Game Music to Get You Through Monday
Over the weekend, I told a friend of mine about my desire to find good game music to share with Starting Screen readers. He responded by making me listen to a host of music, most notably
Chrono Trigger's The Brink of Time. Here's the first track, which is a cover of the game's opening theme. What do you think? Quick Thoughts Tim Rogers contacted me over the weekend to share a mobile game that will be coming out this week. The name "Dandy Dungeon" initially didn't ring any bells, but as I read the description, I realized that he was talking about Brave Yamada- a game that I had positively adored at BitSummit two years ago. Rogers, it transpires, also really liked the game, and offered to localize it for Onion Games. And here we are!
If you haven't tried it, I urge you to pick it up. It matches RPG mechanics with a kind of traversal puzzle design, lovely pixel art, and a bonkers sense of humor. It was designed by veteran developer Yoshiro Kimura, whose credits include Little King's Story. Kimura is a passionate advocate for indie games in general, and Japanese development in particular. When I asked him last year why Dandy Dungeon hadn't yet come out in the west, he told me, "I wanted to make [Dandy Dungeon] for Japan because it was about Japanese indie development. It was really important for me to sell to Japanese gamers first, then I wanted to try and translate it. As a system, if someone wants to translate [Dandy Dungeon], then we're ready. But we're waiting."
Well, it seems my prayers have been answered. Now let's reward their good deed by giving them our money. If you own Android, you can find it on the Google Play store right now. It will be out on iOS this Wednesday. [Update: Despite the fact that the listing is up, Dandy Dungeons doesn't seem to be available in the U.S. yet on the Google Play Store. Hold tight until Wednesday folks!] Jeremy Parish got to interview Hajime Tabata about Final Fantasy XV recently, and one of the topics that came up was the infamous Chapter 13-a late dungeon that serves as a radical departure from the rest of the game's structure, turning it into a kind of stealth action game. Tabata admitted that "the amount of stress inflicted on the player while running through this chapter was greater than we had anticipated" and said, "Our main objective is to relieve any unintentional stress to the player and add elements that will expand the breadth of gameplay." He also talks about the relationship DLC has with story-based games like Final Fantasy XV, and how he expects things to happen going forward. Personally, I think the furor around the DLC is a little misplaced, not the least because FFXV is perfectly playable even without the patches. But maybe you disagree with me? Today in weird stuff that I get in the mail: what appears to be a hand-crafted mug featuring Lockwood from Trion's Atlas Reactor. Even if it hadn't broken in the mail (RIP, Lockwood's cigar), I probably wouldn't be inclined to actually drink out of this thing. But it got me to at least Google the game, I guess? Aside from Resident Evil 7, it's been a good couple weeks for Japanese gaming enthusiasts. Last week, Nintendo announced four new Fire Emblem games, which speaks to the franchise's elevated profile of late. This week, we're getting both Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Tales of Berseria-two franchises known for their fervent fandoms. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 is the weirder of the two packages, leaning primarily on a remastered 3DS game for its value. The rest of the package features a new but rather slight story starring Birth by Sleep's Aqua, and an hour-long movie that serves as a kind of tech demo for Kingdom Hearts 3. With this release, it's clear that Square Enix wants to keep the Kingdom Hearts train rolling, but it's been a decade since Kingdom Hearts 2. It's fair to say we're well past the point of diminishing returns. Should you buy Dragon Quest VIII for the Nintendo 3DS? This is a pertinent question in light of the fact that you can find it on iOS and PlayStation 2. I'll leave this one to Nadia, who is the acknowledged Dragon Quest expert on the site. But don't sleep on the PS2 version with a nice pair of component capables. Even today, that game still looks fine. Mecha Party: Seriously though, this Super Robot Wars V trailer. I stand by my contention that it's just filler, but no one knows how to put together a hype reel like the SRW team. The Yamato stuff is just fabulous. Even better, they're going back to the isometric look for the maps after favoring a bland 2D presentation for SRW Z. And, of course, it'll be in English. The only problem? It won't come out until after I get back from Europe. I know, boo hoo for Kat and her Europe trip, but SRW V sure would have been nice for my 12 hour flight... Apparently only 2 percent of women play sports games according to a recent survey published on Kotaku. As a woman who plays sports games, this does not surprise me. Putting aside the macho reputation these games have, they are intense, complicated experiences that don't necessarily lend themselves to easy play. The only reason I got into Madden was that I was randomly invited to an online league, which I decided to do on a lark.
Here's the thing though: Sports games are great. They're challenging, they're fun, and they lend themselves to all sorts of dumb storylines. I know there are a lot of women who are closet sports fans out there, and to those who happen to be reading my column: give them a shot! Even if you're understandably turned off by the community, there's so much more to find than sweaty dude playing sports. I mean, that part is there too, but you know... Off-topic: Having now seen the final episode of Sherlock Season 4, I concur with this article. End it now. There's nowhere left for this show to go, and I'm fine with that. It's been a fun ride.
Axe of the Blood God: Nadia and I finally got around to talking about the Switch in our latest episode of Axe of the Blood God. Not that we haven't been doing that a lot already. We also get into Fire Emblem, specifically its aforementioned return to prominence over the past couple years. As a Fire Emblem fan, I'm still reeling. Now can we please get a new Advance Wars game? Looking Ahead: We've got a lot of Resident Evil 7 coverage on the docket, so be ready. We'll be talking its return to horror, the impact of VR, and more. I'll also be continuing my Final Fantasy IV Let's Play, though I may only be able to squeeze in one part owing to the fact that I'll be traveling this week. As always, thanks for supporting USgamer, and we look forward to another great week of games coverage.