It’s easy to get jaded about the RPG genre, specifically Japanese RPGs. Every trope has been well-worn, every character archetype has been fully exploited. Dating back to the 1980s the Dragon Quest series is one of the most egregious examples of many tiresome gameplay elements and story beats.
Yet each new Dragon Quest game proves why the series remains beloved and resilient. With an irresistible charm, modern design conveniences, and excellent writing, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a wonderful RPG for newcomers and a delightful return for series veterans.
A pair of well-regarded JRPGs from last generation are getting a fancy new physical edition releases for PlayStation 4. The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel and Trails of Cold Steel II will be available in limited retail editions for PS4 in early 2019. Pre-orders will be available soon.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel Decisive Edition includes a physical copy of the game with a SteelBook case, a replica Collector’s Coin, and a CD soundtrack featuring 21 tracks.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II Relentless Edition has the physical copy with SteelBook, an Ouroboros Emblem Pin, and a 23-track soundtrack CD.
Each edition will retail for $49.99.
As a special perk, the new PS4 editions will include the full Japanese voice acting for both games, in addition to the English dub that was introduced in the PC version. The English voice acting features over 5,000 lines of dialogue per game. The dual voiceover is a first in series history. PC players will receive the Japanese voices as a free update in an upcoming patch.
Both RPGs originally released on PlayStation 3 in Japan, followed by PS3, PS Vita, and PC releases in the US in 2015 and 2016. The series is developed by Nihon Falcom and localized by XSEED Games.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 1 and 2 are rated T for Teen. They’re currently available on Steam, Vita, and PS3, and coming early next year to PS4.
Cartoon Network will host Minecraft’s annual live stream event, MINECON Earth, on their official YouTube channel. MINECON Earth’s broadcast will being Saturday, September 29 with a pre-show airing at 8:30…
Good news for Fortnite players on PlayStation 4! In a sweeping policy change for Sony Interactive Entertainment, they announced a Cross-Play Beta for Fortnite launching today on PlayStation 4. For the first time, Fortnite players will be able to play with players on mobile, Switch, Xbox One, and PC. It also means you can login with one account across PlayStation 4 and other platforms.
Note that since this feature is currently in beta, expect lots of technical hiccups and issues.
“For 24 years, we have strived to deliver the best gaming experience to our fans by providing a uniquely PlayStation perspective,” writes John Kodera, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “Today, the communities around some games have evolved to the point where cross-platform experiences add significant value to players. In recognition of this, we have completed a thorough analysis of the business mechanics required to ensure that the PlayStation experience for our users remains intact today, and in the future, as we look to open up the platform.”
Previously Sony has been notoriously tight-nit when it comes to cross-platform play. Fortnite’s incredible popularity has finally caused a paradigm shift in company policy (much like Minecraft and Early Access games on consoles). This change can and most likely will also apply to future online games. Kodera goes on to say: “We we are now in the planning process across the organization to support this change, […] and what this means for other titles going forward.”
No specific dates or time frames have been announced for the cross-platform beta. Fortnite Battle Royale is currently available on every modern gaming console, and the lines between them are rapidly shrinking.
Shockingly sad news over the weekend. Telltale Games, who defined the narrative adventure game genre through games like The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, and Batman: The Enemy Within, has announced a massive layoff citing financial issues. The company laid off 250 employees over the weekend, leaving a tiny crew of 25 to “fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners,” as per the announcement.
“It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course,” writes Pete Halwey, CEO of Telltale. “Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”
No official cancellations have been made from the company, but reports made from outlets and employees are that all remaining work has shifted toward the Minecraft Story Mode project for Netflix. This leaves future projects like Wolf Among Us Season 2 and Stranger Things effectively canceled. Most distressingly, it leaves The Walking Dead: The Final Season uncompleted, as the second of four episodes is set to launch this week.
Melissa Hutchison, voice actor for The Walking Dead series’ Clementine, issued a statement via twitter. She confirms that she does not know of any plans to continue The Final Season after Episode 2’s release.
Everything is still unconfirmed at this point, with Telltale stating they will “issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.” With the entire The Walking Dead team gone, however, it’s not looking good for anyone who wanted to see Clementine’s story finally come to an end.
It’s also a bad situation for anyone who purchased the complete season pass, with the assumption that they would be receiving four full episodes of content in the months to come. Reports are surfacing that Microsoft is issuing refunds to anyone who purchased on Xbox One.
Telltale Games was found in 2004, and met some success making quirky adventure games like Sam & Max. They exploded with success after The Walking Dead released in 2012, leading to critical success, huge sales, and the proof that an episodic release schedule can be successful.
In the following six years Telltale has ridden the coattails of that success, doubling down on more licensed, episodic adventure games, such as Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy. None save Minecraft: Story Mode were financially successful, however. The Walking Dead: The Final Season was the fourth in the series, and meant to finally bring closure to their initial breakout success back in 2012.
Late last year Telltale Games laid off about a quarter of its staff. Earlier this year the Verge published a detailed exposé citing a toxic culture of mismanagement within the company. Leaving the highly touted final season of The Walking Dead unfinished comes as a big shock, as well as the hundreds of employees suddenly without work. For those affected, the hashtag TelltaleJobs is being used by recruiters at other studios.
Episode two of The Walking Dead: The Final Season is still due out tomorrow on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. It’s rated M for Mature.