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Killzone: Mercenary Beta

This week if you’re a PS+ member you can download and play the multiplayer beta of Killzone: Mercenary for Vita. I’m not much of an FPS guy – much less Killzone, of which I think I’ve only played a bit of the first game – but it’s pretty impressive to see what they’ve been able to do on the Vita. I’ve played a few matches, and although I’m getting killed tons (as expected), I’m still having a lot of fun playing through it – it all looks fantastic, and runs smooth as silk (the controls). This has convinced me that I’ll want to get the full game when it comes out.

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Defiance

Because I like the TV series, I’d been wanting to play the Defiance MMO for a while now – had heard that it wasn’t amazing, but good fun – and I finally started playing it last night (recently bought it for $20 on Play-Asia, but it’s also now available for that price through the PSN Store). I’m just a couple of hours in, but so far I’m having a blast. I could probably only recommend this if you’re a fan of the show, but if you are, then it’s great to be able to experience more aspects of that world. And you gotta love being able to call in a 4-wheeler anytime you want to get around the map. The only problem though is that Final Fantasy XIV is just around the corner…

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SCROLL

I don’t usually write about magazines here – I do that over at The Magaziner – but I did really want to recommend the latest issue (10) of the self-published video game magazine SCROLL. It’s a fantastic look back at the Boku no Natsuyasumi (My Summer Vacation) series. As I wrote the other day, I absolutely loved playing Attack of the Friday Monsters, which is by the same creator, and also goes for that same “nostalgic adventure” vibe. I read this issue from cover to cover last night and this morning, and it just made me want to play those Boku no Natsuyasumi games even more. Come on Sony, get this series localized in English, and release them all on Vita, a perfect platform for these.

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Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time

As with everyone else on the planet right now, I’ve been playing the just released Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time on iOS. The biggest change this time is of course that it follows the free-to-play model, and so far I’m not having a problem with it – and from what I’ve been reading, you can enjoy the entire game without dropping a cent. Let me say that I wouldn’t have a problem paying a flat amount for a game like this, but what I usually hate about the free-to-play model is that you often need to pay for “time” in the game, which I refuse to do (I am fine with unlocking stuff though). So yeah, it’s still as addictive as ever, with some fun new changes, and I’m very happy that your game saves across your iPhone and iPad, as I can see myself playing this both when I’m out and about, and when I’m back home (which I’d prefer to do on my iPad).

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Remember Me

So far I both love and hate this game. What I love the most is the world its set in, a futuristic Neo-Paris that is Blade Runner-esque in the best sense. It’s a joy to explore this city. I also really dig the interface, the cybernetics that you use to interact in the world, as well as the whole memory control system. What has been driving me nuts are some of the battles, which are just not fun. You’re often stuck running around in circles waiting for one of your powers to “ready” itself, and although the build-your-own combo system is interesting, executing those long combos is an exercise in frustration. I think I’m more than halfway through, and I do want to get to the end to see more of the world, but I wish I didn’t have to deal with the annoying bits.

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Nano Assault EX

I bought this game on the 3DS eShop last week – it was on sale for half price, and probably still is – and haven’t played much because of Dream Team monopolizing my 3DS time these days, but it’s a really rad shooter. This game really shows off the 3D effects of the system well, and so it’s a joy to move around the 3D space, shooting the hell out of incoming viruses and the like. Definitely worth picking up, especially at the current sale price (something like $6-7).

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Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

As you may have noticed, I’ve really been enjoying playing games on the 3DS of late, and so it’s no big surprise that I was fairly excited at the idea of playing Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, to the point that I got the game pretty much as it was released (midnight release on August 11). I’m not that familiar with the Mario RPG series, having only played one (Partners in Time), and not to completion, but man, I’m really enjoying this game. I’ve always been one to enjoy JRPGs, and so turn-based battles are something I like, but it’s really fun how these games build on that, adding so much “action” as part of the battles, to keep you on your toes. The story is fun but silly – as you’d expect – but the real fun is in exploring the world by way of Luigi’s dreams, activating various gimmicks to advance further. I can definitely see myself getting to the end of this.

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Dark Souls

I played quite a bit of Dark Souls¬†earlier this year, but eventually put it aside as I got to a point where frustration was getting to me. But the other day, my friend Johnny came over to act as “guide” for me playing through it, offering helpful pointers throughout, and it was a blast. Over about 4 hours of play, I got way past where I’d gotten before on my own, and managed to take down – with some online visitor help – some of the big baddies. Who says that all great co-op experiences have to revolve around having 2 players play at the same time? Not me.

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Battle of the Bulge

I’m not usually into strategic war simulations – not at all, actually – but I can’t recommend Battle of the Bulge for iPad enough. It was recommended to me by a friend, and after playing through the free demo version, I pretty much immediately bought it (and it’s fairly pricey for an iOS game, at $10). The presentation is spectacularly done, and the gameplay is dead simple yet fun. My biggest challenge is in really understanding how to properly make my advances, without losing my supply lines – which basically leaves your advanced troops dead in the water. The game also supports online multiplayer, which I haven’t tried yet.