Here’s the Official PlayStation Plus Games for February

PS-PLUS

There’d been a lot of speculation regarding what games we’d be getting for our PlayStation Plus games next week. While the rumors of Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin and Far Cry 4 certainly had our hopes up, in many ways, the rumor did come off as too good to be true. Unfortunately, as of today, we can confirm that was the case.

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Sit-Rep: Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir – Completing the Sphere of Magical Goodness


Pros:
+
Amazing graphics that have lived up from the game since the PS2 days
+Rich and enjoyable RPG mechanics
+Combat feels smooth and well paced on PS4 and Vita
+Frame rate doesn’t drop at all allowing for smooth combat and gameplay

Cons:
Literally zilch at this time.


Sit-Rep Summary:
When developer Vanillaware learned that Dragon’s Crown was a diamond in the rough
Ever wondered if a game could be a hit a second time around? Developer Vanillaware definitely decided to do so. You may remember the hidden gem on the PlayStation 2. With it back, bigger, better, and more beautiful than ever – the game is a must have for JRPG Side-Scrolling Platforming enthusiasts.


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When it come’s to Vanillaware developed games, you know their games are gold, they are also games that are built with a certain… Je ne sais quoi. Having been a long time fan of Vanillaware, I wasn’t one to hesitate picking up Odin Sphere after having played it back in 2008. For many of us we would be dumbfounded by the question of why this game was remade and if it was worth picking up. The answer? That’s why we’re here.

When looking at remakes, we’re critical on if a game can live up to its celebrated remake. With buttery-smooth 60-frames-per-second framerate of side-scrolling action that plays just as smooth as it sounds. With improvements upon the games combat and RPG mechanics, one would wonder if this game could be one of the best experiences possible. Truth is? This is one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. As one would expect, the game runs equally well on both platforms, graphics don’t even feel compromised in any form of matter. While many would expect it to run a bit chuggy on the PlayStation Vita, the game runs crisp, clean, and even looks as good as one would expect. For those of you who played Dragon’s Crown, expect this kind of performance without the touch-screen gimmicks that take away from the experience.

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Unlike the PlayStation 2 version. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir runs splendidly due to how the overall upgrades the game received. If you’ve played the PlayStation 2 version, you’re familiar that the game would come to a screeching halt as a brontide of groans came from fans during moments of high combat animations. With beautifully accentuated performances, the new one also offers up a new experience with a new combination of weapons, allowing for a unique blend of combat.  With new special attacks, and alchemic potions in the mix, everything works quite well with one another and offers up a unique twist in combat.

As pretty and uniquely made as the game was when it first released, the new one is much like Dragon’s Crown where players can find themselves distracted quite easily with each minute that passed while playing. Much like previous titles of them, the game made me run circles in order to keep playing through each place while candlelight’s, torches, sunbeams, and even vibrantly-colored plants sprawled across my screen. If there’s anything that I couldn’t stare at? It was the flashing blue light on the side of my PlayStation Vita when coming back from my loops of distraction and appreciation for the games artwork.

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When adventuring on through each scene, it was nice to be able to find myself lost in the game that you’d have been sure was crafted carefully by hyperactive adults who needed a way to become focused on the goal at hand. With five characters at the helm for players to enjoy, players will find themselves wanting more and more when they step away from the game. With each map carefully crafted, characters feel alive, enjoyable, and even immersed by the world around them. With action being constant and unrelenting, players will be able to find themselves entranced while swapping between their basic attacks before using their spell abilities known as “Phozon Skills” that alow magic to be used in order to assault their enemies. Thank to this, players can go from freezing enemies in front of them before tossing out a fiery bomb in front of them from their inventory thanks to their alchemy.

As one would expect, combo’s come in hand while maneuvering between aerial attacks, spells, and potions. Doing so makes higher combat rankings come in at an easier pacing while moving forth through the game. With the end of each battle easily approaching, victory loot becomes essential in order to take out harder to defeat enemies from giants, to dragon’s to elves, to fairies and even more. Some enemies will test your ability to platform due to attacks that come in forms of ranged barrages, long-reaching spider like legs, and even spells that could knock a player around like a rag doll.

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Much as one would expect, the game lives up to its genre tag rather well as an action RPG with rich elements of both. With a large array of diverse weapon skills from characters such as Gwendolyn’s capabilities as a caster, Oswald’s abilities as a bone-crushing warrior, and even characters such as Pooka Prince Cornelius who bring the game to life with brooding-comical. With skills being upgradeable by collecting Phozon Prisms, players will find themselves immersing in the RPG like elements in order to make their characters more powerful.

