Atlus Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Atlus RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux Gets a Western Release Date Mon, 22 Jan 2018 16:02:50 -0500 pithyalyse

Western MegaTen fans rejoice! Atlus announced via Twitter that Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux will release May 15th in the West. Publisher Deep Silver later added via Twitter that European fans can get their hands on the 3DS RPG come May 18th.  

This newest addition to the Shin Megami Tensei series isn’t wholly original, but rather an updated version of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, released in 2010 for the DS. Redux adds 300 new fusible demons, modernized artwork and UI, an extra dungeon, and a new character, Alex, who acts as a catalyst to additional story content.

The plot follows typical Shin Megami Tensei conventions: an ominous rift dubbed the Schwarzwelt has mysteriously appeared above Antarctica, forming a bridge between Earth and a hellish mirror version inundated with demons. You play as a United Nations soldier tasked with investigating the nightmarish landscape and keeping said demons from overwhelming the planet.  

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux also marks the newest addition to Atlus’ 25th-anniversary project for the series, which launched last year. Fans anticipate an announcement concerning Shin Megami Tensei V at the project’s culmination, as the project’s logo references the four previous titles’ release dates in a star formation, with an ominous “Next” topping the shape.

In the meantime, MegaTen fans can check out the teaser trailer below, and stay tuned to GameSkinny for all your Shin Megami Tensei information.  

Face It: Persona 4 Is the Worst of the Trilogy Fri, 01 Sep 2017 11:45:49 -0400 Selandrile

Atlus's Persona series is among the most beloved franchises of all time. Well-known and with no shortage of fans, Persona games are almost a genre unto themselves. A very specific and successful formula is rigorously adhered to: live the life of a Japanese high schooler whilst battling representations of unconscious human thought during your free time.

As with any series, some entries in the Persona franchise have been better than others. And though different fans have different opinions about which one is best, Persona 5 is definitely a front-runner for that title. But which Persona game is the worst of the series? I'd have to say Persona 4.

The Beginning of Persona

Persona 1 and 2 are so removed from the last three main series games that they were not even born in this millennium. They are so different, in fact, that I personally don't consider them as really being part of the same series as the others. It would be like comparing games from different genres.

The PlayStation 2 saw the rebirth of the franchise with Persona 3 -- a game which would come to define what a Persona title was supposed to be. Simulating what it means to be a teenager, Persona 3 has the player balance their high school life, friendships, and story-related drama all within a set amount of time. Take too long, and it's game over. Waste time or be inefficient, and expect to miss out on content and be weaker for it.

While sometimes brutal, the time-management and life/story balance were monumental in the Persona series' game design. In fact, these elements proved so popular they continue to form the core of the series to this day. The latest in the series, Persona 5, has become a global phenomenon -- catapulting the Persona series from somewhat-niche into mainstream acceptance. This near-perfect game refined what worked, removed what didn't, and introduced new, exciting elements that both fit and enhanced the entire experience.

So when you consider these factors, what makes its immediate predecessor, Persona 4, the weak link in the chain? 

The Weakest Link

With Persona 3 being so groundbreaking and Persona 5 being so excellent, only Persona 4 remains -- making it the worst of the series. It's important to note that "worst of the Persona series" is hardly an insult. Even 4, with its many problems, is an excellent game in its own right. But I believe it's the true weak link for mainly one reason.

It cannot be denied Persona 4 took the successful formula of 3, yet completely abandoned its tone. Persona 3 remains among the darkest of games I have ever played 00 topped only by a few BioWare and FromSoftware titles. The dark visuals, suffocating atmosphere, and apocalyptic plot all contributed to Persona 3 being such a unique and wonderful experience. In this third iteration, the player witnesses an hour of time frozen where humans transform into coffins, tempted to emerge to their deaths. Each midnight, this horror unfolds. Blood rains from the sky and the city twists into a monstrosity reaching for the sky. And it's hard to forget that ending -- perhaps the most bleak of any game ever. The central theme of Death is quite apparent.

Persona 5, the newest title, is also dark and quite possibly the most mature of the franchise. Clearly 5 was made with an older audience in mind, as there is an abundance of swearing, criminal, and controversial elements, as well as complex psychological themes.

Characters each have their own lives, all filled with very real-world problems. Women are held back by an oppressive traditional society. Outcasts are shuttered away, never to be acknowledged. And everywhere the game's central theme, Betrayal, permeates. Authority figures abuse their power for their own gain and the strong feed off the weak. If you remove the supernatural elements Persona 5 would play more like a real-world documentary of the worst parts of our society.

Persona 4 stands in contrast to these, as it's sort of built on fluff. That's really how the game feels -- like light-hearted fluff. It's a bit contradictory when you consider 4's main plot is about finding a murderer. Any seriousness brought by the plot is utterly ruined by the presentation. Light comedy lurks around every corner. Characters bumble through their lives with wacky issues that need solving. Very rarely do serious elements get addressed -- and when they do, it's hardly an accomplishment.

One pertinent example is Kanji -- the thug whose sensitive and caring side is held back by society's need for men to be traditionally masculine. This is a wonderful character premise, but the game Kanji's characteristics as a lead-in to a "joke" about him being gay. It ruins the spirit of the message.

Bitter Beginnings and Dull Combat

Perhaps one of the most telling aspects of Persona 4 are the protagonist's backgrounds.

In Persona 5, the sharp and snazzy Joker is the victim of an enormous injustice. Framed for assault after stopping a man from attempting to sexually assault a woman, Joker's life is destroyed and he is forced to leave the region for one last hope at education.

Persona 3 has its blue-haired protagonist witness his parents burn to death in front of him -- forever traumatizing him and desensitizing him so much to death that he almost welcomes it.

But in contrast to these rich stories, Persona 4's blandly-drawn hero moves to the countryside to live with his normal uncle and niece because his parents are working overseas. And....that's it. Keep in mind this tonal difference is before the game even starts -- and nothing ever happens in the plot to complicate this premise or bring the game in line tonally with others in the series. 

This trend carries over into nearly every facet. Persona 4's characters in general seem weaker than the rest of the series. Contrast 3's Misato to 4's Teddy and 5's Morgana. Only one is a bundle of slapstick chibi humor.

The main plot is hardly as engaging or deep, either. Discover the mysteries of the midnight hour and the horrors within Persona 3. Fight society's corruption by forcing criminals in positions of power to admit their own crimes while working to rebuild your shattered life and explore another world in Persona 5. Or finally investigate who is throwing some people into a TV in Persona 4. When you hold these plots up against each other, the comparisons speak for themselves. 

