Friday, April 29, 2011

Aksys announces Bit.Trip Saga for 3DS

I may have missed the Bit.Trip titles in the passed, as I am sure others have. It is one of those games I regret not getting into, fear not though because I just found out Aksys Games will be releasing all six games on the 3DS for the 3D gamer on the go.

Driver San Francisco asks "How You Like Me Now?"

With the upcoming Driver title coming out this Summer, set in San Francisco, we now have a story trailer to fill us in as to what is going on in this game. I mean over and beyond being the Wheelman that many loved on the PS One. Not too bad looking and the story looks pretty good too.

Mortal Kombat Music Video appears with Jace Hall

That oldie but goodie, Mortal Kombat song from back when I was still in high school has had a face lift with rap verses while still having the same background music and a fast moving video. GET OVER HERE and check it out---toastie!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

E3 confirmed, room booked, road trip ready, and the countdown begins!

That's right folks, after going by myself last year, trying to cover as much as I can as one person on a mission full of booth babes, celebrity sightings, game reveals, NBA finals, parties, and riots, I have decided not to attempt the event alone this year. Your Arizona located independent gaming journo's Dominic, Joey, and new to the crew, Kevin will be taking the show by storm bringing you as much as they possibly can over the course of three know as long as it isn't being run by Sony and the network doesn't come crashing down like a levy. With just a hair over a month left, the countdown has begun, hope to see y'all there!

To celebrate their fifth anniversary, rabbids crash royal wedding

That's right, those cute little bastards brought to us by the Ubi folk have released a short clip of just how to crash royal events. Rabbid videos never cease to bring a smile to my face, especially in this dire need for a pick me up as I sit in fear about whether some PS3 hacker has my identity. Anyways, check out this quircky video and see what is to come from these zany critters.

Seriously Sony...WTF?!?

Okay, I'm not one to piss and moan about industry news...who am I kidding, I am a critic, its what I do, but I am sure I am not the only one torn on who is to blame in this past week of not being able to play two of the biggest games that I deliberately went out and purchased for the PS3 over the Xbox 360. Those titles being Mortal Kombat and Portal 2, both amazing single player experiences and offering great exclusives for the console that doesn't get much attention from me, but I am torn as to my next plan of action after the latest news regarding Sony's handling of the fubar'd security.

Those living under a rock, here is the short explanation, Sony's PlayStation Network has been hacked, been down for a week now, allegedly lost their user's personal information including credit card information, and to top it all off, I can't link Portal 2 to Steam to play coop in the interim on PC, and now that I am tiring from single player of Mortal Kombat, I can't get online to play that either. Here is my dilemma, are user's really entitled to anything being that non-plus users do not pay to play online. After spending 120 dollars of my hard earned money, I cannot play them online, and my main intention of getting these on the PS3 over the 360 was due to their exclusive contact to the console. I am sure that I am not the only one feeling the pain, but I am torn as to whether I trade them in, wait it out, set my PS3 in flames, wish bad things on Sony...too late.

Coming from a customer service background, these things happen, it's sad but true. My issue is with the way Sony has gone about handling the PR nightmare, they haven't. First we are told that it is an update, then external intrusion, and now personal information is gone, to top it all off, there is no end in sight. Come on Sony, you have millions of fans and whether you lose them or not, step it up because not only are the gamers get royally screwed but how about those game developers like Warner Bros and Valve, who went to the effort of giving your consoles exclusive content only to have their fan base in a fit of rage.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Get over here for the MashButtons review of Mortal Kombat

That’s right fighters; you now have a reason to stop playing Super Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, with the brutal release of the long standing franchise of brutal brawls, this time without DC characters. Mortal Kombat is back and it has something to prove, going back to its roots with so much polish to make you wonder, where has it been while forgetting the names like Ken and Ryu. The newest entry has a slew of new features consisting of but not limited to a new storyline that rewrites the game’s history, 3D environments and characters, multiplayer (1 on 1 and two or four player tag team), and fatalities that would make all the previous entries queasy. For the few that play for the story, it is Raiden’s last chance to undo Shao Kahn’s victory by going back in time and taking him down when he is most vulnerable, so get ready for our hands on review.

