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tales of arise

Bandai Namco released a cinematic trailer for Tales of Arise the next installment of The “Tales” Role Playing Game series during the Xbox E3 2019 Media Briefing. The Tales series, with Tales of Berseria and a Remastered Tales of Zestiria being the most recent releases, is full of great games for casual players and Tales of Arise looks like it will continue that trend!


The Tales series has a history of offering flexibility in gameplay. You can actually change the difficulty settings on the fly, allowing families to adjust the difficulty if sharing the game between players of differing skill levels. Game controls can be set to being either partially or fully automatic, allowing for easy one button controls during combat, or putting your character in complete computer control.

In terms of content, the Tales series is on the lighter side of the Teen ratings of the ESRB, with violence focused mainly on monsters and the supernatural, and with games often taking the light hearted approach to their side stories.

The teaser trailer itself is gorgeous and revealed a world that we are excited to spend time in. We’re look ing forward to more information to see if the how the family friendly features have changed or improved in the update.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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lost sphear

Tokyo RPG Factory has announced the release date for Lost Sphear, the follow-up to I Am Setsuna. It was only announced a handful of months ago, but it appears that development on the game  progressed very quickly.

Lost Sphear will be released on PS4, Switch, and PC on January 23, 2018.

Tokyo RPG Factory’s first game, I Am Setsuna, was given a luke-warm reception last year. Though it was highly anticipated, it ended up being a disappointment to many because it was too heavily focused on nostalgia.

Lost Sphear is a game that, by all appearances, looks like it is being made in the same mold as its older sibling. It is being developed in a deliberately retro way hoping to evoke fond memories of the golden age of RPGs.

With all that said, I can’t help but be optimistic when I look at the trailers for the game. Take a look for yourself!

The story revolves around a boy whose village disappears right around him. He then embarks on a quest to help restore the missing pieces of the world. Even if Lost Sphear struggles the same way I am Setsuna did, I think it offers many interesting gameplay possibilities. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait long to find out as the game comes out less than 6 months from now!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

 

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Square Enix to Release Star Ocean: Till the End of Time Digitally for the PS4

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is being released as a digital exclusive for the PS4 on May 23rd. This game is part of a long running RPG series with a blend of Sci-Fi and Fantasy themes wrapped around an action based combat system. This game is rated T for Teen for animated blood and some mild violence but is otherwise family friendly to play around younger gamers. This is about as intense as most Avengers or Star Wars movies for sake of comparison.

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time was an RPG where you could get very deep into the weeds with crafting mechanics and mini games, but the combat system features three computer controlled characters while you controlled a character with two buttons that can be assigned various attacks for a simple and fun experience.

 

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is a game a remember well even though it came out more well more than a decade ago. Laser aiming devices and shotgun blasts were used alongside magical dimension doors. Space ship captains fought side by side with court wizards and quirky animal sidekicks. This game takes an escalating story that spans galaxies and adds a final mid game twist that redefined the perspective of the entire series before and after it.

Square Enix is adding additional features to Star Ocean: Till the End of Time like adding trophy support, the ability to share screenshots and video, along with remote play. A word of caution to trophy seekers is that this game has some optional content that is incredibly difficult and will either having you pull out your hair or pull out a game guide. Expect some cameos and references from other Tri-Ace/Square Enix titles in the deeper parts of the game as reward for those willing to complete the grind.

What do you think? Is this a game you’ll


proteine poulet
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Franchise Overview: The Atelier Series

The Atlier series is a long running Japanese roleplaying game franchise that has been developed by the Gust Corporation since 1997. The games in the series have a central focus on problem solving through interaction and creation.

The main plot of each game in the series tends to focus on a female protagonist coming of age and coming into her own as an Alchemist. These women gather a group of friends,  go exploring, and fill up a basket full of reagents. They then bring these reagents back to their Atlier, a magical cauldron used by alchemists, to craft items, equipment, and other components.

The core mechanics in the different games in the franchise focus on time management. This helps to balance item creation and adventuring. Everything from traveling in the over world to baking bread takes time. Most quests expire after a certain amount of time (usually a reasonable amount) passes. That creates this neat kind of flow where players are forced to plan their crafting and their adventuring ahead of time and then go out.

The stories in the various Atelier games tend to focus around a single city which serves as quest hub and home base. As time passes, the inhabitants of the city grow and tell their own little side stories. The merchants in town have their own motivations, behaviors, and stories; just like the player characters.