As if that's not enough, combat in Persona 4 is a literal copy of its predecessor with no improvements. You'll see the same randomized levels, the same enemy types, the same attacks, the same "weapons", etc. While you could finally choose your party member's attacks, it never was as important as the desperate flailing to hit the enemy first before battle.

And I swear, if I ever have to hear Persona 4's battle music again I may self-induce deafness. It's chirpy, joyous, pop-esque battle theme really hammers home that this is a lighter game.

I admit that enjoyment is subjective, and there are those that do not want a dark Persona game. If that's the case for you, then 4 is the only game that you've probably enjoyed because the Persona series is by its nature a dark, dark series.

I don't have anything but respect for those that enjoy lighter games. Gaming should always strive to be more inclusive, because a larger audience means a healthier industry and more quality products. 

Persona 4 diverged from the usual Persona path and 5 pulled it back on. But during that detour, it was still a great experience. That's why I'm happy to say that while Persona 4 may be the worst in the series, it's still very good indeed.

Atlus Announces Three New Persona Spin-Off Sequels Wed, 02 Aug 2017 18:37:49 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Atlus has recently announced three new spin-off games in the Persona series, providing sequels to their successful past spin-offs -- Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth and Persona 4: Dancing All Night.

The two games with the most information currently available are both dancing games in the spirit of the odd yet engaging spin-off of Persona 4, titled Persona 4: Dancing All NightAtlus is pulling a bit of a Pokemon with the two titles, as they are releasing them both around the same time as each other -- and each will tote a different cast, setting, and style of music similar to its respective main series game.   

The games are currently titled Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5: Dancing Star Night, and both games are to be developed by P Studio for the PlayStation Vita.

Then there's Persona Q2, which was also announced, and is a sequel to Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth -- a sort of cross-over game between Persona 3 and Persona 4, which played similarly to the Etrian Odyssey series. 

All we have at the moment is a teaser image sporting imagery from Persona 5, and a request for us to "please wait for next information". But the promise alone has people plenty excited already. Q2 is planned for release on the Nintendo 3DS just like the original.  

Below, you can watch the teaser for Dancing Moon Night:

And here you can take a peek at Dancing Star Night:

Both of the dancing titles are planned for release in Spring of 2018 while Q2 does not yet have a release date. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more information as it comes down the pipe!

Atlus Thanks Western Fans For Playing Persona 5 Thu, 04 May 2017 15:22:31 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Atlus, the developer of Persona 5, has released a special thank you to fans in the wake of the game's hugely successful release in North America and Europe.

The game's long-time director, Katsura Hashino, penned the following special message:

As a developer, I’m very happy to hear that Persona 5 is being played by so many people overseas. To be honest, it’s really hard to gauge its popularity in the West when our team’s in Japan; we’re not able to see everyone’s comments and discussions. It’d be great to interact with the fans abroad, but sadly, I’m stuck in the development room slurping instant ramen (laugh). Persona 5 is a very “Japanese” story with some political aspects to it, so I couldn’t imagine how Western players would react to it. I did know, however, that Persona 5 was highly anticipated by gamers overseas even back when we were developing the game, so I was curious to see how its story would be received.

I’m going off on a tangent here, but I think that traditional Japanese superhero stories tend to be about fighting off invaders from outside their society, while Western ones focus on fighting against villains and misfits that come from within it. There’s a sense of society being responsible for creating this evil, and such a setting lets the audience’s imagination run wild, like “it could’ve been me.” For instance, doesn’t the Joker from Batman make some valid points that resonate with you?

Persona 5 is also a superhero story in which you fight villains that are born from within society, so I thought that it might be received differently than the previous entries. Of course, it could’ve missed the mark completely and been criticized for it, so my anticipation and anxiety were split half and half. Since the game just launched in the West, I’d like to look back on it at a later time, once I receive feedback from the Western audience—how their gameplay experiences were, what kind of things they felt, etc. I hope that the tale of Persona 5 will leave a lasting impression on everyone who plays it. No matter what kind of project I take on going forward, I love creating RPGs that are both moving and relatable regardless of cultural differences—in fact, I’m most interested in strengthening those aspects right now.

Last year, with the milestone of the Persona series’ 20th anniversary, I handed off the series development to my successors and announced the start of my new RPG project that takes place in a fantasy world. Be it a game set in modern day, like the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series, or a game set in a new fantasy world, I aim to create games that provide an invaluable experience of reflecting on oneself through a journey, while roleplaying as characters that players can deeply relate to.

These efforts are only made possible thanks to the positive reception we receive from fans—not just in Japan, but worldwide—of the Persona series and Atlus RPGs in general. I appreciate all your support for the newest entry in the Persona series, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the new Atlus RPGs to come.

Persona 5 released on April 4 in North America and Europe, and has since sold over one million copies and received critical acclaim. Check out our ranking of all the games in the series, as well as why we reckon people will be talking about Persona 5 for a lot longer than Final Fantasy XV! Or if you need assistance during gameplay, check out all of our Persona 5 guides

Persona 5 is available now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. For all your Persona 5 news and extensive guide coverage, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

5 Persona 5 OST Songs That Prove Lyn Inaizumi and Shoji Meguro Are a Match Made in Heaven Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:00:01 -0400 Dan Roemer

#1 - Last Surprise

Did you see this coming? Of course you did, if you've played Persona 5 then chances are this main chorus is burned into your bind, as it should be -- it's fantastic. Once again with a smooth jazz rock fusion, this track is absolutely my favorite track in the game and it never gets old hearing it.


♪You'll never see it coming♫


But what are your favourite songs? Let us know in the comments and for everything from Persona to Shin Megami Tensei and in-between, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

#2 - Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There

This is the opening and main theme of Persona 5 itself, it's the first song you'll be greeted with once you start the game for the first time. It sets the impression, tone, and theme of the game itself. With an incredibly unique jazz rock fusion that bleeds style like the game that you're about to play, it's absolutely solid as the main theme and setting that crucial first impression, but it's not quite my favourite.


♪Wake up -- Get up -- Get out there -- Raise your voice against liars -- Feed your anger like fire!♫

#3 - Beneath the Mask (Rain Version)

This is the type of song that sets the mood perfectly for a rainy mellow atmosphere. Throw in some rain trickling down on a window sill, with a crescendo from the chorus of this song, and you've basically set the most comfortable mood possible.


The moment you hear this in the game itself is also beautiful and one my favourite segments so far.


♪Please don't take off my mask, my place to hide♫

#4 - Life Will Change

This is without a doubt one of the catchiest songs in the game, from the incredible rhythm guitar work (a fine example at 3:10) -- to the catchy main chorus of the song itself.


I was honestly shocked this wasn't the main theme of the game itself when I first heard it. This song is extremely catchy and uplifting, but catchy doesn't necessarily mean great -- hence the placement -- as I think these next three songs are the real heart takers!


