Hey everyone! My name is Steven Rollins and it's a pleasure to be writing here at Gamnesia. I enjoy all sorts of video games, anime series, books, and other forms of entertainment. When I'm not busy with school or writing for Gamnesia, you can probably find me streaming over on Twitch (@ SalmonBuffalo) or making videos for my YouTube channel (Jonven Games)!
After weeks of speculation, Atlus announced a new Persona 5 spin-off coming to PlayStation 4 and Switch. Developed by Koei Tecmo in conjunction with Atlus, Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers is a hack-and-slash action RPG, much in the vein of the Warriors franchise. It may not be the Persona game we were hoping for, but it looks interesting enough to hopefully make fans happy anyway.
After months of waiting and slow news drips, Atlus finally dropped the mother lode of Persona 5 The Royal information a few minutes ago. The reveal came at the end of the first day of the (excellent) Persona Super Live 2019 concert in Tokyo. Persona 5 The Royalwas officially named one month ago during a brief trailer in which we caught our first look at a new female character. Until today, we were still mostly in the dark about what the game would actually contain.
As Persona 4 Golden did before it, Persona 5 The Royal is going to be an enhanced version on the original, adding in new characters, new areas, and a new part of the school year. The first new character is one we’ve seen before, though we haven’t gotten any information on her until now. Kasumi Yoshizawa is a new student at Shujin Academy and excels as a gymnast. She seems to be driven by her own goals and will eventually join the Phantom Thieves in pursuit of them. Another new character is Takuto Moruki, a school counselor brought in to help students deal with the aftermath of early events in the game. While not playable, Takuto acts as one of the game’s confidants, filling the new role of “The Consultant.” The trailer also teased a human Morgana, making him even more like Persona 4’s Teddie.
In addition to these characters, Atlus is bringing some other new content to Persona 5 The Royal. Notably, there are new places you can visit, such as DARTSLIVE3, where you can hang out with your friends, and Kichijoji, which is supposed to represent Tokyo. The game’s already incredible UI is getting an update, and new menuing features are being added to make checking your status even easier than before. There’s even a new opening and ending theme!
As if I’m not already going ballistic over this reveal, Atlus is dropping even morePersona news tomorrow. Persona Super Live 2019 is a two-day event, the second part of which will be held tomorrow at 6:00 AM EST. During this performance, information will be released regarding Persona 5 S. If you’re up early enough, you can catch the concert either on Niconico or on the official Persona Twitter account. Niconico premium members can tune in starting at 6:00 AM, while everyone else can watch beginning at 6:30 AM. If you’re looking for more news on Persona 5 The Royal, however, you’ll have to wait a little bit. The next bit of information will come out on May 9th. At least it’s not a whole month this time!
Between Persona 5 The Royal and Persona 5 S, I’m ready for the Phantom Thieves to take my heart (and my money)! Persona 5 The Royal launches on PlayStation 4 (with PlayStation 4 Pro support) in Japan on October 31st, while those in North America and Europe will have to hold out until 2020.
Recently, Google unveiled its major foray into the gaming industry with Google Stadia, a cloud-based streaming service that would allow gamers to play their favorites from a Google Chrome browser, smartphone, Chromecast, or other internet-enabled devices. Stadia promises a lot of really neat features in theory, so much so that some have called it the future of gaming. Not all of us at Gamnesia quite buy into the idea, however, so join Jeff, Humulos, and Steven as they breakdown the Stadia reveal and discuss the merits of such a platform.
Persona fans have been itching for more news on the upcoming Persona 5 R title for a few months now. Despite this thirst for information, Atlus keeps insisting on a slow drip of information and teases which do little more than give us more mystery and yet another date to look forward to. Such was the case yesterday, where, following the new Persona 5 OVA “Stars and Ours,” a new trailer for the game was released. While this short video did give us a title, a look at a new character, and a little hint at the upcoming conflict, it ultimately raised far more questions than answers.
