New Ace Attorney Announcement Trailer

In the latest podcast we just talked about rumors of a new Ace Attorney game set in Meiji-era Japan (late 1860s to early 1910s). Well, now we have an official announcement trailer!

The official title of this game is Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Bouken (Grand Turnabout Trial: The Adventures of Naruhodou Ryuunosuke). And it looks like our new protagonist has a cool uniform, a sword, and the customary cute sidekick. He’s also apparently an ancestor of our own beloved Phoenix Wright. More info on this game will become available as more people translate the on-screen text.

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Pocket Players Podcast #62: Catching Up

Boy, a lot of news sure piles up when you take a week just to cover a convention.

There’s a ton of games announced for Vita in NA, including Freedom Wars, and Danganronpa 2. We also have lots of exciting new info on the upcoming Mario Golf, Monster Hunter 4G, and Tomodachi Life for 3DS.

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS:

VIDEOS:

WHAT WE’RE PLAYING:

QUESTION OF THE SENNIGHT:

What do you think about games that are marketed specifically to be hard?

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Game Boy Turns 25 Today!

This old commercial pretty much sums up my feelings on the Game Boy’s age, and a surprisingly accurate explanation of my life philosophy, to be sure!

If you have a Game Boy still tinkering around somewhere, today’s a fine day to get in touch with your roots and give it a play. I’ll even let it slide if all you have is a Game Boy Advance or Game Boy Color. It’s just good to remember how humble our portable gaming beginnings were.

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Deals: Refurbished 3DS w/ Paper Mario for $110

The big deal this week is that Nintendo has officially cut the price of 5 of their classic titles: Mario Kart 7, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf are all now $30 games. But not everywhere has started selling them at that price just yet.

3DS DEALS

3DS XL in Red/Black – $184

Bravely Default – $34
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D – $31
Mario Golf: World Tour (Pre-Order) – $30
Mario Kart 7 – $30

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – $26
Sonic Generations – $22
Sonic Lost World 3D – $30

Super Mario 3D Land – $30

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Nintendo 3DS – $10
Yoshi’s
New Island – $35

VITA DEALS

Borderlands 2 Limited Edition Vita Bundle – $200

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – $17
Dragon’s Crown – $34
Gravity Rush - $16

LittleBigPlanet - $20
Little Deviants - $14
Lumines: Electronic Symphony – $15

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale – $19
Rayman Legends – $22
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – $19
Street Fighter X Tekken – $20

IOS DEALS

Knights of Pen & Paper – FREE

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Pokemon X & Y Competitive Trainer Seminar

Here it is: Our competitive Pokemon trainer panel from PAX East 2014! JV and I come in for the final two segments which are, in my completely unbiased opinion, the highlight of the show.

Next year, I’m thinking JV and I should do a similar panel but for more advance strategies and techniques. JV’s pretty brilliant about this stuff and it’s a shame to spend so much time going over the basics I think we almost all know by now.

If anyone in the NYC area and wants to join me for a Monster Hunter panel in October for New York ComicCon, that’s also on my radar as something to do.

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Pocket Players Podcast #62: PAX East Indies 2014


Adell has the night off as I’m freshly home from PAX East with a slew of indie developer interviews to share.

INTERVIEWS:

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Bravely Social: The StreetPass Experience of Bravely Default

Bravely Default is innovative and familiar all at once. At its core, it is a traditional turn-based JRPG. Seeing as those are usually one-player affairs, I didn’t think other players would have such a strong impact on my experience with it. But Bravely Default turned out to have the most extensive and well implemented StreetPass functionality of any 3DS game I’ve played to date.

Half of the StreetPass features have to do with the ruined village of Norende: hometown of Tiz, the main protagonist, before it was swallowed up by a giant chasm. But Tiz has taken on the task of returning Norende to its former glory.

NorendeFor this optional side quest, you can access the village at any time from the menu screen and assign residents to work on building or upgrading the village shops. As new items are made available in the shops, you can purchase them for yourself.

All the projects take real time to complete (up to 99 hours), but the more villagers you assign to a task, the shorter it takes. Norende’s population goes up by one with each other Bravely Defauly player you StreetPass.

Despite all this being optional, the weapons and armor you get from Norende’s shops are some of the best in the game. There are even shops that specialize in items to customize and power-up your party’s special moves; in fact, they’re the only way you can do so. This helped me out a lot, especially when going up against a tough boss with a specific weakness.

