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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 shows that time isn’t the best healer

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 14:02 GMT By Dave Cook

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 puts players against the clock and drastically changes the tried format. VG247′s Dave Cook has been playing a recent preview build to find that time doesn’t always mend old wounds.

”Things do improve once you start to understand the demands of the time format and how to act efficiently, but you’re still sprinting between quests with obedience, stopping every so often to refill Lighting’s run stamina and cursing that bloody clock.”

Is the Final Fantasy series suffering from an identity crisis? That all depends on who you ask. Comparing the Fabula Nova Crystallis trilogy with the PSone classics certainly reveals a canyon of difference. Gone are the turn-based battles and world map exploration, replaced with reigned-in environments and fluid, oddly-named combat mechanics. It could be argued that Square Enix is simply keeping up with the times, but elements of Lightning Return’s odd design have left this critic feeling puzzled, and at times, disappointed.

I didn’t feel disappointment because the game is outwardly bad, but because there is a glimmer of a smart concept beneath the poorly-scripted exposition, unfortunate design flaws and at times, awkward combat. There was enough substance in the preview build I played to keep me keen for its full release, but I do have several concerns going forward. But first, some context.

The plot opens 500 years after the events of Final Fantasy 13-2 with the world teetering on the bring of ruin. Lightning awakens after a long slumber to find she has been chosen as god’s saviour, charged with saving as many souls as possible and ferrying them to the new world. With 13 days on the clock and plenty of obstacles in her way, the pink-haired hero certainly has a grand task ahead of her. In short; it’s Final Fantasy-meets-Dead Rising 3, a polarising blend if ever I’ve seen one.

At this point you need to ask yourself, ‘What does the Final Fantasy series mean to me?’ Personally, it’s all about turn-based battles, running around in circles for hours to trigger random encounters and leisurely exploring vast world maps on the back of a Chocobo. That’s a very different proposition to what’s being served up here. Time is always against you, forcing you to sprint around each of the world’s open regions.

At the outset you’re asked to dash around the city of Luxerion, rushing from one dull fetch quest to the next. The idea is that by completing tasks you remove the darkness from the quest-giver’s heart, saving their soul and earning you Eradia. At 6am every day Lightning is transported back to the Ark, a safe haven constructed by returning character Hope Estheim. Here, you’ll bank all Eradia earned to wind back the doomsday clock and get a daily helping of plot waffle from Hope himself.

You start with five days until world’s end, but if you’re quick and efficient you can bring the clock back to a full 13. These quests can prove incredibly tedious however. One key mission sees you trying to find five hidden numbers painted on walls around the city of Luxerion. To narrow down their location you need to gather information by speaking with NPCs; a lot of them. The final number happens to be locked behind a gate that only opens between the hours of 00:00 and 06:00.

So if you’re super-efficient and find yourself having to wait until midnight for the last number, you could hop the train to one of the Outerworld areas like the Wildlands or Dead Dunes. It’s a half-hour journey to the Wildlands, so you need to be wary of how long it takes to get here and back, on top of everything you plan to do while there. Add to this the fact that certain NPCs only appear at specific times, and some areas are open between set hours and you have a disorganised person’s idea of a waking nightmare. This is pressure I personally don’t want in my Final Fantasy experience. It feels out of place, but I respect the fact that you might enjoy the mechanic.

If you need some respite from times cruel flow you can also use Chronostasis to halt the flow of time. it’s one of several skills Lightning can trigger using AP points, which are earned through battle. While active, everything linked to the time mechanic will halt, which is useful if you need a few extra minutes to reach an NPC that’s about to leave their position, or pass through a time-release door before it closes. You can also spend AP on healing Lighting with Curaga, entering Overclock mode – that lets you unleash rapid attacks – and revive after death. AP also lets you flee battle at no cost, but it does add an hour onto the clock.


This is what I’m talking about. Everything feels like a time trial.