♪Right before your eyes, Watch us multiply, Come to claim our rights -- It's tiiiime♫

#5 - Rivers In the Desert

From the intense drum beats, opening guitar riffs, and that awesome main chorus. This is an incredible song with the only thing I think holding it back is the lyrics being a bit confusing and bordering on hard to understand with Lyn's accent, hence its placement at #5.


That beat also at 2:01 is an absolute highlight for sure -- incredible stuff.


♪ A river in a dry land -- The last ace in a lost hand -- A heartbeat for a tin man -- Oasis in a singed land!♫


Persona 5's soundtrack is by far one of the best this year, if not the best within the series, or even the JRPG genre for that matter. Everything from Lyn Inaizumi's incredible vocal work, to the unique jazz-rock score which bleeds style and is perfectly fitting for a game that also mimics this aesthetically. Persona 5's soundtrack I believe will go down as a fan favorite -- it certainly is for me.


Today I'll be counting down the five songs in Persona 5 that prove Lyn Inaizumi and Shoji Meguro are a match made in musical composition heaven, and make Persona 5's vocal tracks some of the absolute best original songs for a game in years.



Be careful, Lyn will certainly takes your heart.

I Guarantee You People Will Be Talking About Persona 5 Way Longer than Final Fantasy XV Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Dan Roemer

Final Fantasy XV released in November of last year to much success in regards to sales and received mostly positive review coverage, there's no doubting that. However discussions around the game died down over the months since release, and the only reason anyone is discussing Final Fantasy XV is the upcoming DLC and updates that aim to give us a more complete story.

Meanwhile Persona 5 just launched this month and is receiving critical acclaim from press and fans alike, it's being heralded by many as one of the best JRPGs ever made and could be the new standard for the genre going forward. I believe Persona 5 will be discussed for years to come because of the new bar it raised, far longer even than Final Fantasy XV.

Don't get me wrong -- I still think Final Fantasy XV is a solid game with an extremely interesting development history, I even made a video review for it on my channel discussing my full thoughts on the game after clocking in well over a hundred hours into it.

I do think Final Fantasy XV will be remembered... But for all the wrong reasons, so let's discuss and break down these reasons and why Persona 5 over all is a more memorable experience.

Final Fantasy XV's Bizarre Approach to Telling Its Story

Persona 5 in terms of overall story, even within the first few hours of playing it, is more memorable than anything within the first few hours of Final Fantasy XV. Square Enix took a very bizarre approach to the plot in XV by creating an “expanded universe” of media -- from an anime detailing the main cast of character's backgrounds and how they all met, to a movie setting up the plot of the game itself.

I wouldn't even say this is optional content either, if you don't watch Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV you're going to be missing key context within the story of the game itself, the same applies to the anime. Meanwhile Persona 5 just simply put; has a story to tell within the confines of the game itself, crazy concept right?

Long term will this will also make Persona 5 all the more memorable simply because the story itself is contained within the game. By the time I was wrapping up Final Fantaxy XV and reached the end of the game, I was so lost and confused with what was going on due to the absolute cluster-fuck the story turns into once the credits were rolling -- I simply didn't care anymore.

Persona 5 is Unforgettably more Stylish

Final Fantasy XV is a gorgeous game in its own right, but Persona 5 just bleeds style in everything it does, from the moment you start the game up for the first time you're greeted with an incredible animated intro.

To the highly stylised main-menu of the game, the first moments of starting the game up and being introduced to your playable character and his background; with a mood and tone that seems like a Lemony Snicket style A Series of Unfortunate Events spin off -- and it's fantastic! Even to the highly stylised UI, characters, and monster designs, Persona 5 is a game that will still hold up 20 years from now on aesthetics alone.

All Flash, No Substance

In terms of over all combat and gameplay, Final Fantasy XV's combat can be best summarised as flashy and cool to look at at its best, but mechanically it's extremely shallow.

You essentially hold down circle or B to attack and switch weapons or use magic on the D-pad or change the direction of the right analog stick to change up combos, it works -- it's functional -- but there are so many games out there have much better action RPG combat or weapon based combat in general.

Meanwhile Persona 5 takes a much more traditional turn based approach, but it's so highly stylised with animations for different actions. So much so that in my opinion they're on par with the action-heavy animations you can perform in Final Fantasy XV's combat.

The turn based gameplay in Persona 5 is without a doubt in my mind the best in the genre from what I've played so far. Some may say turn based RPGs are archaic and outdated (which is an opinion I wholeheartedly disagree with) -- but let me ask you this: would you rather play something a bit outdated in terms of gameplay design but is perfection within the genre itself? Or would you rather play something more modern in design -- but with gameplay overall that is serviceable at best compared to other titles within the genre? I know what I'd pick and more importantly, I know damn sure which I'd actually remember years from now.

Giving Value to Your Time

Both Final Fantasy XV and Persona 5 can easily consume over a hundred hours of your time, if you aim to beat them. You'll waste plenty of hours in Final Fantasy XV doing hunt quests and fighting giant monsters, catching frogs, fishing, and exploring the world of Eos in general.

But the key word here -- is waste. Final Fantasy XV will waste plenty of your time, I can't help but think of how many countless hours I spent wandering around the vast open world, setting the controller down to check twitter on my phone as I drove somewhere, or did another fetch quest on the other side of the map and waited in loading screens as I fast travelled from place to place.

The difference in the hundreds of hours you may spend with Persona 5; is that it values your time. Each passing in-game day on the calendar is integral, whether it's missions or heists that have a deadline you need to meet, giving an actual purpose to the grinding you may need to do, or the different activities you do throughout the day. From interacting with friends, exploring Tokyo, or even seemingly mundane things like studying or doing laundry.

All of it has a purpose and builds towards your character and gives them more skills and abilities to unlock, Persona 5 so far has never once made me feel like I'm wasting a single minute doing something within its world, it holds my attention for every minute I play it.

While Final Fantasy XV is good... Persona 5 is great, and that means that we will all be talking about it for far longer than we did with Final Fantasy XV.

But for those of you that have played both, what do you guys think? I'd love to hear your opinions on both games, so let me know in the comments below!

Why Atlus is Hurting Its Brand Image Threatening to Ban Persona 5 Streamers Sun, 16 Apr 2017 15:09:50 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Atlus has really created a rift in the video game community -- specifically Persona 5’s community. Upon release, the game was met with glowing reviews and adoring fans. One of my fellow writers here at GameSkinny has even hailed it as the best JRPG of all time behind closed doors.

But developer Atlus decided that streaming past a certain (early) point in the game would be punishable with a copyright strike and DMCA takedown. Moreover, Atlus deactivated the screenshot/video feature on the PS4. The company claimed that all the fuss was meant “to prevent spoilers”. 