Where do I start, it is a very solid fighter, with fast fluid moves and combos, reminiscent to when I would throw away quarters in the arcade, back when the fatalities were cringe worthy. There are still various ways to finish your opponent with multiple fatalities, but as stated, they look oh so much prettier now. The roster is also packed with variety depending on your fighting preference and how much skin you like to see, also the PlayStation 3 version has the exclusive playable character Kratos, though when playing as the God of War, he seemed a bit nerfed, compared to when you were on your rampage in the action titles. Unlockables are very plentiful much like some of the more recent non arcade renditions of the MK of old, ranging from VS codes entered by both players, secret battles, costumes, fatalities, artwork, and music which can be acquired by spending koins earned in battle. There are plenty of game modes, such as story, challenge tower, online, and quick play, most are all equally addicting. The online is a lot of fun and pretty fast when it comes to finding matches, whether you play tag team or one on one, with little to no lag in the time I played before the PSN network went down preventing me from logging in.

Though a blast from the time I would pick up through the hours spent before putting down, I did endure some painful times, the biggest by far would be the "external intrusion" to Sony's servers preventing online play. There is plenty to do without being online in this game, but online is my biggest reason for getting so addicted to titles in this genre. The gameplay looks better than the CGI movies in the story mode, the fighters do not look right at times and the voice acting became painful when I realized I could not skip what the developer stated to be eight plus hours. The good part of the story mode would definitely be the amount of points accrued while playing through to be used in the Krypt, hoping to unlock more fatalities. Inputs are a bit touchy on the execution of combinations, making it hard to lay down the moves when you are repeatedly entering the commands at different paces hoping to execute just one more before time runs out in the challenge tower.

Now, for those of you that want to see what my overall take is, I love it, almost to the point that if Sony does not get their servers straightened out, I will quickly be running to the nearest retail store to pick up the 360 version. The console versions do not differ, aside from the exclusive character and controller preferences. Aside from having to figure out which console to buy this for, this IS the Mortal Kombat we have all wanted for oh so long and as long as there is a strong online community for it, I will be playing this for a long, long time. The other reason to keep coming back is the amount of DLC that is being suggested. This has been something we have seen before, but with the amount of emphasis on characters and gameplay modes, I am looking forward to seeing what is to come. gives Mortal Kombat for the PS3 a worthy 9 out of 10.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Get your glowsticks ready for Child of Eden trailer

Our good friends over at Ubisoft have proivided us with the new trailer for their upcoming Kinect title, Child of Eden. Though vibrant and soothing looking and sounding, those that haven't been following would not know what this is. Child of Eden is multi sensory shooter full of synthesized music and pretty, pretty visual. Expect to see this in stores for the Xbox 360 on June 14th and PS3 in September 2011.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Prey on these new screens from Prey 2

Bethesda has been putting out new content faster than we can post; bad for my carpel tunnel, but good for us gamers!  Here's the latest from the upcoming sequel to the 2006 Prey.  Bethesda took over publishing duties from 2K, while developer Human Head Studios continues as lead on the project.  The first title was a critically praised but took a while for it to truly become successful.  It's not a game most people remember as a stand-out from 2006 (same year as the Epic release Gears of War).

I personally never had a chance to play it, I tried the demo that I liked (it even included pre-Portal-like teleportation game-play devices that truly set the game a part); I think now I'll have to pick up a copy on the cheap and give it a whirl before the upcoming sequel.  Here's to the current gaming drought that allows to play catch-up.

Take a look at the new screens and let us know what you think.

New RAGE Screens and a Trailer to boot!

Again, Bethesda has so many AAA games coming out in the next 6-12 months that when they send out updated assets, it's like Christmas for many of us gamers, as it's a plethora of information and screens.  It's like an over-abundance of info, and we're legally obligated* to share them with you.

Without Further adieu, here is the latest trailer, after the break, for the Bethesda Published, iD Developed post-apocalyptic first-person-shooter/racing hybrid.  Whew - that was a mouthful!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New SKYRIM screens. You'll LOVE 'EM!