The numbers quest mentioned above is truly frustrating; an error of design. I spent ages walking down uninspired back alleys in search of NPCs while sweating profusely over all the time I was wasting. Another example saw me searching for a fabled white Chocobo in the Wildlands by first speaking with NPCs (do you see the pattern yet?) and then searching some airship wreckage for its trail. I found it wounded next to a snarling beast far too strong for my current level. I couldn’t beat it so had to return to Luxerion defeated, having wasted a ton of time on a simple beginner’s trap.

Another example much later in the Dead Dunes saw Lightning venturing into ruins in search of relics. I fought my way in after passing some relatively simple encounters, picked up the object and turned around to find my way back blocked by unavoidable, much tougher enemies. I barely made it out of there alive, and had to reload my save to start the fights over multiple times because I was ill-equipped. That’s simply poor design. I was lucky enough to have saved my progress just before the battle. Otherwise I’d have to go a long way back.

That’s when it hit me: this game has been designed for multiple play-throughs, just like Dead Rising. I’ve looked at Japanese speed-runs of this game on YouTube that show players sprinting to objectives with prior knowledge, each taking very little time at all, avoiding all the pitfalls. The same is apparent in the combat system. On your first pass, you’ll struggle to defeat what would commonly be regarded as a simple enemy without a long, drawn-out fight. It’s lucky then, that the doomsday clock pauses while in battle.

Lightning’s ability to switch outfits does more than fuel the Final Fantasy cosplay scene; it works a bit like Final Fantasy X-2′s Dressphere system. Creating garbs is perhaps equally the smartest and silliest aspect of combat, but it comes with a great degree of customisation. Creating an outfit – or ‘Schemata’ – starts with a base garb, which often includes an embedded buff or skill. The Red Mage coat comes with a Max HP boost of 150, for example. From there you can add a sword, shield, accessories and attacks bought at stores or forged using synthesis.

You can, naturally, add cosmetic items on top of the useful clothing – such as pink heart hair clips or a Carbuncle plushie – but they bear no impact on Lightning’s performance. The fact that she’s being treated like a dress-up doll didn’t sit quite right with me, but this isn’t the place for that discussion. You’ll do little fighting in the first few hours as you scramble around making people happy, but as you progress you’ll need to create a balanced stock of Schemata types and skill load-outs that support one another. As such, the combat does improve over time, and that keeps me somewhat hopeful for the final build.


Finding new base garments is actually quite exciting. Not in that way, pervert.

With three active Schemeta at any one time, you’re actually taking three characters into battle instead of one, seeing as each of Lightning’s outfits has its own ATB meter and only one health bar. Once the bar is depleted it’s game over. Annoyingly, you can only carry a set number of restorative items at one time – six at last count, although I suspect this may increase over time. I tended to go for at least four X-Potions and two Phoenix Downs to cover myself, but you’ll start to rue Square’s design once you get knocked out during an impassable fight without another Phoenix Down to hand. I still don’t fully understand why this item restriction has been forced on players, I really don’t.

The key to winning battles is staggering your opponent, which is a returning feature from previous Final Fantasy 13 games. Using Lightning’s Libra skill or through primers bought at stores, you can view a creature’s stagger condition and weaknesses. Even using these conditions I found battles against simple monsters lengthy and arduous. Things even out once you level up – you level up by completing quests this time, not by grinding battles – and I even watched another Japanese play-through of one particularly laborious boss battle, only to see a new game+ completionist coast through it with ease.

I couldn’t help but feel that combat was intentionally tough at the outset to encourage repeat play. At first I thought I was missing something or that perhaps my parry timing was all wrong, but I double-checked Libra, the YouTube video and the game’s rules again to find that it was just the way of things. I wasn’t having fun at the start. However, you’ll relax more once you start to understand the demands of the time and battle mechanics. You’ll also fight and race between tasks with increasing efficiency as you level up and unlock new shortcuts.

Opening a new map route by completing a key quest is actually really gratifying in a way Dark Souls fans appreciate. This game will make you work for such luxuries, so in a way this is perhaps the most ‘hardcore’ entry to the series yet – for lack of a better term. There’s a lot still sprinting between quests with obedience in here, and it really does get old fast when you stop occasionally to refill Lighting’s run stamina, or listen to more exposition-laden drivel, all the while cursing that bloody clock. This is not a game for everyone, that much is clear.

