Earth Seeker – The next big adventure?

July 30, 2010

Earth Seeker was first announced several weeks ago. It´s supposed to be some kind of Wii-exclusive action-adventure game, though even that might be too much speculation. Little is known about the overall structure of the game. However, thanks to the latest issue of Famitsu, we got some more details about Earth Seeker – as well as a really nice looking scan, showing many ingame-screenshots.

The game is developed by Crafts & Meisters, a studio founded by former Capcom-talents, including Noritaka Funamizu, who worked on the original Monster Hunter-game for PlayStation 2. And indeed, the game seems to share a bit of the monster-hunting franchise. The player takes control over a so-called Earthnoid, who looks like a human being, but seemingly isn´t one. The exact differences are yet unknown. If the scan is any indication, the main character will also be a girl. The story goes as follows: A thousand years ago, a space ship crashed onto that planet. This ship´s mission was to save information and artifacts of earth´s culture, implying that planet earth was somehow in danger. The ship crashed, however, and initiated production of its programmed information. The result are strange mixtures of animals and dead objects. One of the shown enemies, the Protopros, looks like a combination of a grasshopper and a rail-gun. Another monster, the Mamuma, is a mixture of a dragon and a light bulb. Not only enemies were produced by the ship´s computer, though, the player´s character was, too.

The exact structure of the game is not yet known, however, early information implies that some sort of open-ish world awaits us. Enemies are supposed to live in distinctive areas, and there´s also poison-filled air that causes damage when it is touched. The combat-system sounds rather special, too: Your character is accompanied by natives of the planet, so-called guardians. The guys are fighting for you, while you´re giving commands. That´s the “Time Stop Battle”-system. You can run around in real-time, lock-on the camera to the enemy, but when you press the A-button, the game freezes and you can choose from various commands, such as “Blade Rush” or “Air Strike”, but also more elemental stuff like “Thunder” or “Ice”. To add to the combat´s specialty, there´s a cartridge-meter at the bottom of the screen. The cartridges limit the number of your actions. From what is known, these cartridges either re-appear automatically after a certain amount of time, or by using items to replenish them. Maybe it works similar to Skies of Arcadia´s combat? Who knows. You can also choose attacks from different power levels, but the higher the level, the more cartridges it´ll consume. Said guardians seem to use energy balls to attack enemies. I guess I´m not the only one that remembers Opoona when hearing about that. But this is a pseudo-Capcom-title and not a Konami-game, so there shouldn´t be any real connections here.

The official website of Earth Seeker is available now, too, though not much can be seen there. For now, it´s just a bunch of silhouettes, probably some of the guardians you´ll meet in the game. With how little is known about the game´s basic concept, it´s hard to comment on Earth Seeker´s potential as a great game, but when you see the scan, the environments and, most importantly, the gorgeous art, you can´t help but hope that this turns out to be a charming, interesting adventure.

First gameplay-screenshots of The Last Story

April 27, 2010

The time has come, and wow, does it look good! The Last Story, a Nintendo-published JRPG, directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, was featured in this week´s issue of Famitsu, and we can finally see ingame-screenshots of the promising game. And what can be seen on the following four scans is indeed promising. See for yourself:

I´m sorry, Nintendo, but by now I´m about to give up hope that between Monster Hunter 3, Xenoblade and this one, Zelda Wii can somehow manage to do anything better in terms of building up an adventurous atmosphere. Please look at the one scan where the main character walks on a narrow town street…EXACTLY what I always imagine when I´m talking about a lively, moody city for Zelda Wii. It´s simply incredible what Mistwalker and Sakaguchi are doing here. I´m still happily playing Monster Hunter 3 and will be for a long time, but here I´m already totally hyped for another adventure to experience. Until now, the upcoming E³´s major factors were Zelda Wii and the 3DS. But now Nintendo has one more high profile-title that everyone can look forward to.

May the Hunt Begin!

April 19, 2010

Finally, Monster Hunter Tri for Nintendo Wii will be released this friday in Europe and a bit earlier in the US. I have to admit that I originally decided not to buy it on first day, seeing how the new semester is about to start, as well as some tests that don´t lie  that far into future. But just a few hours ago, I changed my mind and pre-ordered the Monster Hunter Tri Limited Edition, featuring a Classic Controller Pro and WiiSpeak, and seemingly some figurine.

I have seen quite some videos of Monster Hunter Tri, and there are some gameplay decisions that I´m very skeptical about. Most prominent one being the fact that you slash a giant sword into a monster´s body and have to repeat it many, many times, even though just from the looks one hit should be enough. And it doesn´t help that herbivores seemingly are killed much faster. It´s the lack of consistency here that makes me worried. Then there´s the time limit for each mission. I guess the positive aspect here is that you won´t run into a situation where you´re fighting something for hours, just to find out that it´s simply impossible to do, yet.

Except for these worries, MH3 features lots of things I always wanted from a video game. The whole adventure-aspect of the game. You´re just a “normal” guy (or girl) and step out into an unfamiliar world, finding and fighting powerful dragon-like monsters. You can choose from many different weapons, from a classic sword and shield, to a hammer, and even long-range weapons exist. You don´t have to rely on silly grinding like most JRPGs do, but on your own skills. Learn tactics, learn the monsters´ behaviors. The world was created to feel very natural. And on top of this, you can play the game with up to three friends online, or one friend offline. It´s an adventure. A pure adventure.

What seems to be missing is a proper, typical story for single player-mode, but from what I heard MH3´s single player-mode is a bit more fleshed out than previous MH-games´, and even if playing offline, MH3 is a game to talk about with your friends, be it in real-life or on discussion boards. The mission-based structure of the game also makes me think that even without a lot of time, you can greatly play the game. Oh, and I just watched a video of a sword and shield-user (which I will be playing as) who made the exact same sounds while attacking or being hit as Link from the Zelda-series. If that´s not a good sign!