Bethesda has not one, not two, heck, not even 3 fairly high-profile titles coming out fairly soon, no, they have 5!!!

Here's some all-new screens from one of the most highly-anticipated title for alot of gamers.  The fifth entry in the legendary Elder Scrolls franchise, SKYRIM.

SKYRIM will be out on 11/11/11

Alice: Madness Returns comes with original PC game!

In a generous offering today, EA announced with the impending June 14th release date of Alice: Madness Returns, that buyers will be treated to a one-time-use code allowing the download of the original American McGee's Alice for play on either the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation Network.

This is huge, as this marks the first time American McGee's twisted third-person platformer will be on a console, and given how long ago it came out, really does make sense for those who never got a chance to play it the first time.  I still have the PC title, that I can't even play on my Mac anymore.  Ah, past choices, they're always getting in the way of your future opportunities!

One can also purchase the stand-alone downloadable port for 800 Microsoft Points, or $9.99 on the PSN, if one was so inclined.

Check out some screens from the oldie (but goodie) title below, and for even more in-depth details on the sequel, you can also check out

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Centipede resurected in the third dimension

Atari recently announce this morning that Centipede, the age old arcade game is making a comeback, not for the arcade, but on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii. The reboot is to feature not only infestation in the name but also run and gun shooting, tower defense objects and including some of the same gameplay elements that made the original so addicting through seven environments and 40 stages.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tomb Raider Trilogy for PS3 Review on

Lara Croft, ah yes that Lara Croft, you know the woman with incredible body proportions that got many a young gamers through puberty. Well she’s back and she’s been redone in high definition. Yes, there is a gaming god after all. So, let’s start from the beginning...Sherman set the way back machine for 1996. Back in 1996 there was an incredible 3D world being explored by Mario fans on the Nintendo 64 and Sony wanted theirs. Thus the ground breaking Tomb Raider was released on the Playstation One and it starred one buxom beauty named Lara Croft. Being a rich English socialite adventurer, Lara braved many ancient tombs with a wild zeal that could only be outdone by Indiana Jones himself.

The 3rd Birthday Review on

Mitochondria quite frankly are considered to be the factories of biological cells that create energy within that cell. Suppose if you will that mitochondria which are inherited through females, in mass, form a type of consciousness that is just waiting for the right moment in our evolution to take over and allow a human child to be born that would have the ability to form and control it's own genetic code. Wow, didn’t mean to blow your mind there but that is the initial idea behind a book, Parasite Eve, authored by Japanese writer Hideaki Sena. This science fiction novel was made into a Japanese movie and then adapted into two Playstation games Parasite Eve and PE2 back in 1998 and 1999. Parasite Eve the video games on Playstation One served as sequels of a sort for the original novel. These games were an amazing achievement for Square Soft back at the turn of the century and have always been revered as classic action RPG’s with incredible signature cinemas that Square is so well known for. The hero Aya Brea Was a New York cop that waged turn-based RPG battles against mitochondrial creatures in an attempt to save Manhattan. It’s hard to believe that over 10 years have gone by and no sequels have emerged until now. I hereby give you The 3rd Birthday for the Sony PSP.

Monday, April 11, 2011

BRINK has a new release date...

Bethesda's next title BRINK has been on our radar for quite sometime. They released some news today that is great news for those of you who have been waiting patiently. BRINK will now be available one week earlier than originally scheduled, which, by the way, was May 17th. For those of you who aren't quite up on your mathematical skills as they relate to the Gregorian calendar, the new release date is May 10th. This gives you 7 days of play-time before L.A. Noire hits the mean streets.

This is phenomanal news...but don't thank us for it, thank Bethesda.

From the Press Release:

"Production wrapped on Brink earlier than we planned and we didn't see any reason to keep gamers from getting their hands on this highly anticipated game as soon as it was ready," said Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing for Bethesda Softworks. "It's apparent from the tremendous reaction so far that people are eager to jump online and play, and if we can make that happen earlier - we're going to." 