As our regular readers are aware, we at VG247 are not in the business of typical previews; so please do treat this as one veteran Final Fantasy fan’s opinion. I also appreciate that many of you out there really dig the Dead Rising time format, so if that sounds like you there’s every chance you’ll get some sort of kick out of the game. I’ve also spoken at length about why the Dead Rising time management dynamic is not for me in this article.

To me, the most compelling aspect of this game was it’s harrowing tone, which really does bring across the bleak outlook of humanity staring into oblivion. It’s the end of days, and at times it really does feel like it. I’m yet to run out the clock, but I suspect those last few moments before the apocalypse starts are quite sombre; perhaps even reflective. Regrettably, I have to admit that Lightning Returns hasn’t fully grabbed me yet, but I will certainly be giving it a solid try again at launch, purely because I’m still a fan of the series.

It may grow on me during a second pass, but let us know what you think of Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy 13 so far below.

Disclosure: To assist in writing this article, Square Enix sent Dave a PS3 debug copy of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13.

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19 Comments

  1. Telepathic.Geometry

    Dave man, as a matter of interest, what did you think of FF XIII? I got it cheap and am playing through it now, and I kind of hate it. It’s as if the goal of the devs’ was to un-streamline the game so that virtually every task in the game takes too much time.

    Battles were too fucking slow, traveling was too long, cutscenes were too many, gil was too little, CP was too mean… Even swapping out characters and having to re-equip them took too much time.

    It sounds like this Lightning Returns is another Squeenix train-wreck of shitty game design…

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 I liked it, but only because of its endgame (which is longer than the main quest). That’s the full experience IMO, and it gets a bit ‘Monster Hunter’ as you hunt beasts in the wilds. I invested a shit-ton of time into it at launch, although admittedly it may have aged horribly by this time.

    I even liked 13-2′s history-altering mechanic. In Lightning that ever-ticking clock just feels claustrophobic. I’m still playing the build I’ve got after 8+ hours and may do a follow-up come review-time.

    Any questions folks…ask away? I’m here.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Clupula

    Dave, you didn’t know before playing that it expects you to go through it several times? That was the very first thing I heard about it. That it does the Majora’s Mask thing.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @3 I know you ‘could’ not that you were ‘expected’ to. I’m not a fan of having my hand tipped to replay. I’ll only do that if I enjoyed it the first time to be fair. I’m going to keep going. Just did one area that’s up there with the Water Temple in terms of annoyance. Many trips back to the title screen to reload…which is a shame as some bits – combat, schemata – shine brighter with each passing hour.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Telepathic.Geometry

    Jayzus… You’re a better man than me. I’m in the end-game now, fighting Gui Longs, and… it’s too slow. I actually want to take on all of the marks, but it takes me so long to get from A to B, even with warps, that I can barely be arsed. And fighting them is usually the same few strategems, until you eventually take down their enormous life-bars. And…

    I’ll just stop right there, I’m being too negative.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Clupula

    @4 – I dunno. Call me crazy, but I’m really looking forward to that aspect, provided there’s some different paths the story could take, depending on what you’ve done.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. salarta

    @2: “Any questions folks…ask away? I’m here.”

    What’s the best way to make a ham and cheese sandwich? :)

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Junior

    @salarta, take the ham out and add fresh tomato and basil

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @7 You make it naked.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Moonwalker1982

    If there’s one thing i hate in games, it’s time limits, oh my. I want to be able to take my time.

    By the way, FF15 will not be turn-based either, right? Is it like Ni No Kuni where you can just freely run around and attack when you want?

    #10 1 year ago
  11. salarta

    @8,9: Thanks, Junior and Dave! It worked so well that I’m now snowboarding off Mount Everest with a can of Mountain Dew in my hand!

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Junior

    @ mmonwalker, due to who is running ff15, everyone’s guess is that it will be similar to kingdom hearts.