In reality, though, Atlus has hurt itself and its game with these sorts of strict regulations more than it's hurt streamers. Most Persona 5 streamers have simply ignored the warning and continued streaming, leaving Atlus looking the fool. But what does this really mean for the company and its brand image?

The Stakes of Atlus' Actions

Let's Talk Legal Precedent

Publishers technically have the right to limit a player's ability to take screenshots via the PS4. Many developers have done this in the past for particular sections, or cut scenes, in a game. There are arguments to be made about this concerning free speech or other myriad issues -- but at the end of the day, taking screenshots of games, while not illegal, is also not a protected right.

There’s also the matter of legal precedent. It is generally accepted that as long as significant commentary is made over video game footage, the commentator in question is protected by fair use. As such, streamers exist within an awkward middle ground.

Under copyright law, copyright holders are allowed to have control over public displays of their work. Fair use only protects significant alterations to the original work. Thus, most streaming could arguably be deemed illegal because of this. (I am pretty sure that I could not add my own commentary to an NFL game and hope to say that it was fair use.)

However, the U.S. court system has not had a case that actually sets a precedent for streamers/Let’s Players.

While Streamers are in an Awkward Position, They are Generally Considered More of a Symbiote than a Parasite.

Streamers have single-handedly propelled games to fame and success. And much of their work is considered to be free publicity. Streamers also hold market dominance on some of the largest video sharing platforms in the world, such as Twitch and YouTube. Their combined might may not quite stand up to the marketing hordes of AAA publishers, but there's a reason that PR departments are willing to send free game copies to streamers. 

The games industry largely knows and accepts these personalities as an integral part of the games industry (even if they are regularly hit with misguided, or misaimed, copyright strikes). Moreover, even the companies that think of streamers as parasites (i.e. Nintendo) have not actively sued any streamers, presumably because they know their public image would suffer greatly for it. 

Jim Sterling, in particular, has been very vocal about his struggles with video game companies and litigation. Below is one of many videos where he discusses his own copyright takedown issues.

A video, such as one comparing the themes of Persona 5 to those present in Shakespearean literature, would very clearly constitute significant commentary/contributions and would be protected under fair use; it could not lawfully be stricken down by Atlus. However, you would most likely not be safe because you would lack the firepower to fight back.

Although you could appeal your case via YouTube’s counter-claim system, your results would vary. And for many people, this could still leave their primary source of income in shambles for weeks at a time. It would be easy for Atlus to bully content creators out of utilizing their rights.

The (Self-Inflicted) Damage Atlus Has Done to Themselves

WTF Did You Think would Happen, Atlus? 

However, none of this is unique to this situation. YouTuber’s that display video game footage on their channel legally go through this type of crap all the time. It is a natural by-product of American copyright law, and the law system in general, favoring the people with the more expensive lawyers and the YouTube system which seemingly decides you are guilty until proven innocent. In fact, Atlus at least gave some guidelines, even if they were bullshit, which is more than most companies can say.

The people that were hurt by this the most were not the creators, but the fans. The irony of the situation is that Atlus inadvertently caused WAY more spoilers than had they said nothing. Both directly, in that they literally spoiled things to give you examples of things that you should note spoil, and indirectly.

Sure, Let’s Players technically “spoil” the game for their viewers, but only for an audience of people that have willingly chosen for this game to be spoiled. But by restricting these legitimate voices, Atlus stoked the flames of trolls and practically begged for them to rain spoilers upon everyone.

This made the whole community toxic. Instead of people being able to use their PS4 to easily take and share high-quality screenshots across the internet, thus building the community, they have been forced to completely ignore any social media (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc.) altogether, thus significantly weakening the community. And removing Let’s Plays also, in turn, weakens the community.

That’s ultimately why this is such a big deal. You do something that steps all over people’s free speech rights, either literally or in spirit. Only to then hurt every party involved. Atlus could help their public image by just lifting these restrictions and saying,”Our bad, we have learned the error of our ways!” (Although we would all know they were full of shit when they said it.) But it would never heal the community surrounding this game. Those spoilers will always be present on forums and social media for future fans.

Persona 5 DLC Schedule Updated with Prices and Release Dates Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:48:50 -0400 Erroll Maas

The website for the long-anticipated JRPG, Persona 5has been updated with a list of all free and paid DLC items that will come with the game following its release next week. Free items for the game will be coming all throughout April, June, and July. 

Here's all the DLC you can expect for Persona 5, organized by release date. Each date listed below is for 2017.

April 4

This is the worldwide release date for Persona 5, and all DLC released on this date is free. On this day, players can look forward to:


  • Healing Item Set
  • Japanese Audio Track
  • New Difficult Level Challenge
  • Skill Card Set


April 11

This is the first round of paid DLC. The costume & BGM special sets are priced at $6.99, while the picaro sets will run players $2.99. Players will be able to pick up:

  • Persona 3 Costume & BGM Special Set 
  • Persona 4 Costume & BGM Special Set 
  • Persona 5 Regular Clothes & School Uniforms Set - Free
  • Izanagi & Izanagi Picaro Set
  • Orpheus & Orpheus Picaro Set
April 18

Some of the DLC released on this day will be free, while some will be paid. Just like the items releasing on April 11, the costume and BGM sets will run $6.99, while the picaro sets will cost $2.99.

  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Costume & BGM Special Set
  • Persona 20th Anniversary Logo Morgana Car Sticker (Free)
  • Persona 2 Costume & BGM Special Set
  • Persona 5 Phantom Thieves Logo Morgana Car Sticker (Free)
  • Shin Megami Tensei If...Costume & BGM Special Set
  • Kaguya & Kaguya Picaro Set
  • Magatsu Izanagi & Magatsu Izanagi Picaro Set
  • Thanatos & Thanatos Picaro Set
April 25

This date will see another mix of free and paid DLC. The prices for the BGM and picaro sets are the same as listed above. 

  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Costume & BGM Special Set
  • Persona 4: Dancing All Night Costume & BGM Special Set
  • Persona 5 Swimsuit Set (Free)
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV Costume & BGM Special Set
  • Ariadne & Ariadne Picaro Set
  • Asterius & Asterius Picaro Set
  • Tsukyomi & Tsukyomi Picaro Set
May 2

Players are going to see even more costume sets and picaro sets, still with the same prices as all others released on previous dates.

  • Catherine Costume & BGM Special Set
  • Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha Costume & BGM Special Set
  • Messiah & Messiah Picaro Set
June 6

On this date, players will get a single free costume set.

  • Persona 5 Maid & Butler Costume Set (Free)
July 11

This is the final date listed for planned DLC in Persona 5. It features only one free costume set. 