It's rare in this industry to be surprised by a publisher, bravo Bethesda, bravo!  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dood, get ready for Disgaea 4

NIS America has announced they their upcoming strategy RPG, Disgaea 4: A Promise Forgotten will get a release date of September 2011. In celebration to the announcement, the "Dis-name-a" contest has started. What this means, is that you can submit your entries for a chance to name an in game weapon, skill, and game character.

Go behind the scenes of SOCOM 4

Coming up in less than two weeks is the release of SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs. In celebration to the upcoming release is a behind the scenes video showing off the amazing graphics, cinematic story, and the charaters on your SEAL team. Enjoy the video and get ready for the firestorm on the battlefield.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Your newest information regarding Dead Island involves a rapper

Sir Mix A Lot, I mean Sam B is the newest character announced for the uber pretty upcoming zombie slayer, Dead Island. He is a soon to be washed up one hit wonder booked by the Royal Palms to perform, "Who Do You Voodoo?" On his way to hold on to the fame and get back on the map, Sam B finds out he has a lot more in store for him.


Rayman, Ubisoft's limbless action hero first made his debut on the original Playstation and introduced an incredible Disneyesque world filled with color and many interesting creatures. Being the brainchild of French game designer Michel Ancel, Ubisoft quickly recognized the genius of this platformer and polished this game to be in contention with competitive games the like of Mario and Sonic, it seemed Sony had its first platformer and it was incredible then fans waited and waited for a sequel but nothing showed until 1999.

Rayman 2 The Great Escape was released on rival gaming systems Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast on January 6, 1999. It was considered by many to have raised the overall standards of 3D gaming design even against titles such as Mario 64 and the Banjo Kazooie games. Rayman 2 quickly became such a fan favorite that Ubisoft then proceeded to release it on practically every other gaming system as well as handheld portables. Today we gamers have available to us one of the super system portables of the future the Nintendo 3DS. The Nintendo 3DS has finally given us 3D gaming without the glasses, and now designers everywhere are scrambling to invent unique 3D gaming ideas without realizing that they have some already right in front of them. Guess What? Ubisoft did. Rayman 2 was already a 3D game without a means of displaying itself in true 3D. So now that the means are here, the brains at Ubisoft saw how this favored game could finally represent its true inspiration.

Alas comes Rayman 3DS and yes it is Rayman 2 but who cares? It’s freaking amazing! There are literally 20 or more reviews of all the different incarnations of this game available, but it is the 3DS that has given me what I should have had over 10 years ago. Rayman 3DS is not only now in true AWESOME 3D, but also high definition. The images are crisp and clean while the colors are rich and exuberant. The game levels are all there and the control is spot on but, it’s the little things that have me amazed. Things like butterflies, dust, and sparkles that now in 3D really make this world POP! It is truly an immersive experience. It blows my mind that Nintendo did not bring us redo’s of Mario 64 or Banjo when they could have really given even these beloved titles new life on this system so I must praise the wisdom of the minds at Ubisoft to have given us a true classic and now I want MORE! I can only hope Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc is not far off and then maybe an original release in the future.

If you are the proud owner of the new Nintendo 3DS and want to see an amazing example of 3D gaming then look no further. Don’t walk, RUN and pick up a copy of RAYMAN 3DS today. We live in a 3D world…now let’s play in it. The Z man is running late as usual so I bid you adieu. I got some gaming to do. Zircon Out.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New BRINK video is titled "Ready and Able"

Today Bethesda released a new video for their upcoming entry into the post-apocalyptic world of Brink.  Showcasing a variety of the abilities players will be able to unlock through the game.  I'm looking forward to this one.  Unfortunately it comes out right around the same time as L.A. Noire, but they're both going to get some love from Mashbuttons.

Let us know what you think!

Dynasty Warriors 7 | Review

I finally get my first chance with a Dynasty Warriors title, that's right, the series that I usually use at the low end of the spectrum when comparing games. What made me request the title from Tecmo Koei? Well, mainly because I have enjoyed the majority of games played and reviewed from this publisher with the exception of a few, so it is about time to give Dynasty Warriors another try since playing it last on the PlayStation 2. Now for those of you unfamiliar with the series, it is considered to be a tactical action genre, but the 7th entry is released on the series' 10 year milestone mark and boasts more playable forces, new dual-wielding combat system, online coop, and conquest mode.