    Ni no kuni battle system is nothing new on ff world. FF 11, 12, 13 and 14 is like that already

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Clupula

    Actually, it’s not a guess. Nomura has said, flatout, that it plays like Kingdom Hearts. So, FFXV will be an action RPG.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. salarta

    And FF15 will be the first main single-player Final Fantasy game Squeenix has made since FF12.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. FoureyesZero

    I saw the ending of the japanese version of the game online a while back and its a train wreck.
    Just when you think they couldn’t screw up any more than they have they do in epic fashion.
    Final fantasy used to be a landmark franchise.
    But as soon as we began the ps3 xbox 360 generation the whole thing just became irrelevant.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. L.H.

    “With three active Schemeta at any one time, you’re actually taking three characters into battle instead of one, seeing as each of Lightning’s outfits has its own health bar. Once all three bars are depleted it’s game over.”

    Wow. Just wow. The person who wrote this article simply never played the game. This is completely and blatantly wrong.

    Each Schema has its own separate ATB meter. Lightning’s HP is universal across Schemata; while you can have garbs with higher HP values, changing to a garb with higher or lower max HP retains the percentage of HP remaining.

    This is such a blatant and egregious error that it is simply impossible for Dave Cook to have played the game.

    Not to mention, Cook doesn’t say anything about Chronostasis, an ability that lets you stop time for a while—a massive boon with timed quests.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Dave Cook

    @16 I wrote it, and what you said here – “while you can have garbs with higher HP values” is actually what I meant to say. Thanks for spotting my error. I’ll fix it now and add a line about Chronostasis in.

    EDIT: Done. How many game writers can you say would actually listen and admit little errors like this, *then* fix them for you? Not many I can tell you that.

    Thanks.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Dave Cook

    Fixed, thank you. Perhaps being a bit more polite about it next time might have be more helpful.

    Also Chronostasis isn’t all that helpful, IMO, especially in the Dead Dunes with the time locked doors, because they too freeze when you pause time, meaning you have to wait for the effect to end before going down the desired route. It was a pain.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. wicktus

    “shows that time isn’t the best healer”

    -> That’s true for the whole Final fantasy serie too ^^ !

    #19 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.

  • Journey, Flower, flOw trilogy to be released this summer on PS4 in 1080p at 60fps

    A remastered version of the Journey Collector’s Edition is coming to PlayStation 4 from ThatGameCompany. According to Gamespot, the trilogy will contain PS3 titles flOw, Flower and Journey on one disc, and it will run in 1080p at 60fps. A standalone version of Journey will arrive close to the trilogy’s release on PS4 through the […]

  • Here’s a few screenshots of PS4-exclusive Alienation from Housemarque

    Screenshots for Alienation, Housemarque’s four-player co-op PlayStation 4 exclusive, have been released and you can have a look at them in the gallery we’ve posted. Announced at gamescom 2014, the game features three main character classes, weapon customization, and various team set-ups. The game has players shooting at things with twin-stick gameplay with a top […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront website notes November 17 release, teaser video and first image hit

    The first Star Wars: Battlefront image has been posted, and apparently it appeared on the official website at some point this morning. The game will also be released on November 17, according to the official website’s source code. The release date is noted in the code located in the image below. Props to Gematsu for […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is the fastest selling entry in the series to date

    Mortal Kombat X has sold faster than any other game in the series to date, making it the “biggest launch” in Mortal Kombat history, according to creator Ed Boon. Speaking in a series of tweets, Boon said both the mobile and console versions have “literally millions of players getting online” resulting in the servers being […]

  • Shadow of the Beast reboot resurfaces with some new screenshots

    The Shadow of the Beast reboot, which was announced in 2013, has show its face once more with early screenshots. Screenshots of the Amiga classic remake show off the Karamoon’s desert and the main character, Aarbron. According Matt Birch, CEO and founder of Heavy Spectrum, the team is currently hard at work on the “core […]

  • Halo: Spartan Strike arrives on Windows 8, iOS and Steam today

    Halo: Spartan Strike is now available on Windows 8, Steam, iOS devices and Windows 8 phones. The mobile top-down shooter will run you $5.99. Halo: Spartan Strike tells a new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. Those playing on Windows 8 devices can compete […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video shows highlights from the Episdoe Duscae demo