Thanks to carefully designed maps and pieces of artwork, Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is an enjoyable game where players will find themselves using food in order to boost stats, and conveniently move between warp points to remove the use of tedious backtracking. Anyone that’s played any side-scroller knows this can become a rather troublesome ordeal thanks to worlds growing rather large. Players that explore, however, will find themselves digging through rather large nooks and crannies for improved gear, items. Even large stashes of hidden treasures become available for those that take time and effort to do so.

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir – PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), PlayStation Vita (Reviewed), PS3
Developer: Vanillaware
Publisher: ATLUS
Price: $59.99/$49.99/$39.99 (PS4/PS3/PSV)
Release Date: Available Now

While each story shares a similar theme, each one is unique. Such as Oswald, Gwendolyn, Velvet, and even Mercedes who bring this very world to life. While each character, as stated, has their own story arc that is creatively incredible, I’d have to say each comes with a nice twist of fates as they intertwine into one large story arc that will leave players jaw dropped. With how well it’s crafted, one could easily call it Vanillaware’s very own Odysseus as it will definitely be a game that’s around for years to come. With musical tracks such as Ringford Forest’s where players will find themselves humming a long at some point with the games percussion’s that come to life. With talented voicing from actress Karen Strassman, players will find themselves hooked for hours to come thanks to the amazing talents across the board. If you’re one for original Japanese dubbing, you’re in for a treat as it can be found within the games option menus.

Overall, Vanillaware’s Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is here to stay and runs without a hitch. With such an artistically creative masterpiece that takes art, music, and voice dubbing to a whole new place – consumers won’t be disappointed from the moment they boot up their game and move save files across both PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.


Our review is based on a copy provided to us by the games publisher.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 10 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

Atlus Street Dates Persona 5 for PS3 and PS4

Been wondering what it would take to steal your heart away? As of today, Atlus has officially street dated Persona 5 as well as announced the “Take Your Heart” Premium Edition that’ll be landing on shelves near you on February 14th, 2017.  This edition? It’s exclusive to PlayStation 4 when it launches and features a large bit of goodies for you collector’s.

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The upcoming edition comes with a 64-page hard-covered art book featuring the works of Shigenori Soejima whom will appear at the ATLUS booth at E3 this year. Think that’s all in it? You’re wrong. Atlus has also announced it will come with a 4-inch plush figurine of Morgana, a member of the Phantom Thieves, and the mascot of the group (Teddy is no more folks, that’s all). Morgana is a cat by day and a cat-like, Persona-wielding thief by night. This plush will feature Morgana’s Phantom Thief appearance, with bandana, mask, and all! This edition will also feature a Steelbook collectible case exclusive to the game, soundtrack, and a bad ass high school bag modeled after Japanese-style school bags.

Because of how colossal box the goodies are? The box is the size to match it all. Wanting to grab it? You can pick up the “Take Your Heart” Premium Edition retails for $89.99/CA$109.99. You can be guaranteed we’ll be doing an unboxing of this edition.

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For those just interested in the PS4 version of the game, we’re releasing a limited pre-order/day-one run of the Steelbook Launch Edition, arriving in the same SteelBook case as the Premium Edition (while supplies last). The PS4 version of the game will retail for $59.99/CA$79.99.


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

Theory Craft (Heavy Spoiler Warning): Warframe and Dark Sector Exist in the Same Universe Part 1

warframe

As many of you know, I have a thing for Warframe, but I also have a thing for Dark Sector. Dark Sector was inexplicably one of the worst, but best games I played in years when it came to pandemic type titles. Little had I known it is what inspired Warframe, I wouldn’t have had as much interest as I do  now, and that is where this first entry in our monthly “Theory Craft” series stars today. The first one is a two part series discussing and explaining the Warframe and Dark Sector history and Part 2 will explain how they come together in some plausible way.

In Warframe, our universe has a very diluted story. For those unfamiliar, Warframe takes place a universe that was recently explained to us through Update 18, where we learn the truth about who Lotus, or rather both the Orookin and the Tenno’s were and are before we can begin closing the gap and linking Dark Sector into the whole thing. Please note, however, none of this is confirmed by DE and is a direct theory created by me.

In the new and first cinematic quest line we begin to learn more about the Lotus and her Sentient name “Natah”. In this latest piece of lore we find out about what has really happened in the warframe universe thus far. Please note, however, there are also no solid dates or timeline, just an idea of what is going on. In the story we learn that the Oro are partially sentient, a creature created from possibly energy. This gives us the founding idea that the Oro could possibly create a symbiotic relationship with whom they bind to, this would give us the idea that the sentient beings such as Hunhow and Natah are possibly immortal and can not age, but also how they gained their abilities to control the special powers the way they do.