I know I have reviewed many games similar to Dynasty Warriors from Koei, but never the real deal. I was greeted with a few gameplay modes and a handful of forces to choose from. This is just a small idea of the amount of content because you can play though with each force or start your own journey in conquest mode and let me just say, both are long. Content doesn't mean anything though if the game cannot keep your attention. Dynasty Warriors did this in spades with how fluid it runs when the screen is full of soldiers and you are leaving a trail of bodies in your wake. The new feature that I personally enjoyed was the ability to equip two weapons that are interchangeable on the fly and have special abilities that are released when swapped.

Now for the parts that didn’t mesh well with the gameplay or took away from the experience…there always has to be something. For Dynasty Warriors, the load times, camera, and controls while on mount are those things. I know with a title like this that there are going to be longer load times because of the large battlefields and numerous enemies, but the load times are really long even if you are just going back to a city in conquest mode, you still have the same wait times to that of regular missions. Yes, the camera, all it takes is an enemy or boss to move behind you and you will watch your health gauge drop quickly as you try to find them while moving the camera, luckily you can press LB to position the camera behind you, and while helpful it doesn’t resolve the issue. Lastly, I did not like the controls when riding my mount, or horse, mainly because attacking while on it is slow, and it is much easier for enemies to knock you off than it is to knock enemies off of their horses.

All in all, I was impressed with the title as it offered a lot more than I expected. There is a lot of replay value with the long story mode with multiple families and the conquest mode that is just as equally long. Though there were long load times, the ability to handle the fast fluid action and mass amounts of clones, uh I mean enemies, without a drop in frame rate is an impressive feat in itself. The changing of weapons and trying to figure out the deadliest combination with each is what really had me coming back for more. As someone that really didn’t like the franchise in the past, it has come a long way and converted me into a fan…kudos to you Koei Tecmo and Omega Force!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Asphalt 3D |Review

So I have had about a week with the Nintendo 3DS and a handful of the release titles to help accelerate the crossing of my eyes and melting of my brain. I figure that it is about to start working on a few reviews and help any of you on the fence regarding Asphalt 3D. When I went into reviewing this title, I immediately thought about the racing titles for the DS and how there really weren't any worth remembering. Did Asphalt 3D even stand a chance of getting a good review? Well we will get to that soon, but before that, a little background of the Ubisoft released 3D racer. Developed by the mobile mogul Gameloft is a game that holds 42 licensed cars and 17 locations making for a lot of goal based events.

Now back to that first question about whether this game had a betcha. The reason being is that the this handheld isn't just a DS with 3D, this is like the difference between the Game Boy Advance and the DS. Asphalt 3D is definitely one of the games you can show off to your friends still on the fence and waiting for a sucke...I mean friend to get one first to make sure it isn't the next DSi. Being a fan of Forza, Gran Turismo, and just about any other racing game, licensed cars are a huge plus in my book, as it isn't much fun to crash a car that resembles like a Lamborghini. This is not a racing sim though, it is more like Need for Speed and San Francisco Rush had a long night in Cabo during Spring Break. Here is the part you are all waiting for, the 3D, I liked it mainly because it was subtle and not as is your face as Street Fighter 4, making it easier to play longer without feeling discomfort while enjoying the depth and layers the I hadn't noticed before.

What were some things that I felt didn't bode well for the experience? I would start with the load times. At times, mostly when going starting the game and before races, I felt I was thinking why does it take so much longer to load than it did on the DS. Next, and this is a personal issue, but is it necessary to have in game advertising on a small screen you need to hold inches from your face to be seen? I crashed multiple times trying to see the ad on the billboard for wheels, not noticing the track as I squint trying to decipher what the brand is. Lastly, it felt a bit like I was playing an on rails game where the tracks feel confined and walls do not slow you down much at times.

