Five Impressions from the Trials of Mana Demo

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It feels like there is a metric tonne of demos for games coming out that are hitting multiple systems right now. The Final Fantasy VII Remake demo just made its way to the general public a couple of weeks ago, the demo for Resident Evil 3‘s remake just dropped, and another remake, Trials of Mana, is also just making its demo debut. It’s going to be a great season for folks looking for updates of classic games, though Trials only got an official localization last year in the Collection of Mana.

Much as I hate to say it, though, Trials of Mana is the title I’m most looking forward to that probably doesn’t stand much of a chance against the other two heavy hitters coming out around the same time. That’s not going to stop me from grabbing it as soon as I can, though, and it certainly didn’t stop me from jumping into the demo once I had the chance.

Overall, the impression left by the demo has me wanting to play the entire game right now. It clocks in at about two hours or so, depending on how much you explore, and allows you to choose any of the main characters and party members you want. It’s available on the Switch, Playstation 4, and Steam for folks who want to check it out on their own, but if you’d like some more in-depth impressions, I’m more than happy to provide some food for thought on some positive (and maybe more critical) points from what I played.
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Live Together, Die Together – Playstation 4 – The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan – 2019

the-dark-pictures-anthology_-man-of-medan_20190830200330.jpgThe Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
Playstation 4
Supermassive Games / Bandai Namco Entertainment
Genre: Survival Horror Adventure
2019

While I haven’t written about it quite yet, I’ve been pretty upfront about the fact that Until Dawn is my favorite game on the Playstation 4 and ranks among my top horror games period. As someone who has been entertained by horror for over half of his life, this may sound surprising, but it should also speak to the merit of Supermassive Games and the project that they put together. Horror is not an easy genre to navigate, and they found an interesting way to make a compelling story, interesting cast, and tense mechanics to bring the story of Until Dawn to life.

With that, it should be less of a surprise that when I ran into the Namco Bandai booth at PAX last year, my first stop was to see The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan, the company’s follow-up to their cinematic sleeper hit. While the demo was short, it got me excited to see how the game would play out and what the game would do to stand out from its predecessor. What I played, though, did nestle the game onto the list of my most anticipated titles from the show.

In interviews on The Dark Pictures and what exactly the anthology would entail, it has been explained that Man of Medan is the first of eight planned titles, two of which will be released each year meaning we will most likely see a title every six months. The weight being placed on the flagship game, in that case, is a great one then. While Until Dawn did surprisingly well, it seems reasonable to wonder just how well Man of Medan does to live up to Supermassive’s first game and to set up the remainder of a large undertaking for the developers.

As with most current games, I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers but be forewarned- there may be some bits here and there that could be considered “spoilery”. Continue reading

A Paler Shade of Blue – Playstation 4 – Blue Reflection – 2017

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Blue Reflection

Playstation 4
Gust, Co Inc. / Koei Tecmo
Genre: Role-Playing
2017

As a fan of a few magical girl series- Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Yuki Yuna is a Hero, and of course, Sailor Moon, come to mind- I’ve come to appreciate a number of tropes that they rely on to propel themselves forward.  Frequently, you’ll see themes of friendship, self-empowerment, and drawing upon personal wellsprings of strength both physical and emotional to succeed. This has been a draw to them for me for some time and finding games that also rely on those themes usually means that they will be automatic successes for me.

Happening on Blue Reflection in a magazine review, it seemed to have all of the trappings that would bring me running: magical girls, modern day settings, and Gust (developers of the Atelier series, among others) at the helm.  After receiving the game in my latest Christmas haul, I finally got to sit down and play it.

Did it live up the hype I created for it?  Did the power of friendship win the day?

Find out on this episode of 3PStart!
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Dance Dance Rumination – PC – Crypt of the Necrodancer – 2015

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Cadence is a great protagonist. Anyone who uses dance fighting can’t be bad in my book.

Crypt of the Necrodancer
(c) 2015
Brace Yourself Games
Genre: Roguelike Rhythm

Roguelikes have been increasing in popularity over the last few years amongst indie game developers. In a bid to get attention, most of them put a twist or spin on things that make their game unique compared to the sea of Roguelikes out there.  Crypt of the Necrodancer is above and beyond the fact by combining the genre with a daring and risky maneuver, in the form of a unique rhythm game.   Continue reading