Mar 242012
 
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As we discovered in our our preview last summer, Funcom’s The Secret World aims to differentiate itself from other MMORPGs by ditching the customary class and level-based character progression system in favor of something a little more jazz.

JoystiqThe Secret World dev diary details ‘freeform progression’ originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 24 Mar 2012 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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 Posted by at 9:00 pm
Mar 242012
 

Just four days into the start of spring and my allergies are already in full bloom! With my nose dripping like a leaky faucet and my throat feeling like extra-coarse sandpaper, I plan to keep a low profile this weekend and catch up on my backlog.

Gaming news was light this week, headlined by first official news of LittleBigPlanet Karting and other top stories you can find below. And we saw smattering of other big news with the announcement of Epic Mickey 2, a new trivia-themed episode of The Tester 3, and a new enemy for the BioShock Infinite menagerie.

What are you playing this weekend?

The PlayStation Recap – PlayStation.Blog

Most-Watched Video of the Week: Quantic Dream’s “Kara”: Behind the Scenes

The 10 Most-Viewed Posts of the Week

  • PlayStation Store Update – Rayman 3 HD, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Warriors Orochi 3, Sumioni: Demon Arts for PS Vita, big discounts on Final Fantasy and more.
  • LittleBigPlanet Karting is Coming to PS3! – The legends are true! Sackboy is set to get behind the wheel this year in a kart racer from United Front Games.
  • Special DUST 514 Event Comes to PlayStation Home – PS3′s exclusive multiplayer shooter got the red carpet treatment in Home this week. Who tuned in?
  • February 2012 PSN Top Sellers: The Simpsons, Escape Plan Soar – The latest PSN sales data includes PS Vita downloadable titles for the first time.
  • First Look at Resistance: Burning Skies Story Trailer – Includes a sneak peek at a new weapon and enemy, the monstrous Executioner.
  • The Making of Kara: Behind the Scenes of Quantic Dream’s PS3 Tech Demo – Kara isn’t Quantic Dream’s next game, but it has captured the hearts and minds of gamers. See how Kara was made with this intriguing featurette.
  • Sumioni: Demon Arts Inks Its Way to PS Vita Today – XSEED’s action platformer uses PS Vita’s touchscreen in some interesting ways — if you picked it up, let us know what you think!
  • Foosball 2012 Coming to PS3 and PS Vita, with PS Move Support and Cross Play – It’s okay to feel skeptical, but you’ve got to watch the video before making any snap judgments.
  • Starhawk Brings Back Splitscreen Head-to-Head and Co-op Multiplayer – Starhawk’s senior producer outlines the game’s approach to splitscreen gaming and confirms dual PSN logins.
  • Putting the Finishing Touches on Starhawk – Our very own Rey Gutierrez shot this eye-catching behind-the-scenes featurette showing the final hours of development.

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     Posted by at 6:00 pm
    Mar 242012
     

    Do you think there’s a chance that Pokemon X Nobunaga’s Ambition could be localized? Don’t bother asking Nintendo, because they aren’t willing to talk about it yet. They haven’t confirmed or denied the possibility, they just stated that no announcements have been made. I guess that’s better than a flat-out denial.

    Link


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     Posted by at 6:00 pm
    Mar 242012
     

    Wondering when Wii U talk is going to open up? Are we going to have to wait until E3 to get our first real information? Rumor has it that there will be an embargo for some Wii info on March 26th. If that’s true, I don’t know what to expect on that date, but I wouldn’t prepare for a big list of info. Just a few third party tidbits, much like what lead into the Wii E3 full reveal.

    Link


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     Posted by at 6:00 pm
    Mar 242012
     

    The skinny on the franchise that’s been scaring our pants off since 1996…
    Resident Evil is one of the games industry’s most revered franchises.

    Click here to read the full article


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     Posted by at 3:30 pm
    Mar 242012
     

    Welcome to Winter Watch, a look at the latest anime season. Among the many shows being broadcast, Nisemonogatari is perhaps the most anticipated one as it is a direct sequel to fan favorite Bakemonogatari.

    Episode 10 & 11: Tsukihi Phoenix, Part 3 & Part 4

    Summary: After a brutal attack on Tsukihi, Koyomi and Shinobu team up to take down Yoduru and Yotsugi.

    Air Date: March 10 & 17, 2012

    Run Time: 24:10

    Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episodes here first.

    The finish line is in sight.
    The finish line is in sight.

