a new journey across the world in order to stop the Wild Hunt.

The game will apparently be over thirty times larger than the previous Witcher game, and will be a fully open world.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be released on February 24th 2015 on Xbox One, PlayStation4, and PC.

Final Fantasy Agito Gives Insight Into Its World

Final Fantasy Agito Gives Insight Into Its World

A selection of new videos from Famitsu for the now-released title Final Fantasy Agito surfaced this morning, showing off many different features of the game, like school-life, gearing up and basic combat.

The touch screen swiping and targeting makes up much of the combat, allowing for simple yet effective strategies. The mission selection also shows the main character choosing two friends to tag along and help you out on your conquest to victory.

While Agito is a smart phone game, its rich and colorful graphics make it much more beautiful than the average ios release. Also interesting is that it’s set in the same universe as Final Fantasy Type-0, a PSP title that unfortunately never made it to the west.

Luckily for hardcore North American fans, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call will feature characters and songs from the cherished Type-0, allowing them to get a taste of the action.

Agito is now available on the iTunes store in Japan as well as the Google Play Store. You can check out the videos below and pray that a Western release will happen (so far no word). For everything else gaming keep it locked to CGM.

 

 

 

 

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call Brings Type-0 Characters To The Western World

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call Brings Type-0 Characters To The Western World

Square Enix announced today that Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call will be making its way to the west this year, bringing Final Fantasy: Type-0 characters to North American shores for the first time.

Like its predecessor, the title will be a Nintendo 3DS exclusive, except this time more recent releases will make an appearance in the spin-off.

Over 200 songs will make an appearance this time including ones from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Type-0 and others. In addition, new characters will also make an appearance like Yuna from Final Fantasy X and Barret from Final Fantasy VII.

Curtain Call contains the same rhythm game-play as the original release and includes a new Quest Medley mode that allows players to choose their own routes through different quests.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call makes its way to Japan next week and North America sometime later this year. If you’re looking for a JRPG fix, Final Fantasy X HD is now available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

 

16 Bit Story Recap Harkens Back to Square’s Glory Days

16 Bit Story Recap Harkens Back to Square's Glory Days

In an effort to promote Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix has released a video recapping the story of Final Fantasy XIII…with 16-bit graphics.

Much like the classic entry, Final Fantasy VI, Lightning and her friends are depicted as 2-D sprites in a 2-D world. The video itself serves as a summarized version of the events from the first two Final Fantasy XIII games, complete with certain memorable battles and sprite-based summons.

Amidst the nostalgia, one has to wonder: why won’t Square make some more 16-bit games. Granted, there is a huge fan base for the new, fancy engine that is Final Fantasy XV, but I’m sure many would be just as excited for a new 2-D entry to the series.

Let’s hope Square Enix takes a hint from this release. Either way, you can pick up Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII on February 11. It is available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

 

Out With The New, In With The X and X-2

Out With The New, In With The X and X-2

It seems nostalgia has triumphed again. According to a recent sales chart from Japan, Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD ended up selling more copies than Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII in its first week in Japan.

The Japanese magazine Famitsu revealed that in its first week of sales X/X-2 HD sold a combined 339,902 units in Japan. In contrast, Lightning Returns only sold 277,082 units in its first week, the lowest of any Final Fantasy XIII title.

The reasoning behind these sales numbers may attribute to two factors. For one, Final Fantasy X is considered a classic by many. Add in an HD upscale with some trophies, and you have a pretty good reason to return to Yuna’s story. On the flip side, Lightning Returns is part of a series that has been met with some hatred from fans, so its not too surprising that its sales are much lower.

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster comes to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in North America on March 18th. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII comes to PS3 on February 11th, 2014.

Japanese Developers Still All About The PS3

Japanese Developers Still All About The PS3

Last night, yet another Japanese game was announced. Tales of Zestiria, the next release in the ever-popular Tales franchise, will be coming exclusively to the PlayStation 3.

This title joins the likes of Persona 5, Tales of Symphonia: Chronicles, The Witch and the Hundred Knights, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD and more as Japanese exclusives on Sony’s aging console. Coincidentally, the PlayStation 4 won’t be releasing to Japan till February 22, 2014, a few months after pretty much every other country. Could this be an act of defiance from Japanese developers? Probably not. But it is interesting how many of these titles are last-gen exclusives. 

It’s also easy to forget that the PS2 had life beyond its generation, with both Persona 3 and 4 coming out on it after the PS3 had already released. This is yet another reason that holding onto your old hardware makes sense. Oh backwards compatibility, how we miss thee.

Tales of Zestiria features a dragon logo, and a plot that revolves around two warring empires. You can check out the reveal trailer here.

 

Update:

Tales of Zestiria has been announced as a worldwide title, and will come to both North America and Europe.

Will Persona 5 Bring Back JRPG’s?

Will Persona 5 Bring Back JRPG's?

As we close the chapter on this generation, it’s easy to forget one genre that fell beneath the cracks in both quality and promotion: Japanese role-playing games. Games like Final Fantasy XIII and Tales of Graces were fine in their own right, but they resembled backwards thinking, rather than re-inventing the formula of the genre. How many times have we seen a story about a group of unlikely people trying to save the world in a time of crisis? Too many of these titles fall under that regime. But if you look a bit deeper, there is one franchise that has ignored many of the norms involved, and has shown that JRPG’s can be both unique and important.

I am, of course, talking about the Persona series. For anyone unaware, the Persona series revolves around a group of students in high school who go to class by day, and fight demons at night. To find these demons, you use a being from your inner self called, a Persona. Much what you do includes fusing and leveling up different Personas, but what makes the titles special is the idea of social links. Social links are relationships you make with other NPC’s in the game, from school, the mall and other areas. By furthering these relationships, you help level up your stats in the demon-fighting part of the game. This ends up making the game part RPG, part life-simulator. The most acclaimed of these titles, Persona 4, also delved into gender issues. More specifically , it focused on the struggles of Kanji, who was coming to terms with his sexuality throughout the course of the game.

All these qualities made for a unique franchise that is immensely popular in Japan, literally moving units for the dead-in-the-water PlayStation Vita. According to Metacritic, the most recent release in the series, Persona 4: Golden, is also the Vita’s most acclaimed title.

But what’s next? Well, as all are hoping, Persona 5. While it has been confirmed to be in development, no official announcement has been given. Some expected it to show up at Tokyo Game Show 2013 but was nowhere to be seen. Luckily, the game Persona 4: Arena has extended the story-line of Persona 3 and 4, hinting that 5 may be connected to the previous titles.

Persona_4_anime_Yu

So, as we look into the next generation, we can’t help but look at Atlus and hope that Persona 5 will do us justice. Perhaps switching the focus to college, adding a bigger town and exploring different kinds of relationships will help? Either way, it looks like we’ll find out soon. ATLUS launched a teaser site recently showing an unknown game by the Persona team. Luckily, Atlus isn’t the only developer that has played a part in moving the JRPG genre forward. Released earlier this year, Level-5’s Ni No Kuni combined Studio Ghibli with smart traditional gameplay that was reminiscent of Pokemon and Tales.

Not to be outdone, Square Enix came in strong this E3 with a trailer for the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 and gameplay for Final Fantasy XV. But it’s hard to be as excited for those titles when Square hasn’t had the best reception of their last few Final Fantasy titles. Atlus may have recently been bought by Sega, but it seems they have left its development untouched, making many JRPG fans hopeful. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be exciting launches, but my eyes are glued to Atlus and the future of their flagship franchise.