The trailer opens on a city square, one rainy night. Standing in the midst of a crowd, a mysterious girl looks onward at a screen bearing the Phantom Thieves’ logo. She’s wearing the Shujin Academy uniform — the same school that the protagonist and a few of his comrades attend. Responding to a voice asking her “What do you think of the Phantom Thieves?” she replies, “I think helping people is a wonderful thing, but if I had to say, I don’t like them. I don’t think the Phantom Thieves’ methods will make the world a better place or help anyone. In the end, I feel like you can only solve that yourself.”
This trailer is revealed to be for the newly titled Persona 5 The Royal. Aside from the name and the look at the new character, not much else is known. Presumably, The Royal will be a definitive edition of the original game, much in the vein of Persona 4 The Golden, with the additional content focusing on this new character. I’ve seen some talk that she might even be playable, but I personally think this is unlikely, given the translation of her speech. The game’s website also lists it as being an RPG launching for the PlayStation 4, giving a bit more credence to this theory.
In any case, it’s clear that there’s still a lot we don’t know about Persona 5 The Royal. In keeping with their actions thus far, Atlus has promised that more information will be revealed on April 24th at the Persona Super Live concert. What do you think about what we’ve seen so far?
Hot on the heels of the reveal that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is coming to PC, 343 Industries also revealed that Halo: Reach is finally making its way to the collection on both PC and Xbox One. For Xbox players, Reach will come in two packages: the multiplayer component (which will come free for all owners of the Master Chief Collection) and the campaign/firefight component, which is coming as premium DLC. The entirety of Halo: Reach will also be available with a Game Pass subscription. For those who want to play on PC, these components will come in a single package as the first release of 343 Industries’ release schedule.
No information was revealed on a release date or pricing for the Xbox DLC, but 343 may have more information available on Sunday at SXSW.
Despite making a name for itself among shooters, the Halo franchise has been noticeably absent from the PC gaming scene since Halo 2 dropped in 2007. That’s all about to change, however, as 343 Industries announced today that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be launching on the Microsoft Store and Steam. Previously exclusive to Xbox One, The Master Chief Collection is a compilation consisting of all content for Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo 4.
343 Industries is taking a segmented approach to this launch, releasing each game individually in chronological order (starting with Halo: Reach) as they work on completing the series. There’s no word on a release date yet, but 343 has said that more information will be coming on Sunday at SXSW.
When it comes to video game music, it’s easy to argue that Final Fantasy tunes rank among the best of the best. The series’ composers have always found ways to expertly craft a song to evoke a wide range of feelings, whether it be an exciting battle theme or a melancholy opera. But as great as this music is in-game, there’s nothing like hearing it live. For over a decade, the Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy concert series has masterfully brought your favorite Final Fantasy songs to life. And this September, they could be coming to a town near you.
For the first time in two years, Distant Worlds is stopping in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, September 7th, at 8:00 PM local time. While Distant Worlds has a massive repertoire of songs to pick from, this concert will focus on celebrating Final Fantasy‘s jump to 3D with a tribute to Final Fantasy VII. The performance will take you on an emotional ride with songs like “Opening — Bombing Mission,” “Aerith’s Theme,” and of course, “One-Winged Angel.” What Final Fantasy concert would be complete without what is arguably its most well-known song, after all?
Distant Worlds isn’t just a simple concert, however; it’s more of a fan experience. As the orchestra plays, game clips are projected on a screen above them, giving a visual representation of the songs. Fans cosplay as their favorite characters. And if you’re interested in seeing some of the brilliant performers and composers behind the music, Distant Worlds is a good place to do so. The Phoenix concert has no shortage of special guests. First is RIKKI, an original vocalist for Final Fantasy X, who will be performing the romantic theme, “Suteki da ne” along with the orchestra. Final Fantasy XIV vocalist Susan Calloway will also be making an appearance, performing the game’s main theme, “Answers.”
If Phoenix is a little far from you, maybe Chicago works a bit better. One week later, on Saturday, September 14th, Distant Worlds returns once again to the Windy City, putting on two performances at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM local time, respectively. These concerts are largely the same as the one in Phoenix, with the addition of a third special guest. Final Fantasy XV composer Yoko Shimomura will be in attendance, and to honor this occasion, Distant Worlds will be adding “Apocalypsis Noctis” to the lineup.