Though, not without quarks, it was a solid racer chock full of leveling up, modifying, painting, and racing that stays fun event after event. Though there isn't much competition right now for the top 3DS racer, it did have stiff competition with the age old franchise, Ridge Racer, and I feel that for gameplay, Asphalt had me playing longer, where as with Ridge Racer, I felt was more the showoff to friends game, that didn't hold my interest as long. It does boast the Street Pass feature and local multiplayer, but was unable to try either feature but looking forward to exchanges ghosts with strangers.

Samurai Warriors Chronicles |Review

We have been playing Ubisoft's release titles along with Capcom, now it is time for Koei's release title, Samurai Warriors Chronicles or as I call it, Dynasty Warriors 3DS. the small screen hack and slash action RPG has a lot to offer with this entry, boasting of course the 3D visuals, but also fluid gameplay, countless enemies, multiple playable characters, and huge battles. Also new to the series is the ability to change between four charters to play as on the fly along with a friendship meter based on interactions with your comrades.

Koei has done it again, by wowing me with their 3DS launch title, pleasantly surprising me in terms of gameplay fun and one of the best looking games for the handheld. The gameplay is very fluid, making attacks lightning fast depending on your weapon and character being used. It is a lot of fun mash away on the 3DS' buttons to try and string along huge combos and throwing enemies left and right. Switching characters on the fly is nice and reduces time spent on missions as they are placed in different strategic locations throughout the map. The rpg elements have you spending as much time equipping your character and upgrading weapons to make the most out of each warrior.

The not as good side of Samurai Warriors were few but not so very far away. The first is that enemies just pop on the screen without much notice and can not be seen until they are right in front of you. Another is that there is a lot of dialogue that you cannot skip the first time it is encountered and it isn't a little bit of script, it is enough to make some of the longer load times in console games seem short. Lastly, I had to use the map on the bottom screen A LOT and when playing in 3D, having to constantly look away from the top screen to see the map in the bottom, it was a strain on my eyes after short amounts of playing.

I am not too surprised that I found this to be one of the best launch 3DS games, as the majority of the games I have played in the last year from Koei, have been good if not great. The reason I found Samurai Warriors to be so entertaining is how fast it played, the replay value, and the unlockables. Even if you are not a fan of the Dynasty Warrior games, I suggest giving it a shot as you may be more surprised than you think.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars |Review

Shadow Wars, the next chapter of the Tom Clancy game franchise and also one of the launch titles available for the Nintendo 3DS. The top down, turn based strategy RPG will take the player to Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Siberia to take down the Soviet “Dead Hand” bases being used to build an army of drones. While I am currently swimming in 3DS game cartridges and cases like Scrooge in his vault of money, I am finding it harder and harder to put the portable down, particularly Shadow Wars for the reasons listed below. Sit back, put down the 3DS to give your eyes and brain a break to take in my impressions of the first Tom Clancy game the next gen handheld.

So what does Fire Emblem and Shadow Wars have in common? A lot, which I never thought I would say, but they are both turn based strategy RPG games. I have played HAWX, Splinter Cell, and Rainbow Six titles in the past, but this is one of the franchise’s most addicting and unique games, which potentially could have been a huge risk to put out, but many of us thank you for taking the risk. Though very similar to games like Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, and Final Fantasy Tactics, all games I respect highly, it does not feel like a clone but more of a tribute to the genre using what the team knows best, military conflict. The gameplay is kept familiar, so it is easy to pick up and get into, with long missions that use lots of thought, and something that you should know is that it has an ability to save in the middle of missions…huge plus! The graphics are good, not much better than the DS, but the 3D elements add depth to the environments, but not so much that the 3D is in your face, like most of the other release games for the handheld.

Those familiar with the genre will find the tutorial during the first couple of missions frustrating, as in between each turn there is a lot of text to go through in order to get the basics of how to play, sometimes what seems to be multiple times. Another thing that stood out was the graphics, mainly because it seemed grainy and very similar to the DS, which I thought would appear better being on the new next gen handheld. As stated previously, having the ability to save is massive in games like this especially when the battery doesn’t last as long as the DS, but some of the missions feel a bit too long with additional objectives being thrown at you before completion.