  • Persona 5 Christmas Costume Set (Free)

Persona 5 is set to release worldwide on April 4, 2017 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The game released in Japan on September 15, 2016. Players can check out the official Persona 5 website for more information about the game or its upcoming DLC.

Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey Heading to 3DS Sun, 26 Mar 2017 11:18:56 -0400 Glitchieetv

Atlus recently announced it will be remaking Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey for the 3DS. Titled Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey, the game will feature updated elements for the 3DS, new art, and a new character. Releasing in Japan this fall, there are no details on a Western release just yet. 

The story remains as deep and dramatic as before. Hoping to save humanity, a strike team is sent to the ruined land of Schwarzwelt,. which acts as a black hole. This is where players meet Alex, the new character included in Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey. Openly hostile, she attacks the protagonist while they are exploring Schwarzwelt. Along with Alex and her story, there is a new ending route that players can explore. 

Featuring 350 demons, full voice overs, updated graphics and art, Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey is prepared to make a home in the hearts of series fans. What do you think of the remake? Will you be purchasing the game once it is released in the west?

Special 25th Anniversary Website for Shin Megami Tensei Just Opened Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:31:22 -0500 Will Dowell

Shin Megami Tensei, Atlus' premier demon recruiting RPG is hitting its 25th year anniversary and Atlus is ready to celebrate. After creating a series of challenging RPG's Atlus has opened a new 25th Anniversary Projects website and has reopened Shin Megami Tensei's official twitter account. Nothing about this project has currently been announced, but fans have been wildly speculating on how Atlus will reward its loyal fans.

This is not the only Atlus release exciting fans. Persona 5 is coming to North American audiences this April while new IP "PROJECT Re FANTASY" was just announced this last month.

While this may seem unimpressive to those outside of Atlus's fanbase, Atlus has been famous for not their amount of new releases, but the quality and content these releases contain. With Shin Megami Tensei reaching its 25th year anniversary and Persona 5 hitting store shelves soon, it is a good year to be an Atlus fan. For more news on Atlus and Shin Megami Tensei, stay tuned to Gameskinny.

Project Re Fantasy Gets New Concept Art, Video and Website Sat, 24 Dec 2016 05:12:39 -0500 Danny21_2396

After Atlus' livestream on Nico Nico Douga, we now know a little bit more about Project Re Fantasy, the studio's new medieval fantasy RPG project. For one, Studio Zero now have their own website, where gamers will able to find every bit of information about the studio and the game they'd ever want to know. There's also a message from Katsura Hashino, the game's Producer and Director, some beautiful artwork for the game and a concept video at the end.

For those of you who don't know Japanese, here's Katsura's message translated in full:

25 years ago, the Atlus RPG uttered its first cry. Speaking of RPGs in those days, the stories of morality in so-called medieval fantasies worlds were mainstream. The Shin Megami Tensei series was released as an “opposition” to such a “common” world view, and the Persona series was released as its spin-off. Both series, even today in their latest entries, have always been made with the concept that it will be a counter to the times. And now how will Atlus, which has been creating counters to such eras, approach a new RPG? That is, to challenge the norms of the genre users have already been consuming for decades in various media on a regular basis.

So, we have succeeded at contemporary drama so far, but the next RPG theme is nothing other than a return to a “true fantasy world.” We firmly believe that to make this beautiful gaming experience, going somewhere among all the games made about overflowing fantasy worlds only we can go, is a counter to the current era. As only the creators of Shin Megami Tensei and Persona can do, we’ll offer players all around the world a “true journey” based on the themes and essence at the foundation of those two titles. By all means, please come and witness this challenge.

Also, if you think you got what it takes to help Studio Zero with the game's development, Atlus is currently recruiting staff for the project. If you're near Sangenjaya in Setagayaku, Tokyo, you can apply for the position here.

As the game is still in its early stage of production, Atlus and Studio Zero can't confirm when, or on which platform, gamers will see the game. Even the concept video above doesn't show any footage of the game, but talks more about the concept and challenge of making an unorthodox game. But Atlus has stated that they will make a game that only Atlus and the Studio Zero team can make. And we can be sure they won't let us down.

Stay tuned on GameSkinny for more info about Project Re Fantasy.

Atlus Made a New Studio Specifically for a New Franchise Wed, 21 Dec 2016 11:45:02 -0500 Danny21_2396

If there's one game company who isn't afraid of breaking new grounds with a game, Atlus is definitely one of them. Not being content with Persona and the Shin Megami Tensei series -- even after they've made many spinoffs to the franchises --  Atlus recently announced a brand new IP made by a brand new studio.

The game is currently labeled as Project Re Fantasy, which will be an RPG in a fantasy medieval setting. Studio Zero is Atlus' new production studio, led by Persona series' Director/ Producer Katsura Hashino, tasked with developing the game.

As the project is still new, not a lot of detail can be dug up, though we know who the key players in the Studio Zero team are. Aside from Katsura Hashino, the line-up is strengthened by artist Shigenori Soejima and composer Shoji Meguro. All of them are key players in the Persona franchise, so we can likely expect a heavy Persona-like feel in this game.

Apparently, Atlus will host a livestream over at Nico Nico Douga on December 23rd 08:00 PM JST to share more about the game.

Atlus' Director Naota Hiraoka and Katsura Hirano recently had an interview with the Famitsu magazine, where they shared a little bit more info on the game. Unfortunately, they have yet to specify details about it, such as the platform(s) that they're planning to release the game on.

Hiraoka said that the reason behind the new IP is that Atlus wanted the Persona series' staff to be more active, without having to be restricted within the Persona series. He also said that both Meguro and Soejima will continue to participate centrally in the Persona series.

Hashino said that the reason they chose medieval fantasy is because Atlus has always put an importance in making games contrary to the orthodox way of doing things. When fantasy was the norm, they made series set in the modern setting. Now that modern settings are popular, they're going back to older fantasy.

The studio also always had the idea of challenging the orthodox genre with something that only Atlus and its characteristics can do. Project Re Fantasy is the result of that idea.

Hashino also said that the cover illustration isn't necessarily the protagonist's illustration.

We'll keep you informed with more details as they emerge. Stay tuned!

Mystery Solved -- Persona 5's English Voice Cast Announced Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:49:42 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Today, ATLUS revealed the cast behind Persona 5, which will be released on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 next year. In addition to the short "Introducing the Protagonist" video down below, Atlus posted a video interview with the voice behind the protagonist, Xander Mobus.

Mobus' previous work includes being the announcer for Super Smash Bros Wii U. In the video he discusses his familiarity with the series and several other things. Check the header above for the full interview.