For more information on Distant Worlds, as well as for other tour dates, you can check out their website. Information specifically about the Phoenix or Chicago concerts, including how to purchase tickets, can be found here for Phoenix or here for Chicago. For the super fans out there, there’s even a limited number of VIP tickets available which gets you access to a special meet-and-greet with conductor Arnie Roth and the performance’s special guests, where you can get autographs and a photo.
I went to a Distant Worlds concert a few years ago, and I can’t speak highly enough of the talented musicians and hard-working staff who help create such a magical experience. If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy music, you owe it to yourself to attend one of these concerts at some point in your life.
This giveaway will end no sooner than 11:59 PM Eastern on Tuesday, March 12th. So what are you waiting for? Gather your party, saddle up your Chocobos, and join Distant Worlds for a few hours of Final Fantasy magic (no mage needed). Who knows? Maybe you’ll catch me at one as well!
All rise in the courtroom! Phoenix Wright’s trial date quickly bears down upon us. Capcom announced earlier today that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy launches on PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One on April 9th. Join fledgling lawyer Phoenix Wright as he navigates the perils of the justice system and tried to defend his clients from the charges brought against them in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Justice for All, and Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations. Whether you’re new to the series or a longtime fan, you’ll be in for a suite of zany characters, twisting cases, and lots of fun!
Every month, Xbox Live Gold members get a handful of free games through the Games With Gold program. Earlier today, Microsoft unveiled the lineup for March. Starting on March 1, Gold members can download Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion for Xbox One and Star Wars: Republic Commando for the Xbox. Then, on March 16th, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance join the roster for Xbox One and Xbox 360, respectively.
As always, Star Wars and Metal Gear Rising will be available to play on the Xbox One through the Xbox Backwards Compatibility program.
Much like the Xbox Games With Gold program, PlayStation offers free games to its PlayStation Plus members every month. Starting March 5th, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered and The Witness will be available for subscribers to download. Both of these games are fantastic in their own right and deserve a look if you’re interested.
Of particular note with this iteration of the lineup is that PlayStation Plus will stop offering PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita games from here on. The current PlayStation Plus games for PlayStation 4 are available for download until March 4th, while the games for PlayStation 3 and Vita are available until March 8th. Any PlayStation 3 and Vita games downloaded prior to this date through the service will still remain available to you, as long as you maintain an active subscription.
Ever since it officially launched, I’ve been fairly critical of Nintendo Switch Online, Nintendo’s answer to Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Plus. I find the NES lineup to be mostly lackluster, despite the inclusion of classic titles such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Metroid. Even the ability to play multiplayer with your friends isn’t a major selling point for me, seeing as I prefer single-player experiences. Aside from the occasional friendly (or not-so-friendly) bouts of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the value of Nintendo’s online service just isn’t there for me. At least, it wasn’t until the launch of Tetris 99.
With Battle Royale games being all the rage right now, games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, and Apex Legends are finding massive success. Whereas all of these games are shooters, the most recent entrant into the genre spins into a new style: puzzles. During the Nintendo Direct this past Wednesday, Nintendo announced Tetris 99 (a Battle Royale version of the timeless puzzle classic, Tetris), which launched shortly after the presentation concluded. As the name suggests, you’re dropped into a virtual colosseum along with 98 other players. In order to survive, you must outlast your opponents by, well… playing Tetris.
The core mechanics of the game remain the same. As Tetriminos fall from the top of your playing field, you can rotate them in order to lock them in place at the bottom of the screen. Making a line of blocks clears the line, causing the stack of pieces above it to fall down. Clearing lines is essential, as if your tower extends past the top of the field, you lose. To increase the challenge, the blocks start falling at increasing velocities over time, making it that much more critical to think on your feet and react to what the game throws at you.