Atelier games are T rated, but they are usually rated that way because of  things like animated violence and the occasional questionable costuming choice on a female character. All that said, the games are meant to be positive and almost upbeat stories.

Recent Games in the Franchise:

Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book

“Set against a vibrant background reminiscent of a medieval European town, the Atelier series’ latest standalone installment follows the exploits of a young novice Alchemist, Sophie, who discovers she is the owner of an enigmatic book imbued with a soul. This Mysterious Book seems to hold all the secrets to the art of Alchemy, even going on to become Sophie’s mentor. As Sophie improves her Alchemy skills throughout the story she unravels forgotten memories, and eventually sets out to uncover the strange tale of the book’s origin.”

 

Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey

“The second entry in the ‘Mysterious’ saga follows the adventures of the enthusiastic Firis Mistlud and her loving older sister Liane Mistlud. The Mistlud sisters have lived their entire lives in the isolated town of Ertona, where Firis uses her unique ability to see where crystals of materials are buried. By way of a fateful encounter, Firis learns of the Alchemy Exam and decides to take her first step into the outside world, setting off on a grand journey to become a certified alchemist and discover the mysteries that life has to offer! Players will experience a vast world with towns, environments and other locations reaching up to ten times the size of those featured in Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book.”

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Publisher: Little Orbit

ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

This game was reviewed on Wii U

Overall Review

Penguins of Madagascar

These Penguins are hilarious… just look at them.

Anyone who has children between the ages of 6 and 12 will be aware of the Madagascar franchise. What could have turned out to be junk several years ago has resulted in several sequels and even a few spinoff TV series. The star power in these films has been great, but even after all of that the success feels like an accident. It feels like family targeted comedic filler that stumbled upon a killer formula that resonated. The Pengiuns of Madagascar are, in my opinion, the best part of it all.

These four penguins reveal a lot of interesting world building on the part of the film’s writers. In this fictional world there is a secret military organization run by animals. This is interesting because these characters embody a lot of the different secret agent and paramilitary tropes that are common in other, often mature, films. I envision a lot of kids growing up and seeing these military tropes and identifying them with these Penguins. This might be hilarious… but that doesnʼt make it untrue.

The game based on the recent film release Penguins of Madagascar functions similarly. It looks and sounds like crappy family filler, but it ends up being a child friendly version of a stealth action game with some tricky puzzles included.

Gamer parents are constantly on the lookout for ways to share their favorite genres with their children. I know I am guilty of this. I love JRPGs and I am constantly on the hunt for RPGs to put in front of my sons to see if one of them will make them bite. Stealth gamers: This might be the best shot you have. It may sound absurd, but Penguins of Madagascar will provide children with some of the basic stealth gameplay vocabulary that will be required for them to eventually succeed at games like Metal Gear Solid and Dishonored albeit in a MUCH simpler form.

Donʼt get me wrong here. Penguins is a very simple game. You control the entire crew while you traverse multiple levels in an attempt to overcome a diabolical scheme involving an octopi army. The story is as absurd as the plot for the film (or the TV show, or any of the other Madagascar properties for that matter). Players are required to traverse multiple levels while avoiding enemies and solving environmental puzzles. Each penguin has a unique ability that is required to overcome a different set of obstacles. Regularly switching between the different penguins is required.

This is not going to be a game changer for you as a player. It moves slowly, and the puzzles themselves will be somewhat annoying for more experienced gamers. But, if you like watching your child succeed this is going to be a lot of fun for your family.

Family Gaming Assessment

There is nothing to see here. Just penguins karate-chopping octopi while rescuing each other and eating cheesy puffs. Play without concern.

Playability Assessment

The controls here are not difficult to master. There are very few buttons involved so even younger players will be able to grasp it. More mature gamers might be frustrated that there is no dedicated button to switch between the aforementioned penguins, but this is largely a quality of life issue for us.

If your child is an experienced gamer then feel free to let them play alone. They will not likely have too many struggles. However, if this is your childʼs first “real” game it might be a good idea to be available so they donʼt get frustrated.

Conclusion

If your child is a HUGE Madagascar fan, then this is not a bad purchase. There is enough here for younger gamers to enjoy and they will pick up some skills that will serve them well in future games.

Full disclosure: A download code was provided for the purposes of this review

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