Small issues aside, Shadow Wars is a lot of fun to pick up and play, whether it is just to complete a couple objectives or if you have more time, to work your way through a couple of the 35 missions. However, if you are not a fan of the strategy RPG genre, I do not think jumping into this would be a good idea as it does play a lot like Advance Wars and less like the typical Tom Clancy titles we are accustomed to over the past years and releases.


Square Enix has over the years become my favorite game designer of all things RPG for over 2 decades. Now and each and every release seems to express a collective improvement over the last. Needless to say, the elders at Squenix have chosen to do it again. Final Fantasy Dissidia 012 Duodecim is here and ready for your gaming consumption. If you need to know just what that subtitle means it basically means the number 12 (Duo=2 Decim=10). So let’s start with a little back story, a couple of years ago a concept was created at Square that revolved around having many of our beloved characters from the “Final Fantasy” Universe come together in a tournament battle with each other to decide the fate of the “Overworld”. It was felt that if Square went the way of Soul Calibur or Mortal Kombat that they would just create yet another cookie cutter fighter title that would ultimately feel lopsided due to a certain characters initial traits. Thankfully that idea was scrapped and the decision then seemed to focus on a turn based battle system that also seemed to feel rehashed. Then genius struck, why not make the game a melding of both? Fast action fighting with turn based fighting control schemes, Dissidia was born, but there were a few complications that occurred during delivery.

The original Dissidia, once released had a very favored following in its natural habitat of Japan, but American tastes were of a more discerning pallet. When I first booted up the original I instantly felt the game was extremely over complicated where it did not need to be but alas it was what it was and I came to love it, feeling that if it had been simplified a bit it would have gotten stale quickly. Dissidia’s heir apparent Doudecim does try to repair some of these issues and in many ways succeeds, but there are also a few lingering issues, but none that diminish this title enough to be concerned about.Okay, let’s dive in! It is a rare thing in this world of ours that the sequel out matches it original. Many players will want change and just as many want things to stay the same, but yet still be better and different. I hear it every day in my chosen profession that a player will hate on a game for the changes made and others will love it because of those changes. Still, others will love it because they just love the franchise all together regardless. I can honestly say Doudecim pretty much remains the same yet feels new with the inclusions of new Final Fantasy favorites. First up is Lightning from XIII (Stop it, why are you hating?). Lightning is definitely in charge in this game and then we have Yuna from X, Tifa from VII, and Vaan from IX. There are more but those will come from playing, but I should tell you that all of their respective annoying traits are here. Thank god I haven’t seen “Hope” from XIII in here yet.

Gameplay is basically the same but with a few new features like being able to sap Bravery points from your opponent weakening them considerably before moving in for the kill. This function can actually turn the tide in a match and allow you to win just when you were sure you were done for. Also there is now an Assist system that will allow you to call upon one of your teammates and have them lend a hand when the going gets tough, yes its cliché but “The tough get going”. These battles are awesome and beautiful and kept me going to see just what was next. Now, on to the Story Mode, ah yes the story mode. While I absolutely love the signature Square benchmark of computer generated realism from their cinemas, there were quite a few spread out within the game and though I was looking forward to each and every one of them, something seemed to be missing. For a game with over the top flashy battles and enough characters with Uber angst issues I really thought the story would at least throw me an Inception like curve similar to what seems to be the norm now in current American Cinema (Now that I think of it, that is asking a bit too much).

Thinking of this release as a whole; the battles, characters, and their drive considering the predicament that they are in during the story make this is an excellent addition to the Final Fantasy canon. I recommend this to any Final Fantasy fan and overall I do believe that players will enjoy it fully. Thank you Square for another quality title in the waning days of the aging PSP. Now Square I ask you this… WHERE IS MY HD REMAKE OF “FINAL FANTASY VII? You have to know that title would be a cash cow and the new NGP is just begging for a release like that. While I am at it, Kingdom Hearts 3? All in all, it is no secret that I am a Squenix Fan and probably always will be.

This review has been fun, but Zircon has other places to be for the moment so till next time I bow out.

It is with great pride that I give this Title 7 out of 10. Z man out.