Monthly Archives: December 2015

Martial Arts Adventure Island – Blade & Soul

So MMO Action RPGs are something sort of exist, but mostly on the edges of usual discussion, being attempts to remove (or at least, dampen) the cooldown musical keyboard game many traditional MMORPGs went with for their combat. Probably something that doesn’t help why they don’t get talked about is that a few tend to come from Korea, land of the notoriously grindy timesink design philosophy. Although we get a few shuttle their way over, usually with the incredibly slow progress stripped out and everything accelerated to fit, although Blade & Soul is one of those that simply didn’t come over.

Three-and-a-half years later, it’s finally getting an English release. Which is also over a year after it got a Japanese anime series. It took the long way round, which means it works quite nicely on older computers! Excellent.

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Impressions of Conquering Northern Japan on a Whim

About a month ago, there was a free weekend on Steam for Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence, a long-running Japanese grand strategy series which basically dropped off the western rear-end of the Earth since the PS2, (technically last seen in the crossover Pokémon Conquest for DS, yes, that exists, pretty good SRPG actually). I messed around with it on that weekend.

Not that you’d know there was a free weekend for the first localised instalment for a decade of the long-running series, as it wasn’t advertised on Steam anywhere. I actually found it out through a retailer’s news post, great work there. Although maybe they were hiding the astonishingly stingy sale discount of 17%. Considering it has a £50 pricetag anyway, this brought it down to… still more expensive than even higher-than average PC game price. Fallout 4’s part of that club, being £40 instead of £35, and that sale still meant Nobunaga’s Ambition was more offensive to your wallet. The game actually went on the slightly more generous discount of about 20% during the Steam autumn sale with little fanfare. Now I may be a business novice, but I know enough that this is a niche game and it was on greater discount on PS3 at the exact same time. The PS4 version was not discounted as much as the PS3 one because they needed to make this more complicated, and you can grab physical copies of it cheaper anyway, and oh this is just ridiculous.

Oh, and they sell ‘additional scenarios’ (9 of them!) for £2, or £2.50 from PSN, a pop as well. Marvellous.

Enough about floundering attempts to sell your niche, relatively-unknown grand strategy games on PCs and consoles, to the actual game itself. Which is basically the Samurai Warriors version of Feudal Japan, not surprising as it’s also a Koei Tecmo game. Although with less of entire armies being knocked senseless by one or two people, and more shooting galleries of troops formations firing stuff at each other.

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