Not every video game needs to be sold on the intensity of its action or the grisliness of its deaths. No, sometimes whiling away the hours tending to various crops and animals and meeting new friends is just what you need. Fans of this style of game have something for the 3DS late February in Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns.
Story of Seasons celebrates its upcoming 20th anniversary with the North American release of the latest iteration of this franchise with some adorable new gear care of publisher XSEED Games. Available as a pre-order bonus are four Nintendo inspired costumes that confer interesting benefits. Donning Mario’s iconic garb provides a boost to the player’s speed, while his emerald sibling improves your fishing. Peach’s outfit makes friends easier and Toad’s is great for stamina.
Sory of Seasons: Trio of Towns for the 3DS settles the player between three suitably diverse areas, as the name would imply, and allows the player to get to the important business of exploration, farming, and animal husbandry. Multiplayer promises to be a significant element in this entry to the series, allowing for chatting, trading, and item enhancement on the mysterious multiplayer island.
2016 saw the massive release of Stardew Valley, which old fans of the farming genre saw as a return to the farming/life sim genre that had seemed ignored with few recent releases in the Havest Moon or Rune Factory series. It’s release felt like a revitalization to the genre, and it will certainly be interesting to see how Story of Seasons fairs with some much needed competition.
So get ready to milk those cows and brush your horse dressed as iconic Nintendo mascots, Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns releases Feb. 28, 2017 for the Nintendo 3DS. Maybe by then I’ll understand why Luigi is good at fishing.
There’s no doubt that XSEED is one of the largest Japanese publishers around. And E3 is the biggest games trade show on the planet. So today, they announced their E3 line up with a bunch of localizations.
Leading the way for localization is Return toPopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale, a cross over between Story of Seasons and the popular Japanese Manga PopoloCrois for the 3DS. It will have a 25 plus hour story with 100 missions. But like other games of this genre, it will probably have tons of replayability. It will launch in Japan on June 18 this year. The last time we got an instalment in this series was in 2006 on the PSP.
Another localization hitting North America the next instalment in the The Legend of Heroes franchise, Trials of Cold Steel for the PS3 and Vita. For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s a JRPG that also blends sim aspects as well. In Japan, the series is known as Sen no Kiseki, and it’s developed by Nihon Falcom.
Along with that is Earth Defence Force: 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair. It’s a reimagining of Earth Defence Force 2025 for the PlayStation 4, and will feature 50 per cent new content, updated graphics and smoother frame rates.
That’s not everything though. Here’s a complete list of the games they’re showing this year excluding the titles already mentioned.
Corpse Party Blood Drive-PSVita
Earth Defence Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space-PSVita
Onechanbara Z2: Chaos-PS4
Senran Kagura: Deep Crimson-3DS
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus-PS4
That doesn’t seem like too bad of a line up. As a huge fan of Harvest Moon it’s always exciting to see a new Bokujo Monogatari game even if I’m unfamiliar with the source material. What game are you most excited for at this E3?
Indulge me, please. I have a complaint. Yeah, it will probably seem like a pretty minor one in the grand scheme of things, but, all the same, it’s a source of regular frustration. Basically, what I’m working up to writing here is that I’m sick of videogames, good and bad alike, being ruined by the most easily avoidable problem of all: poorly designed quick time events. Quick time events (or QTEs for brevity’s sake) are often awful. They’re a decent design idea that felt truly novel at one point, but are used to good effect pretty much only within specific genres now. QTEs don’t have to be terrible (more on this in a bit), but their inclusion in many titles comes off as lazy or just plain poorly thought-out. When not properly integrated within gameplay mechanics they’re capable of destroying either entire sections of a game or the experience as a whole.
I started thinking about this topic after giving up on a videogame because of an incredibly frustrating QTE. Grasshopper Manufacture’s Killer is Dead is a third-person action game that certainly isn’t without non-QTE related narrative and design faults, but it was one sequence in particular that made me give up on a title I may otherwise have continued with. While fighting a boss about two hours into Dead’s campaign, the battle was interrupted with a QTE that required the frantic mashing a single button to complete. The timing of the sequence was so demanding that even the best controller-ruining tricks (rubbing a pen cap over the button, hammering at it with an index finger, etc.) couldn’t help me past it. I tried to look up some tips, found that a number of other players have had the same problem, and gave it a few more shots to no avail. I could blaze through the actual battle itself without difficulty. I could even get through the first of two QTEs after a while, but despite coming just short of turning my fingertip into a bloody ruin, couldn’t manage to pass the second sequence. [pullquote align=”right” class=”blue”]”I’m sick of videogames, good and bad alike, being ruined by the most easily avoidable problem of all: poorly designed quick time events.”[/pullquote] This has only happened to me once before, in Resident Evil 6, and served as the straw breaking the camel’s back on what was, all things considered, a pretty crummy game. But, even when they’ve featured in games that are really good otherwise—like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which features a notable sequence where the player keeps Snake from electrocuting to death through button mashing—a badly designed QTE can make me consider giving up on playing through something entirely.
Back when videogames like Shenmue and Resident Evil 4 were first coming out, QTEs seemed like a pretty good way to introduce light gameplay elements into scenes that would have otherwise been completely non-interactive. It was a smart idea then, but as the best developers took note of what worked about QTEs, simple, annoying ones designed around hammering a single button went away. Games like Indigo Prophecy and The Walking Dead re-contextualized the quick time event into a primary gameplay mechanic, using timed button presses to keep players engaged in story-heavy experiences. God of War and The Last of Us used QTEs to add a sense of physical urgency (and violence) to Kratos’ battles and Joel and Ellie’s desperate fights. These games changed the way that quick time events were used. Rather than simply tasking the player with hitting a button quickly—or as hard as possible for a sustained period of time—they worked to increase the connection the player has with her or his character.
When QTEs aren’t used properly, though, they can ruin a game. It seems astonishing that there are still developers who haven’t noticed when this mechanic works well and when it doesn’t. There’s a place in games for tough challenges that require quick reflexes and manual dexterity, but creating artificial difficulty through button mashing segments doesn’t fall into this category. Sure, games can ask us to beat up our controllers with frantic combat and tense action scenes, but gating progression behind unforgiving, overly simplistic quick time events is just plain bad design.
Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Uncensored will hit North America this summer. Although it’s already out in Japan, developer XSEED has given some information on in-game content.
The big news from their press release was that players can get “strip portraits” of all main male characters in the game along with female characters. To XSEED, this provides a little more gender balance.
The title is their biggest voice over project to date. Because of this, the title will feature “dual audio” meaning players can use the new English dubbed voice work, or stick with the original Japanese stuff.
The setting is Tokyo’s electronic district, which the team boasts to have rebuilt for the game. The story follows Nanashi, a young man who was transformed into the walking dead and after some traumatic experiences he decides it’s up to him to rid the world of the evil with his friends.
This morning XSEED Games teased a new title via Twitter. The post, which reads “[Endowed ladies endure constant training regimens in class to overcome wicked nemeses]”, seems to hint at one of the companies localization efforts, Senran Kagura. With the new Kagura games not even out in Japan, the most likely culprit is Shinovi Versus, a PSVita exclusive.
We here at CGM reached out to XSEED about this post, who said “any future product plans will be made through an official announcement.” This more or less doesn’t disprove or prove anything, but well endowed ladies in school definetley reeks of Senran Kagura.
Stay tuned here as more details arise about this peculiar tease. Also be sure to check out our other articles on the series as well as our review of Senran Kagura Burst.