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Under the guise of a better future, we learn that the Orokin elite, human civilization was capable of spanning throughout the solar system. They were able to inhabit other planets, further technology advancement, and even go to the extent of entering a golden age. One that places the Orokin minority at the height of this new human empire. In turn, with this age of expansion the Orokin created two lesser and more subservient “races” or perhaps these races were already in place and the Orokin utilized them a bit better. The Grineer, meant to be manual laborers and a war machine, while the Corpus were meant to be administrators, scientists, and bureaucrats. This giving the Corpus the delegation of government, and such with the guidance of the Orokin themselves.

Over the centuries, they would begin to enter a decline, and the Orokin Empire would approach itself becoming near collapse as the resources of the Origin system began to stretch thin. With this happening, discontent would brew across both Orokin and the subservient races they created. This causing the Orokin to head to the nearby Tau system where they would have constructs we know as Solar Rails be placed in so they could instantly travel between the systems. Over time the plan to travel to the Tau system would begin, the Orokin  would begin terraforming (or so we think) and allow this system to become inhabitable. While in the process of this, they would also begin to achieve their own form of sentience in order to evolve past what the Orokin had predicted (This assumption is based upon the order that Shadow Stalker stepped before when he met Hunhow). In turn, the Orokin would travel from the Tau System to the Rail at Pluto, here they would make contact with things that they believed were just machines and discover the newest race; Sentients.

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In view of how the Orokin saw things, the Sentients were probably considered abberations, and in turn, a war wold be started as Orokin’s would force their superiority upon the Sentients, and attempt to wipe them out singlehande. To this efect, the Orokin have taken off more than they could possibly manage as the Old War begins to flare up. In turn, the Sentients would begin to overwhelm their enemy forces by subverting higher levels of technology in order to combat their new enemy. Here we can assume that the Sentients would possibly have used proxies to fight, machines that were designed for specific combat (Warframes?). This is also where it would be safe to assume that the Orokin would discover that Grineer, their slave race, would make great warriors. Here they would begin to clone them, weaponize them with lower tech weapons than what the corpos would have, and sent them to combat the Sentients who are holding down their grasp fairly well in this war.

As the Orokin begin to find their low tech soldiers futility rather low, the Orokin would design a new form of life, the virus known as “technocyte virus”. Rather they would weaponize a virus that had been found on Earth after it had been unleashed. The results of weaponizing the virus ended up being unleashed upon the corpus, where in turn, thousands of troops would be created. The result was not greater than the outcome they had hoped for. The infestation itself would begin to spread like a wild fire, and in turn it would assume a mind of its own, much like it did in Dark Sector. Here it would allow itself to grow as it became obvious in its current stage that the virus would not subvert machines, and so the Sentients themselves were not directly affected. With the Sentient advance barely slowed, the Orokin would grow desperate and would seek to exploit the void. In the story “The Second Dream” we learn that the void energy would leave the Sentients poisoned and they would be unable to enter it. While having put some of their own ships that were designed to expos them to void energy, they accidentally would recreate something that was discovered. This corruption in some way hurt the Oro, allowing the resulting Tenno to channel their raw void energies. The warframes in turn would be built as conduits for them as Tenno weapons.

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In turn, the Tenno would be revealed to be extremely efficient killing machines, and in turn they would be able to push back the Sentient threat as they began to put them on the edge of defeat. Here they would also almost capture the Outer terminus, but in turn, the Sentients would have one last trick. They would sent their own through the void. In turn they send some of their own through the void. Here we learn that Natah is a sentient who was created to subert the Tenno themselves, and likely through the use of Warframes. Here she would arrive to the Origin system, but was not able to prevent the Orokin forces from recapturing and crippling or even destroying Outer Terminus. Here, they would lose contact witht he Tau System and the Orokin would take this as a victory.

Over time we learn Natah would grow to gain control of the Tenno, and with this, she would bring them back to the Orokin rulers. There she would order the Tenno to cut all the Orokin down. With that chaos would be unleashed allowing the Grineer to rebel and the Corpus to flee on their own. With the Infestation out of control, the Orokin, Grineer, and Corpus would remain unchecked. Balance would be lost. Without the forces needed and them being hunted by Natah’s Tenno, the Grineer, Corpus and Orokin would disappear for some time. The Origin System as we now know it would be in chaos. There is no ruler, but the Sentients and Orokin have been reduced to nothing. With Natah now barren from having traveled through Void travel using the Solar Rails, she would fail to execute her fina command and would allow the Tenno to live in their dreams. Here she would dawn the crown of the Lotus and would become the voice to the Tenno.