Most of the rest of the case was also announced, including:

  • Cassandra Morris as Morgana
  • Max Mittelman as Ryuji Sakamoto
  • Erika Harlacher as Ann Takamaki
  • Matt Mercer as Yusuke Kitagawa
  • Cherami Leigh as Makoto Niijima
  • Erica Lindbeck as Futaba Sakura
  • Xanthe Huynh as Haru Okumura
  • Robbie Daymond as Goro Akechi 

The voice cast includes actors who have lent their voices to recent anime and video games. It was also shared that the cast was selected with newer actors in mind to reflect the new cast in the game. 

Persona 5 was released in September in Japan and marked the JRPG series' 20 year anniversary. Persona began as a spin off of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. The series differentiated itself where the games are more character driven. The series has become well known for stories involving teenagers addressing emotional duress and supernatural threats. 

Fans of JRPGS can look forward to Persona 5 releasing February 14, 2017.

How to Succeed In At Demon on Demon Combat - Beginner's Guide to Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse Wed, 21 Sep 2016 05:04:10 -0400 ForTheTwo

Shin Megami Tensei has never been the most forgiving of RPG franchises. Death comes easily, and even random encounters can wipe an unprepared party. The series is beloved for its challenge, forcing players to carefully consider their next step, trying to constantly prepare for the unexpected, and struggling to survive when they find themselves out of their element.

For newcomers, the game can feel deliberately unfair: an experience that rewards long-time fans and experienced players unavoidably penalizes players for failing to perform tasks the game never bothered to explain were possible. Often, a player's first taste of a new mechanic is when they're wiped repeatedly, and have no clue how to avoid it.

At worst, they assume that because Megaten is a decades-old JRPG, and go grind for a few hours -- killing the momentum of a game that's designed to present a constantly changing and challenging landscape of abilities, skills and demons. When a SMT game is running at full pace, it's a wild ride of constant suprises, new enemies and environments challenging the player, who is forced to continually remake their party, recruit new allies, and sacrifice their strongest companions just to keep up.

For new players looking to get up to speed, fans of spinoff series like Devil Survivoror seasoned RPG veterans looking to get a taste of Persona'reclusive older sibling, we've prepared the following guide.

Fantastic Beasts and How To Fight Them

Don't Take A Turn, Press It.

While Apocalypse'Press Turn battle system is hardly new -- it was first introduced in 2003's SMT: Nocturne -- the only games to make use of it have been either mainline SMT titles or spinoffs, making it an unfamiliar and off-putting concept. While the game explains the most basic aspect of the Press Turn System, attacking an enemy's weakness to gain extra turns is only the tip of the iceberg.

  • The number of actions you have is equal to the number of living party members. This makes healing low-health allies a priority -- as losing them can make you waste entire turns trying to summon a replacement, operating with fewer actions each time.
  • An attack that is nullified or reflected removes all remaining actions from the attacker's turn, while a dodged attack removes two actions. If you're trying to find an enemy's weakness, using an untested elemental attack is best saved for the last action of the round.
Demon Skills: Proficiency Not Required

The small bar of skill icons at the bottom of each demon's status screen are slightly deceptive. Rather than a static or scaling change in the power of element-affiliated abilities, these icons represent a small number of relatively minor effects.

  • For direct healing skills in the -Dia line, proficiency represents a flat increase in the amount healed. This has not been sufficiently tested on demons, but for the comparable skills on the human protaganist, the change was a little more than 4 extra points of healing per level.
  • For buff, debuff and ailment skills, proficiency gives a negligible reduction in MP costs.
  • For damaging skills, similar flat increases were calculated, with the human protaganist as the subject. For physical and gun skills, at max proficiency, an increase of 42 damage, for magical skills, 24 damage.
  • While not insignificant, any potential penalty for putting a skill on a demon who is negatively proficient in will be masked by the natural traits of that demon: a demon with high physical attack but low physical proficiency can easily do as much damage as a demon with an weak attack stat and high physical proficiency.
Buffing Your Stats for Fun and Profit

Another Megaten series legacy is the suprising effectiveness of status effects and statistic buffs on both enemies and allies. It's nowhere near as game-breaking as it was in the first Shin Megami Tensei for the Super Famicom, where ammunition with an overpoweringly high chance to paralyze enemies could make the latter half of the title a cakewalk, but they're strong enough bosses are even balanced around them. 

The game doesn't expect them to be used at every opportunity, but they are a valuable asset, and should not be overlooked; they're just as valid a solution to beating an impossibly hard boss as any other.

  • Sleep, Bind, Panic and Poison abilities can affect friend and foe alike. Because of the nature of the Press-Turn system, curing them should be your first priority. The appropriate antidotes should be kept on-hand in the inventory, but since demons can't use it normally, a demon with the appropriate skills should be kept on hand in areas or bosses that are particularly spammy with ailment skills. SMTIV introduced the Brand affliction, which prevented all forms of HP and Status recovery, but this was only present in lategame and DLC bosses.
  • While stronger foes may resist these ailments, midbosses and overwhelmingly strong random encounters may be designed around weaknesses to these abilities. An enemy with no obvious weaknesses that overpowers a party which can easily handle nearby mobs, for example, will likely succumb to an ailment-based strategy.

Ailments are only half of the picture: buffs and debuffs for Offensive, Defensive and stats affecting Hit and Dodge Chance, are game-changing abilities that should be sought after in allies, and planned for in enemies. While the exact numerical values are tweaked from title to title, on average, damage is at least doubled at the maximum, and halved at the minimum, allowing a prepared hunter to go toe to toe with a boss they might otherwise have assumed they were underleveled for. (Postgame aside, underleveling is almost never the reason for failure: instead, it's often a misapplied strategy, or a misunderstood mechanic.) 

  • -kaja abilities raise the party's stat by a single 'level', while -nda effects lower it by a single level. In Apocalypse, three categories of statistics can be affected in this way: overall offense, overall defense, and agility, which affects the % chance to hit and dodge attacks. These effects scale the same for all units, enemy, ally or boss. 
  • In early and mid-game, where access to these buff abilities are limited and will only raise one stat category at a time, players should not try to amass a large number of buffs in all areas. Much more effective is pairing allied buffs with enemy debuffs in the same stat. Against an enemy who specializes in single hit-large damage attacks, pairing Rakukaja's defensive boosts with Tarunda's offensive debuffs will keep your party alive long enough to mount an attack. Likewise, an enemy who uses multi-hit attacks can be punished by using these skills to give your team at least one guaranteed dodge, reducing their damage and moves per turn all at once.

This is part of a series in GameSkinny's ongoing coverage of SMTIV: Apocalypse. Next, we'll be covering Apocalypse's unique system of party-building in our beginner's guide to Negotiation and Fusion. If you have any questions, corrections, or requests for guides on particular subjects, please leave a comment below.