One thing that disappointed me about Norende is how detached the whole experience was. You literally interact with it at a distance where the villagers look like bugs. I was helping rebuild Tiz’s home, but I never got to actually go there. One of my favorite parts of Bravely Default was the cool, really creative towns. I would have loved to actually visit Norende, and watch the population and buildings grow as I talked to the citizens personally – like the growth of Black City in Pokemon Black and White.

All the towns in this game had the appearance of being hand drawn, so it might have been more difficult to render Norende in various stages of progression than it was to paste in a few more identical skyscrapers in Black City. That said, I wanted to be emotionally attached to this town, but the game just wouldn’t let me.

The other aspect of Norende is the Nemesis battles. These are intriguing bosses that terrorize your village until you defeat them. Some appear randomly, but you can also StreetPass a Nemesis to other players like a virus. They provide extra tricky challenges for players, beyond what you normally fight in the main story.

One Nemesis I fought seemed to absorb all types of attacks, magical and physical. WhenBelphegor I examined it and found out it had a fire weakness, I thought I had him beat. After ordering four consecutive Firagas, I took pride in seeing the first deal massive damage. But my feeling was devastated after seeing the next three spells restore his health. After a few frustrating experiments, I learned that every time the boss took damage, its weakness changed. There aren’t many RPGs where I can call optional mini-bosses memorable. But there were a few Nemesis battles like this one that really impressed me with the thought that was put in. Definitely a great feature.

In addition to the extra strategy needed to defeat Nemeses, some of them are just brutally strong. This is where you go for a challenge after beating the game. They’re no joke.

There are two other StreetPass functions completely separate from the village: Friend Summons and Abililink.

During battle, whenever you do any attack, you have the option to “Send” it. This doesn’t change your attack at all, but it records the character, the attack, and the damage in your StreetPass data. Then, whoever StreetPasses you can “Summon” your character in their adventure to do that same attack or healing spell.

These have saved my life a few times, like when my White Mage was my last character standing, but with no MP. Luckily I had a Friend Summon I’d been saving that could deal 9999 damage, which finished off my foe.

I still have a few powerful attacks saved up in case I’m stuck like that again, but in actuality I am rarely in a situation as dire as that. They kind of came off as a novelty that really wasn’t useful at all after a certain point of the game. So I could have done without them.

The last thing is Abililink. This is a way for you to share in your friends’ progress. Now this isn’t a StreetPass function, but it is a social function, and I think it’s worth mentioning. Let’s say you have a friend who also owns Bravely Default. You both play, and while you train one of your characters to master, say, the Knight job, your friend focuses on the Templar job. These jobs complement each other pretty well, but neither of you want to take the time to level the other job all the way up. With Abililink, you can link your characters together, granting your Knight access to any Templar skills your friend learned, while your friend would likewise have access to all of your Knight skills.

139526236233Now I personally haven’t used this at all, and I don’t plan to. I don’t see the joy in getting the best skills in the game without working for them myself. I guess I’m just old fashioned that way. But it’s very popular with a lot of other players that I’ve met online, and it definitely has its perks. With 24 jobs in the game, and 14 levels to each, and four characters to level them up on, I can see why some people would want a quick out.

Bravely Default has great social aspects, not just for a JRPG, but for any 3DS game. It was the first game I had that actually had me actively looking for StreetPasses, which really says something. It did a great job integrating other people into a genre that is almost exclusively one-player.

If you are a fan of JRPGs, you own a 3DS, and haven’t picked up the game yet… what are you waiting for!? Are you still reading this? You’d better be ordering the game in another tab or we’re gonna have a problem.

All jokes aside, I can’t recommend Bravely Default enough, especially if you’re already a fan of the genre. It may not be perfect, but it’s easily one of my all-time favorites. I don’t regret buying it day one, and I won’t regret when I do the same with the sequel.

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Pocket Players Podcast #61: Smash Direct


A bit later than usual, but we finally got our first new podcast for the redesigned site up! And just in time to chat about this week’s Nintendo Direct that was all about the Super Smash Bros. with our sometimes guest host, Faroresdrgn.

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS:

VIDEOS:

QUESTION OF THE SENNIGHT:

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New Site Design is Up!

Hey everyone! Another reason things have been a little slow here this week is that we’ve been putting some final touches on this new site design. But, thanks to some amazing and dedicated work from JV, it’s finally up and we’re very happy with the results. But, tell us what you think in the comments below.

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New Podcast Coming Soon!

Hey everyone. Just wanted to give any visitors a heads-up that the new podcast is coming soon. We just got a little caught up by some PAX preperations for our panel, and I’m trying to get a guest on the show to discuss yesterday’s Nintendo Direct.

Check back tomorrow and we’ll definitely have a show for you!

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