    Shinobu alerts Koyomi to a doughnut sale and the two head out to pick up a few treats. Before leaving, however, Koyomi notices that Tsukihi seems to be missing a scar and decides to strip her to confirm his observation. Afterwards, he and Shinobu head toward the doughnut store where they discuss the two odd women that they came across in the previous episode, Yoduruand Yotsugi, but are startled to discover Kaiki sitting behind them enjoying the sale as well. After a brief discussion, Koyomi and Shinobu head home and are surprised to find Yoduru and Yotsugi there and ringing the doorbell. Koyomi is confused by their statement that they aren’t there for him, but finds out their true intentions too late as Tsukihi opens the door and is immediately bisected by Yotsugi. Enraged, Koyomi goes on the attack but is quickly defeated by Yoduru, who takes the opportunity to point out that Tsukihi has been magically healed of her injuries and that she is actually a supernatural creature. Having said that, she agrees to confront Shinobu and Koyomi on a later date and leaves. Later, Shinobu explains that Tsukihi is actually a supernatural phoenix that crept into her mother’s womb when she was pregnant and was born as Koyomi’s sister. Koyomi accepts this and leaves with Shinobu to face off against Yoduru and Yotsugi. The battle is short lived as Koyomi finds himself unwilling to fight Yoduru with his full potential and Yotsugi proves no match against a fully powered Shinobu. After saying that he loves his sister, no matter who or what she is, Yoduru and Yotsugi agree to let things stand as they are and leave the city.

    Shinobu REALLY likes doughnuts.
    Shinobu REALLY likes doughnuts.

    If you’re as much of a Shinobu fan as I am, you’re in for a treat as she is heavily featured in both of these episodes in two distinctly different ways. Episode 10 kicks off with Shinobu alerting Koyomi that her sleuthing skills and data gathering have led her to a critical piece of information: there is a doughnut sale going on. What follows is easily the cutest scene she’s been in so far as she isliterally like a kid at a candy store once she enters the doughnut shop. At times, the imagery is straight out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Shinobu floating through a fantasy land filled with massive, human-sized doughnuts with sparks of joy and smiles for days. If moe doesn’t really float your boat, fear not, for smack talking, ass-kicking Shinobu shows up in full force later in the episode to protect Koyomi and Tsukihi. In episode 11, an adult-sized Shinobu makes an appearance (while alluded to previously, I thought that she was permanently stuck as a child) to talk the talk and walk the walk against Yotsugi, whom she beats the living daylights out of in an offscreen battle. Either way, Shinobu is awesome in these episodes and they left excited to see the upcomingKizumonogatari feature film that tells her origin story.

    No worries, Tsukihi shows up in a major way.
    No worries, Tsukihi shows up in a major way.

    In the previous article I speculated that the series might do a bit of trolling and keep most of the Tsukihi related content off screen. I’m happy to report that I was totally wrong about that. Unfortunately, we get a tricky incest scene involving Koyomi and Tsukihi, but it is short lived. More important, however, was the reveal that Tsukihi is and has always been an immortal supernatural creature and what that did for the story. Shinobu’s explanation of Tsukihi’s origin was one of the more poignant scenes in the entire series, filled with the beautiful artwork that the show is known for. Additionally, I found the story and lore of it to be a genuinely interesting tale in both concept and execution. It also led to Koyomi having to deal with what he would do with this information and whether or not he would reject his sister, having found out that she has never been what he thought she was. Koyomi’s decision to love her no matter what was a touching scene of platonic brother-sister love that I could relate to on a personal level with my half-siblings by my father and stepmother.

    Verdict

    Nisemono takes its place at the head of the class.
    Nisemono takes its place at the head of the class.

    Nisemonogatari closes out on two of its best episodes in a series filled with great episodes. The combat sequences in both were visually impressive, but that was simply one of the plethora of things that makes them great. The combination of story, characters, art, and animation come together like Voltron to deliver something far greater than the sum of it’s parts and offers an experience that may be similar to others in some regards, but is executed at a level far higher than anything else I’ve seen in its genre. That applies to both these episodes and the series as a whole. Nisemonogatari is an ecchi, moe, harem series with some bits of action in it. On paper, this is something that’s been done ad nauseum a hundred times before. What separates it from the pack is quality. The arty style is vivid and unique rather than bland and generic, the writing and dialog are consistently top notch rather than merely good enough to get you from one panty shot or breast jiggle to the next, and the animation is always high caliber rather than just a scene or two here and there. Nisemonogatari is a harem show made by people who never bought into the idea that harem means you have to do nearly every technical and artistic area of creation and production at a poor level. Its genres certainly aren’t for everyone and some of the content is undeniably risque, but this show has been pretty fantastic on a regular basis, which is rare for any medium. It’s an easy recommendation from me to anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in the genres it falls into.

    Watch on Crunchyroll

    Additional Nisemonogatari Articles & Blogs

    - William Taylor (sickvisionz) is lazy by nature, procrastinator by trade. You can also find him on Twitter @mrsickvisionzand on Tumblr at In My Lifetime

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     Posted by at 2:00 pm