The Three Best JRPGs of the Past Two Years You May Have Missed Tue, 20 Sep 2016 11:45:42 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

The past few years have been amazing for JRPGs. We’ve gotten some amazing titles that will go down as classics in the eyes of fans. These games have engaging concepts, stories, and/or gameplay that bring back feelings of nostalgia for some and give others a whole new love for the genre.

But sometimes we miss out of some of the best games because we just weren’t looking. Here are three JRPGs released within the past two years you may have missed out on.

Bravely Default

Bravely Default is an instant classic. So much so that it made Square Enix rethink the importance of making JRPGs with unique elements and a focus on fan enjoyment.The game utilizes traditional turn-based combat mechanics and a job system, which includes the ability to combine jobs and increase encounter rates. Each job has its own ability and can be used to shape the gameplay to the player’s particular tastes.

Bravely Default was made to evoke the feel of a classic JRPG, and it succeeded. Every element, down to the soundtrack, reminds players of the early age of JRPGs and the fun tied to those classics. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out and you enjoy games like Dragon Quest, or the earliest Final Fantasy titles, now is the time to pick it up.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon

A crossover between Etrian Odyssey and Mystery Dungeon, Etrian Mystery Dungeon combines the best of both series to make a fun RPG dungeon crawler. Players create characters with Etrian Odyssey’s character and class system and take their party into randomly generated dungeons. The player only controls the party leader and must manage all of the characters’ health and hunger.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon is one of the best games in both series and works well as a dungeon crawler. Everything about the game evokes fun and encourages players to play at their own pace while exploring. While this game is not a hardcore RPG, it has all of the elements of an amazing game. Definitely pick it up if you have a chance.

Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars

Conception II is really weird. Hilarious, but weird. The gameplay is a standard RPG with turn-based battles. The premise of the game is the main character, Wake Archus, goes to a high school that is also a demon hunting training program for young people who bear the mark of the Star God. After a tragic event resulting in the death of his sister, Wake discovers he has this mark on his hand. He also learns that he has a large amount of ether inside him and therefore can use his star energy inside of the Dusk Circles, where the demons come from.

So, in order to fight the demons, Wake and his female classmates create Star Children through a process called “classmating”. Get it? It’s called Conception because they mate and make children.

If you’re not scared away by the premise, you’re in for a real treat. The game combines elements similar to the Persona series as you raise your Star Children and build deeper relationships with the heroines. It’s got a fun story, a host of interesting characters, and interesting gameplay mechanics to entertain savvy RPG players of all ages.

With so many JRPGs slated to come out at the end of this year and the beginning of next, now’s the perfect time to catch up on some of the ones you missed. Did I leave out your favorite JRPGs from the past two years? Tell me your favorites and why you think they’re destined to be classics!

Demon slaying season is on -- Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse releases today Tue, 20 Sep 2016 08:21:12 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Today, ATLUS released Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse for the Nintendo 3DS. The game serves as the newest entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series, which was established in 1992.

Apocalypse serves a sequel of sorts for Shin Megami Tensei IV. But the game isn't a direct sequel, nor does it require a player to play through SMTIV to enjoy.

The story is about a young demon hunter who meets an untimely end. However, at death's door an unknown demon, Dagda, grants him life. The hero agrees to the demon's terms in exchange for his life. The game will then unfold as he follows Dagda's whims to topple the powerful demons and angels ruling Tokyo. 

The game features a battle system that promotes taking advantage of enemy weaknesses. The game will also allow players a large number of quests in-game, plus some extra downloadable content. These quests will present challenges that range in difficulty. You'll also be able to recruit and create hundreds of demons for battle. 

Fans of JRPGS can purchase Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse at retail locations and digital stores today.

Persona 5 Releases in Japan Next Week! Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:00:01 -0400 Patrick Cottingham

Persona 5, which experienced a massive spike in sales recently due to the delay of Final Fantasy XV, is one of the most hotly anticipated RPGs of the last five years. Fans of the series have been eagerly chomping at the bit to get their hands on any information they can, and that wait is finally over. Eight years after the release of Persona 4, Japan and China will finally have the next entry in the series on September 15th.

Set in modern day Tokyo, Persona 5 begins after our protagonist receives probation for assault on a stalker. He is transferred to the fictional school of Shujin High, and over the course of a school year he and his companions will awaken to their powers of Persona. Using their new found abilities they will explore the supernatural realm of "Palace" to steal the corrupt hearts of adults, and are given the dubious title of "Phantom Thieves of Hearts".

As with previous games in the Persona series the title focuses on supernatural elements, turn based combat, social simulation, and time and party management. It will feature the character designs of acclaimed artist and designer Shigenori Soejima, music by series legend Shoji Meguro, and is produced and directed by series veteran Katsura HashinoPersona 5 was first announced three years ago alongside three spin-off titles: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Persona 4: Dancing All Nightand Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.

Persona 5 is scheduled to release on September 15th for PlayStation 3 in Japan and PlayStation 4 in Japan and China. Persona 5 will be released in North America and Europe on February 14th, 2017 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Until then, join me watching the amazing animated intro on repeat until the day the game comes out, won't you?

Persona 5: The Day Breakers Official English Release on Crunchyroll Sat, 03 Sep 2016 05:14:54 -0400 Patrick Cottingham

Atlus U.S.A. and Crunchyroll, the popular anime online streaming site, has announced that Persona 5: The Day Breakers will be available on the Crunchyroll site with English subtitles starting September 3rd. This is the same day it will be airing in Japan, and several months ahead of the official release of Persona 5 in North America and Europe. It it unlikely that Persona 5: The Day Breakers will be available with English dubbing, making the Crunchyroll release is your best bet to watch it for now.

Persona 5: The Day Breakers is a tie-in prologue produced by A-1 Pictures for the highly anticipated RPG, Persona 5. It it uncertain exactly where in reference to the game that the anime will take place, or how much of the plot will be revealed or explained. It looks as if the Phantom Thieves of Hearts have already formed in the anime, which could mean the anime takes place after the introduction sequence of the game or could be a flash back of some kind. We'll have to watch and find out!

The game is set to release on September 15th in Japan and February 14th in the Americas and Europe for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

King of Fighters XIV Review: Return of the King? Tue, 23 Aug 2016 13:37:30 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Ask hardcore fans what do you want from a modern fighting game? They'll answer -- strategic gameplay, playstyle variety, solid online, character balance, content, etc. You ask the same from casual fans, they'll answer -- tons of characters, a lot of modes, easy to pick up, tons of features, online, stylish aesthetics, and more.

So, does the new King of Fighters XIV deliver on these concerns? We find out in our review.