As their leader, she would gain a foothold on the Origin system by maintaining order. During this time, she would soon realize that her Tenno, rather her children as she sees them, would be doomed. They would die and she would have no way to make more of these Tenno due to the absence of the Orokin. In turn, she must prepare for the inevitable return of the Sentients, thus she hides her children in “The Second Dream” where they would believe they awoke inside their Warframes (the games introduction).

As centuries pass, the Tenno and the Orokin have barely been remembered as the Old War becomes history among the stars. Over time, the Grineer were able to take the Origin System through ruthless domination. Though with it they also had found themselves disfigured and damaged through over cloning, while the Corpus themselves were able to carve a spot in the system through commerce and technology. With some attrition between the two, a war has not been heavily present. Over time the Grineer and the Corpus would begin to discover Orokin artifacts. With these artifacts they would also find small remnants of the Tenno. With this happening, Lotus would realize it’s time for her to awaken her children as the Grineer and Corpus would surely use the Tenno for their own reasons. With the Origin system in a more stable situation, the Tenno would act as infiltrators, but also assassin’s to the Lotus herself. They would complete their objectives without fer of retaliation from either side.

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During this time, The Corpus have begun to rebuild the Outer Terminus while the researcher of the Grineer, Tyl Regor, would find and break into the vault where a Sentient has been resting. Thus the story of the Second Dream had taken place. But there are a few things that do seem to need answered within the Warframe story arch now that it’s theorized and laid out. During the Hidden Messages quest, players will find that during the transitional timeframe where the Tenno were already following Lotus they were still fighting for the Orokin as they would oppose the ancients. This presents that it’s likely that Lotus was sent to directly infiltrate the Orokin, but not to subvert more Tenno to her secret army. This is also backed by the idea that Hunhow, the Sentient, tells his daughter Natah (Lotus) that “We crossed the gap, wombs in ruin, to bring and end to this. We servered the worlds, let them destroy me, why is the sequence not complete?”

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This quote hints at the idea that Natah, rather Lotus, was an insider to the Orokin Empire, there she would take her time to control the Tenno and build an army for the Sentients. This however, also gives the idea that this was used to preserve the Tau System from a Tenno invasion in case their first plan failed. Or… The more possible answer, both of these were possible, and she was to prepare the Tenno for two separate missions at once. The last possibility is a common theory among many. The Lotus wasn’t a Sentient and the infiltration was even more subtle. However, this means she would’ve been an agent from somewhere else and the Lotus’ control over the Tenno would be to see how the best course to fight the Sentients would’ve been taken. But how would this play into Dark Sector, if at all?

In Dark Sector players take the role of Hayden Tenno. An operative who has been discharged from his military service dishonorably, but also a man that works now as a secret agent, and one that does the dirty work for others in turn. Over the course of his story, we witness our protagonist become infected with the technocyte virus by a mysterious creature wearing the Nemesis warframe design we now see on Nyx within Warframe. We in turn through the game take on soldiers using biosuits, high powered weapons, and even the infestation as the virus has begun to run rampant after a failed test that was meant to be contained. As the game goes through, we witness Hayden begin to change. Thanks to his bonding with the virus and not going mad due to congenital analgesia, he was unable to feel pain, therefore the virus didn’t make him go mad during his search for a nanotechnology specialist. With the virus only affecting his right arm, somehow the virus allowed him to create the weapon we have come to know as “Glaive”.

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As players moved through the story, we learn that Hayden’s suit of armor at the end of the game is not caused by the virus, but rather a unique “Warframe” that would enhance his combat abilities and keep him safe. This suit in Warframe would be later named Excalibur and would become an idealistic design for those wanting a close range Warframe. A trademark that carried over with this was also the fact that the Lotus logo could be seen on his left shoulder throughout the game. This hint is possible that Sentients later on could have been created by humans on Earth using biotechnology or even nano-technology to transcend past the virus as it would run rampant through the world rather quickly due to Mezner’s insanity and Hayden’s inability to contain the virus.

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A early stage Jackal before the Corpus made them?

The game also foreshadowed Nemesis as a cross between both the Rhino and Nyx Warframes due to the overall appearance. Another nod towards Dark Sector is the enemy created by the virus known as “Stalker”. Our assumption that this Stalker could also be the one from the game would also give a nod towards the fact that our current Shadow Stalker is maddened by something that happened to him. Rather the fact he was driven mad by either not entering the dream or having been in it to long. Both ideas could be explained at a later date as the story expands.

But how would this link the two games together? Stay tuned for Part 2 coming this week.


 

About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.