Tetris 99 isn’t the first time Tetris has gone multiplayer. If you’ve ever participated in a Tetris battle, you’ll know that line clearing does more than just prolong your life. The act of clearing lines doubles as both an offensive and defensive tactic. At a basic level, the more lines you clear, the more garbage gets sent to the other player, thus pushing their tower closer to the death threshold. Defensively, if garbage is waiting to be placed on your playing field, clearing lines acts as an eraser, wiping out at least some of the impending doom hanging over your head.
These mechanics lie at the core of Tetris 99, with the extra ability to target specific players. If you’re good at multitasking, you can specifically target any player in the game (though you don’t know who they are—you only see their Tetris board) by using the left stick or touchscreen. For those focused more on the actual Tetris field, you can also tell the game to target one of four groups of players: those close to death, those who have killed off the most players, anybody attacking you, or any random player. Proficient use of this system can make or break your game. Without getting too far into the other mechanics, Tetris 99 has some additional aspects that aren’t made clear by the game (this is really the only major fault I have with it), but which can significantly boost your chances of winning as well.
Unfortunately, being an online, multiplayer-only title, Tetris 99 requires a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online. However, Tetris is one of my all time favorite games, so I absolutely had to bite the bullet and resubscribe to the service so I could check it out. I’m glad I did. I’ve only played a few hours’ worth of Tetris 99 so far, but I find it increasingly hard to put down. Two-player Tetris can already get intense, but the addition of 97 other players cranks it up to a level I’ve never before experienced. I tend to rank somewhere in the 30-40th place range, but once I tasted my first top 10 finish, I knew I had to keep going until I got that sweet, sweet victory.
And win I did. It was easily one of the most satisfying multiplayer moments I’ve ever experienced. After being slammed with garbage from my few remaining opponents, I found myself with a completely full playing field, barring the one square in each row I needed in order to clear that line. Thankfully, the game isn’t over until you lock a piece above the threshold, and with only one piece remaining until my demise, I avoided the only piece I couldn’t use. What happened next was 20 seconds of nothing short of pure magic as I miraculously cleared line after line, bumping up my combo meter with each clear. By the time I had cleared half of my tower, the game stopped. I had done it. I won.
I’m not afraid to admit that when I saw that 1st place ranking, I wept. For the briefest of moments, I was on top of the world. My thirst for victory was quenched, or so I thought. Quickly I realized something had changed. No longer was I satisfied with just one win. I wanted more. I needed more. And that’s where I find myself as I write this.
It’s surreal that I find myself speaking with such adoration for a multiplayer title, but Tetris 99 is definitely worth all the praise I can give it. Not in a very long time have I been this enthralled by a multiplayer game. It’s now the sole reason I plan on keeping my subscription to Nintendo Switch Online active. I’ve paid a lot more for games that I only wind up experiencing a fraction of, simply because I ignore the multiplayer component of them. But for half the price of a new game, I have access to one of the best multiplayer experiences I’ve ever had for a year. With more content planned for the future too, it’s well worth the price of admission to satiate my yearning for the thrill of one more kill. Just one question remains though—where am I dropping?
Ninja Theory’s hit action adventure title Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is making its way to Switch sometime this spring. Hellblade stars Senua, a warrior who must travel through hell in order to reclaim the soul of her dead lover. Along the way, Senua must battle not only terrifying creatures, but also her own mental health.
Ninja Theory took great care in their depiction of mental health, working with researchers and psychosis victims in order to properly portray the disease. If you haven’t been able to give it a shot, Hellblade is worth the trip and I’m certainly looking forward to diving into it once again on Switch in a few months.
If anime-styled mech games are your thing, you’ve probably heard of Nintendo’s upcoming title, Daemon X Machina. While we’ll have to wait until this summer to get our hands on the full game, a demo titled Daemon X Machina: Prototype Missions is launching later tonight for a limited time. Prototype Missions features four different missions in which you can pilot and customize your robot called an Arsenal. The final mission even sees you squaring off against a boss!