The King of Fighters(KOF) franchise began back in 1994 and was developed by SNK. The main idea was to create a title where their most popular characters can fight in a "cross-over". To further flesh out the universe new fighters were created to be able to take on the likes of Terry Bogard and Roy Sakazaki as well -- Thus, The King of Fighters '94 was released.

The franchise became popular both in Japan and worldwide. Along the way, the series abandoned their yearly releases after 2003. Their last title to support 2D sprites was released back in 2011. With KOFXIV's release the series now fully supports 3D models for their mainline titles going forward.

Fighters galore 

What's never changed with KOF has been the diverse character roster. Players have always had the ability to select among a sizable cast. Much to the game's credit we can chose among an impressive roster of 50 fighters. For current fighters that is unheard-of. The norm is to feature a more sparse offering.

When I say diverse roster, I really mean that in every sense of the word. The game features fighters from various backgrounds and genders from all over the world (and other dimensions). There's the all female teams of Team Another World and Team Women Fighters. You also have a showing of Afro-Latin fighters with team South America as well. This barely scratches the surface of whose available.

The selection is much more impressive considering that it consists of 19 brand new characters. Every single character is wholly unique and so is their respective fighting style.

Sure, it's not a numbers game but it's refreshing when a fighter gives players a lot of people to chose from. A large majority of your time will be spent on asking yourself; whom do I chose? - That's a good problem to have and one I think no one would mind having.

The Sweet Science

To put it simply gameplay blends between casual and hardcore. It's fast, responsive, and feels good as you land every punch, kick, and or super move. Battles are three on three, characters fight in the order you choose. Once the last character falls you win.

Your attention will be focused on your health, power gauge, max mode gauge and guard meter...among other things.

The power gauge dictates what real offensive options you have against an opponent. One level allows you to execute a super special moves like Kyo's fiery "182 shiki".

It also allows you defensive options when under attack. While guarding, you can escape using a power gauge as well. While under attack, you can also knock your back foe into the wall.

Another valuable resource for players is Max Mode which requires at least one gauge to be active. While activated, Max Mode's blue aura allows you access to more powerful versions of character's moves.

For example, Shun' Ei's, "rising efreet" becomes a two hit move finishing with an opponent in the air. Besides dealing more damage, ex-moves also create more opportunities for follow up combos.

Then there's Cancels, most character's moves can be cancelled (interrupted) into others. Normal moves can cancel into super special moves normally. There's also Climax Cancelling where you can cancel a super special move into a highly damaging climax super special move.

New to gameplay is -- Rush, auto combos performed by using light punch. These simple combos can end with a super special move if there's a gauge available.

So in layman’s terms what does the above mean to anyone playing this game? You have options and more in terms of offense, defense, and maneuvering yourself. What separates beginners and vets is responding to these situations.

At any given time you have to exploit your opponent and punish them thoroughly. If you can’t you’ll find more losses than you'd like.

Thankfully, KOFXIV has been designed to encourage you to learn and refine your battle tactics. Ultimately, you can unleash flashy moves and look cool as you proceed to pummel your foes.

Beautiful Fighting 

Aesthetics- After KOFXIII, many fans were worried when SNK switched over to 3D models. KOFXIV is, by no means, an ugly game. Although, when compared (rightfully) to other fighters on the market, its visuals leave something to be desired. This is a valid argument. It doesn’t look as impressive as other games, but it's far from ugly.

Regardless, when you have a game featuring 50 fighters a compromise is in order and the visuals were sacrificed. 

Character designs range from secret agents, hipsters, fashionistas, athletes, and so forth. It all works in the wacky world of game. The fighters, their powers, and stages animate nicely.

The series continues to follow tradition and offers a varied soundtrack. Stages, characters, and teams have songs that range from pop, techno, tropical, rock, classical, and etc. How that all fits into a fighter is a good question. What's impressive is that it fits just fine and you'd be hard-pressed to not have a few favorite tunes. 

Taking on the world

Now let's go to the most crucial part of any modern fighter -- its online capability. So online for KOFXIV in a nutshell is good and it's at best a little noticeable. It's certainly not the best game for online play.

I'll go into detail as to what will make a good online experience. You'll need to make sure you have the best connection setting for yourself. You'll also need to make sure you chose to fight players with the best connectivity. 

The worst connectivity slows the game down to where its fundamentals aren't very useful. At this point, you'll probably resort to throw out light punches and connecting with basic combos. 

Online does allow to you train while searching for an opponent. It's a nice feature that helps players stay ready before a fight.

Online is actually as robust as any fighter should be in 2016. You can record your matches, watch live matches, create rooms for single players and more. It's one of the game's best features.

The heart of a fighter

At its core any game, especially fighters, have to be judged by their content. The content has to be fully fleshed out. After all, if a game feels lacking then buyer's remorse quickly sets in. Now, I mentioned online mode.

The title includes a story mode, mission mode for combo trials, versus mode, tutorial, gallery, and more. KOF recognizes that players need content and it delivers well. 


So with all the positive points for the game, where does it fall short? Despite being designed as a very competent fighter there's a proverbial wall that the game possesses. Unless you're a seasoned fighting game fan, chances are you won't get over said wall of difficulty.

Although, the game features a lot of causal friendly options and features in mind it's very daunting. The time to learn its nuances and more, requires a lot from any player.

Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing but it falls into the hardcore category easily. It really hinges on how much time that you'll dedicate. 

On to the next round...

In conclusion, this game is a welcome addition to 2016's year of fighting games. It's been designed to appeal to both new and older fans.

Again, there are 50 characters for you to learn and maximize. It features a style that's wholly unique to itself and that no other game can replicate -- If you're a fighting game fan and would like a new challenge, The King of Fighters XIV is the game for you.

Time to Step Back Into the Ring -- King of Fighters XIV Releases Today Tue, 23 Aug 2016 07:58:10 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Today, ATLUS releases King of Fighters XIV (KOFXIV) for the PlayStation 4. This marks the series first entry on current consoles. It has been 5 years since the last installment.

Developed by SNK, the KOF series began in 1994 with The King of Fighters '94. The original idea was to feature fan favorite fighters in a cross-over title. The dream match idea then saw the creation of new characters in that universe. After gaining popularity, the franchise saw yearly releases until 2003. With their twelfth entry, SNK created new sprites for the cast. The thirteenth game featured a larger cast, strategic gameplay and ended the ASH story.

KOFXIV is considered to a return to form for the series -- with a new story, 19 new characters, new mechanics, and etc. SNK has also been proactive with a shift in their business model to reflect this as well.

Fighting game fans can purchase The King of Fighters XIV at both retail stores and via the PlayStation Network today.