Review: Dragon Quest IX – Sentinels of the Starry Skies

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By Brittany Vincent
Contributing Writer

The Dragon Quest series’ relationship with gamers outside of Japan hasn’t exactly been a stable one, especially out West.

It’s certainly not because of quality. Memorable characters, heartwarming adventures, and artwork from Akira Toriyama create experiences just as worthy of your time and attention as any Final Fantasy title.

This is further proven in the series’ latest iteration, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies. It not only echoes what has made the Dragon Quest saga memorable, but is also the first numbered installment to receive a handheld-only release.
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Review: Alpha Protocol

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Fiction tells us the world of espionage is supposed to embody everything cool. All the guys are buff, all the women are hot, all the guns and gadgets are awesome and all the tasks have something to do with saving the world. Naturally, we want to be a part of it.

Sega’s Alpha Protocol manages to capture some of this energy. But sadly, whatever slickness it has doesn’t extend to a lot of the actual gameplay, so we’re left with yet another title that falls short of its potential.

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Review: Nier (Xbox 360)

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Nier will mess with your head, make you laugh, introduce some of the most bizarre characters you will ever see in a game, and share the unflinching love of a father for his dying daughter.

And that’s only during the first time through it before inviting you to to try for the second ending that makes you feel bad about everything that you’ve done.
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Review: Demon’s Souls

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It’s nearly winter here. The trees are mostly bare, cold winds rustle dried leaves, and everyone is getting ready to deal with the ice and snow that it inevitably brings. Around these parts, it’s a yearly ritual that brings both pain and joy to our particular corner of the world.

Demon’s Souls comes off as the season of winter pressed onto a blu-ray disc with the freezing rain, white outs, and ditched cars stuck on the side of the road that help define it. It’s usually below freezing and salted ice forms up on your mudflaps like barnacles before breaking away to leave behind a surprise for the person following you, just as an eighteen wheeler did for you a few miles earlier. Many loathe it with the kind of hate that would defrost their cars on their way in to work.

But it’s also the favorite time of the year for others that love snowball fights, ski trips, snowmen, and warming up with a mug of cocoa. I loved it when I heard that my school was one of those closed, usually because the roads had gotten so bad or that the same water main that had broken the year before had done the same thing again. But in our small world, it was a temporary reprieve, and Demon’s Souls is filled with just enough of these to find joy within its brutal season of gameplay.
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Feeling Nostalgic?

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Overworks’ Skies of Arcadia’s continues to hold a dear place in the hearts of many RPGers that have taken to the skies in the game as good hearted pirates in search of riches and adventure. Filled with memorable characters, clever sky combat, and traditional RPG gameplay on the ground, many of us are still waiting for an official sequel.

But it looks like Ignition Entertainment may have something that might be the next best thing.
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Fallout 3′s Broken Steel is actually broken

Fallout 3 fans on PCs were disappointed to discover that the newest downloadable content for the game, Broken Steel, has gone missing from Games for Windows Live. The Xbox 360 version, however, remains listed.

The reason behind this seems to be that the early birds lucky enough to grab the download in the wee hours of the morning have reported that it is plagued with several issues, some of which prevent it from being completed. An active thread on Bethesda’s official forum is currently tracking the problems that upset users are more than happy to share.

VG247 has a statement from a Bethesda spokesperson who points the blame at the DRM used by Games for Windows Live, the delivery service through which users can purchase Broken Steel.

Bethesda Softworks has yet to officially acknowledge the problems or issue a statement or their own site or within their forums concerning the reasons for why the content was apparently pulled.

UPDATE: Sites such as Planet Fallout and, earlier today, Eurogamer, have confirmed that the issue is connected to the DRM installed via Games for Windows Live.

In related news, no one is surprised.

Fallout 3′s Broken Steel Spread

Aside from the news that Obsidian and Bethesda have teamed up to create a new Fallout adventure, New Vegas, screenshots that drop off a few hints as to what fans can expect from the latest DLC for Fallout 3, Broken Steel, have also made it into the wild.

Along with the pics, more info concerning what players will have to look forward to have also been leaked:

  • Level cap moved from 20 to 30 with new perks added in
  • New weapons, including something called a “tri-laser” and the ominous Tesla Cannon
  • Battle across the DC Wasteland against the forces of the Enclave
  • New monsters including the Ghoul Reapers and a new Super Mutant

It sounds like there will be plenty to keep players busy over the four to five hours of estimated playthrough for the DLC and with new toys, quests, and perks, it could be a lot of fun.

The Pitt might have given me pause, but Broken Steel sounds like it could sweep the problems I had with it far behind me.

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More pics after the jump!
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Final Fantasy XIII Demo is Out in Japan…

…and it looks incredibly amazing. I can’t help but think, though, that before Phantasy Star decided to go the route that it did and went another way instead, the heavily industrialized and sci-fi tinted world of FFXIII might have been the result.

The demo was given out with the blu-ray release of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete in Japan on the 16th (their time) and it didn’t take long for this to hit the ‘net afterwards thanks to an enterprising fan. However, it’s not the final build of the game that we’ll be seeing, but one based off of an older version instead.

At least, that’s what Square Enix has said according to info gleaned from Final Fantasy fansite, Final Fantasy Union, who go on to basically say that the demo…as incomplete as it has been made out to be…was simply added to the blu-ray release in order to boost sales.

Still, the footage is amazing stuff for any Final Fantasy fan hungry to see anything on the game. Marketing ploy or not, one could say that it has served its purpose by getting plenty of Final Fantasy fanatics debating every detail revealed within it from the sci-fi look of the series to the already-dubbed “Chocofro” of one of the characters.

So be sure to pull up a chair and get ready for nearly fifty or so minutes of footage broken up across five videos, the first of which is below and the rest are linked after the jump. And there’s one more tantalizing piece of info: at the end, a release date of Winter 2009 is revealed, although that is likely to pertain to the Japanese PS3 release date.

It’s still good stuff but be warned: subtitles not included.


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