Select players will later be contacted by email to complete a feedback survey, though if you don’t get an email, you can always leave feedback via social media.
Final Fantasy fans have a lot to look forward to this year, as Square Enix is bringing some of its older titles to modern consoles. Nintendo likes to drop games just after Nintendo Directs, and today is no exception. Final Fantasy IX is launching later today! And for those of you waiting on Final Fantasy VII, you won’t have to wait too much longer, as it’s launching on March 26th.
I never thought I’d say these words, but there’s a new entry in the Battle Royale genre that I’m actually interested in. Tetris 99 pits you against 98 other players in a quest to be the last one standing. The puzzle battler is coming to Switch later today, free for Nintendo Switch Online members. There are online events in the works as well, so you better dive in and practice while you can!
We’ve been eagerly awaiting any update on the status of Joker’s inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster since he was announced last December. In today’s Nintendo Direct, it was revealed that Joker will be joining the already humongous roster by the end of April. Joker is available individually as part of the Challenger Pack 1 or as part of the Fighters Pass, which unlocks the next five downloadable fighters.
In addition, Nintendo also announced the version 3.0 update for Ultimate, though no further details were given on what this entails.
We’re just getting started on today’s Nintendo Direct, and like always, Nintendo is pulling no punches from the beginning. Fans of the original Super Mario Maker should be more than happy as a sequel has finally been announced! Super Mario Maker 2 includes tons of new content for level building, including slopes and content from Super Mario 3D World. Get your hard hats ready, as Super Mario Maker 2 launches this June!
Happy (belated) New Year! A lot has gone on in 2018, including some huge game releases and major life milestones. 2019 won’t be any different either, with some highly anticipated titles already having come out and many more to come. Join Steven, Ben, and Will on this episode of Gamnesia After Dark as we discuss both our highlights from last year and what we’re looking forward to this coming year!
After teasing some farewell levels for Celeste late last year, one of the game’s co-creators, Matt Thorson, took to Twitter yesterday to detail exactly what we can expect from the upcoming DLC. Coming free to all platforms, these additional levels will be leaving the iconic strawberries behind, but they will feature a few new items and mechanics to make up for it.
Unlike the other chapters in Celeste, these levels will compose one continuous chapter and will not feature a B-side. That’s probably a good thing, as these levels are supposed to be the hardest yet, with Thorson claiming that they are “after the current hardest levels in difficulty.” There’s no word on when this DLC will be available, though unfortunately they won’t be ready in time for the game’s first anniversary on January 25th.
No Our Verdict
Some Celeste DLC Chapter details: -It won't be ready for the anniversary on Jan 25th, sorry! -It's all one continuous chapter, no B-Side -It's after the current hardest levels in difficulty -No strawberries -There are some new items/mechanics -Free on all platforms
Celeste is one of the best games of 2018, but as is the case with most indie games, it was only available digitally. That’s going to change as we enter the new year, courtesy of Limited Run Games, a company which specializes in creating physical copies of digital-only games in limited batches. Two versions of the game will be available for sale across PlayStation 4 and Switch—a standard edition and a collector’s edition. The standard edition only includes the game, but the collector’s edition throws in a lot of really cool goodies, including:
A SteelBook® case
16″ X 20″ Poster of Celeste Mountain
Strawberry plush keychain
Celeste Mountain patch
Celeste Mountain postcard
Strawberry pie recipe card
Download code for the full digital soundtrack
Starting at 10:00 AM Eastern Time tomorrow, January 1st, pre-orders will launch for all versions of the game. For the standard edition on both platforms, pre-orders will close on Friday, February 1st. If you want the collector’s editions, however, the availability window is much tighter. These editions will be available for sale in two batches, opening tomorrow at 10:00 AM Eastern and 6:00 PM Eastern specifically. The PlayStation 4 collector’s edition will set you back $74.99, while the Switch version costs $79.99. Unlike with the standard edition, quantities of the collector’s editions are very limited (2,000 copies for PlayStation 4 and 2,500 on Switch) and will likely sell out very quickly, so get your trigger fingers ready!