    Square Enix has released a Final Fantasy 15 video which shows highlights from the Episode Duscae demo included with launch editions of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. FFT0 has shipped over one million copies worldwide, and a player feedback survey is available for the Duscae demo until May 19. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is available on PlayStation […]

  • Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since release – SuperData

    PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since it was released on March 24, according to SuperData’s latest report. The figure produced by SuperData is worldwide and comes on the heels of the one million units sold announcement earlier this week. “After the release of the beautiful but terribly short game The […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Mega May returns, Super Smash Bros. update, Mii Fighter costumes

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a Super Smash Bros. update and the StreetPass Mii Plaza games Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. The update is rather detailed, and a bit larger than normal, and you may wish to pay special attention to the activities listed. Here’s the full update: StreetPass […]

  • Here’s your first look at Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida in Super Time Force Ultra

    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront gameplay reveal to be streamed live, new Instagram tease

    The Star Wars Battlefront gameplay reveal will be live-streamed during a panel hosted by EA as part of the Star Wars Celebration festivities this Friday. This is according to an announcement from Verizon and Disney courtesy of MP1ST. The main stream for the event kicks off at 10am PDT/1pm EDT on Thursday, April 16. It […]

  • GameStop to launch retro game and console trade-in experiment

    GameStop wants to get into the retro game and console business, providing it’s a worthwhile endeavor. To test the possibility, it will soon allow customers in Birmingham, Alabama and New York City to trade-in classic consoles and games in-store. Speaking with IGN, a spokesperson for the company said the initiative will kick off on April […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch addresses five priority issues requested by the community

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch is in the works, and today, Visceral Games has added Punkbuster and Nvidia DirectX driver fixes to the list of issues to be addressed. Miscellaneous fixes for “the most frequent crashes” will be included in the patch, as well as the following “top five priority” issues voiced by the community. Punkbuster […]

  • GTA 5 user videos: Franklin’s exploits, a traffic jam tickle our funny bone

    Since GTA 5 was released on PC this week, the amount of videos being created with the new editing tools are releasing at a quick rate. Below, are three in particular I found amusing. The first one is from James McVinnie, originally posted on Reddit, showing what occurs after he happens upon vehicles in a […]

  • Invisible Inc. is coming to PS4 and has left Steam Early Access

    Invisible Inc., from Don’t Starve developers Klei Entertainment, has been announced for PlayStation 4 and the game has also a release date on PC. The game has now left Steam Early Access and will arrive on PC May 12. Per a post from studio founder Jamie Cheng on the PS Blog, the game will contain […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC dated for PC and PlayStation

    The Ascendance DLC pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare now has a release date for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4. It contains four new maps, the OHM 2-in-1 directed energy light machine gun, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the new Exo Grapple ability and playlist. The Infection episode of the exo Zombies saga […]

  • Killing Floor 2 PC specs and Digital Deluxe Edition contents announced by Tripwire

    A Digital Deluxe Edition for Killing Floor 2 along with PC specs for the title have been announced, along with the new of a Steam Early Access launch later this month. According to Tripwire Interactive, the Digital Deluxe Edition will run you $39.99/£26.99/€36.99 starting on April 21 on Steam. This edition contains the following additions […]

  • Content in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood tips its hat to Return to Castle Wolfenstein

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, the standalone prequel to last year’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, will contain a few nods to the franchise classic Return to Castle Wolfenstein, according to the developers. According to developer MachineGames, the setting works “well with the pulp B-movie thing we’re going for,” and created a prequel instead of DLC for […]

  • Bloodborne is the latest to receive the Honest Game Trailers treatment

    Smosh Games has released another entry in its Honest Game Trailers series, and this time, it’s poking Bloodborne. According to the trailer, the game is “more disturbing” than the scene in South Park: The Stick of Truth where you are “crushed by your own Dad’s balls.” It also has more “stupid top hats than a […]