Before there was an Attack on Titan anime, a live-action adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s manga was in the works. After losing a director, the project resurfaced in April with a teaser announcing 2014 plans for the feature. Now, it’s back again, with a Hideaki Anno certified tokusatsu special effects otaku helming the project, schedule to shoot this summer for a 2015 release.
The film is now set to be directed by Shinji Higuchi, a key member of Daicon/Gainax member, who made a significant contribution to Evangelion – also special effects director on the ’90s Gamera trilogy and director on the 2006 version of The Sinking of Japan, and more recently, the director of Studio Ghibli homage God Warrior Attacks for Hideaki Anno’s tokusatsu exhibit.
Yusuke Watanabe (live action Gantz and 20th Century Boy, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods) and critic/subculture expert Tomohiro Machiyama will be scripting the movie.
Last December, Tetsuya Nakashima, director of the critically acclaimed Confessions and the cult favorite adaptation of Kamikaze Girls, was off the live-action project. Toho removed Nakashima references from the project and film journalist Otaka Hiroo exlained that disagreements with the film’s producers over the script caused the departure. Earlier timelines had the film debuting late in 2013.
In September 2011, the website of the city of Itako posted an October 3 casting call for 80 “healthy male and female” extras “to play people fleeing in panic from ‘giants’ who suddenly appear in a peaceful shopping district,” which turned into an early reveal of Nakashima’s existence when a local business man Tweeted what was being filmed.
When a game eventually releases and ends up being completely different from what was initially announced, it’s rarely a good sign. Ryse: Son of Rome was initially a wholly Kinect focused adventure which hoped to be the “killer app” to prove Kinect was a useful addition to the Xbox family, even for the “hardcore” gamer. Fast-forward a few years and now Ryse is one of the Xbox One’s launch titles and is being touted as the console’s best graphical showcase, but does it make for a good game?
Ryse: Son of Rome is the story of Marius, a Roman soldier whose family is slain by invading barbarians. He takes it upon himself to fight the English barbarians in order to get his revenge, eventually climbing the ranks and becoming a major figure in the Roman army. It’s not exactly an epic for the ages but it’s an enjoyable story nonetheless for the five hours and twenty minutes that it ran me. There’s even a grand reveal near the end that fixes some of the narrative inconsistencies that you may notice during the first hour or so.
The voice acting used for this tale is very well done and the character models are some of the best I’ve seen. Animations, however, are a bit wonky sometimes and I noticed the odd texture pop-in, momentary freeze, and other such random bugs during my adventure, such as when the enemy I was fighting would lose his weapon model but still attack as though he had it in hand, or when the game pauses the action to show you something and one of your soldiers will be violently shaking like a hyper kid playing red light green light. Looking past the odd bug and animation issues, I have to agree that this the best exclusive game for Xbox One if you want to show off what your new black box can do. The lighting during a few scenes is breathtaking and most of the character models have that attention to detail that makes the God of War series a common reference in the halls of graphical powerhouses. Now if only it played as nicely as it looks.
Prolific director Miike Takashi made his name internationally with an adaptation of the Ichi the Killer manga, and manga adaptations have been a large part of his recent, prolific work, including last year’s Ai to Makoto and this year’s Mogura no Uta. His most recent project goes back to the medium with an adaptation of Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Akeji Fujimura’s survival game series Kami-sama no Iutoori (As the God of Death Dictates) planned for 2014.
Script will be written by Yatsu Hiroyuki. The film will star Fukushi Sota (Library Wars), Yamazaki Hirona (Lesson of the Evil) and Kamiki Ryunosuke (Summer Wars). Filming is scheduled for June 2014 and the official release for Fall 2014.
Takahata Shun’s day at high school begins just as normal and boring as ever, but it doesn’t end that way. After his teacher’s head explodes, he and his classmates find themselves forced to play children’s games, such as Daruma ga Koronda (a game like Red Light/Green Light), with deadly stakes. With no idea who is behind this mysterious deadly game session, and no way of knowing when it will finally end, the only thing Shun and other students can do is keep trying to win…
Speaking of Miike, things are moving ahead with his English language debut. Tom Hardy (Bane in The Dark Knight Rises) will star inThe Outsider, an epic story set in post-World War II Japan, chronicling the life of a former American G.I. who becomes part of the Japanese yakuza.
Last month, Worldview Entertainment agreed to finance and produce the film.
Knack is the type of game I really appreciate on paper. Despite being a launch title for the PlayStation 4, it’s a deliberate throwback to PS1/PS2 era platformers, interested less in selling the power of the console and more in creating a charming world and good platforming gameplay. It’s the type of game I’m glad to see at the launch of a console. That’s why it hurts so much to have to say this: Knack is a very, very flawed game, one that is not only doomed to be forgotten as years go by, but one that is detrimental to the genre to which it belongs.
Knack‘s problems become apparent immediately. You play as Knack, a creature whose size changes dramatically by absorbing relics – small, magical wood-like blocks with a mysterious power. So where do Knack or the relics come from? I’m actually not quite sure. See, the key to understanding Knack‘s story is to also understand the world’s mythology, but the game never quite explains it. It presents the lore as if the player is already supposed to fully understand the world the characters inhabit. There is an attempt at world-building with the mention of a “Goblin War” here and an “ancient civilization” there, but by and large Knack follows stock characters worrying themselves over things the player is never given a chance to invest in. Witnessing Knack‘s story unfold is like watching a Saturday-morning cartoon written by someone who has never seen a Saturday-morning cartoon.
The story set-up exists mostly to give a context for Knack‘s central gameplay hook: Knack’s changing size. Over the course of the game, Knack can be anywhere from three feet tall to three stories tall, and everywhere in-between depending on how many relics he has gathered. It’s a cool effect, towering over enemies who once seemed like behemoths to you, and the amount of particles shown on screen when Knack grows gigantic makes you feel like this is truly a next-generation game, at least cosmetically. Unfortunately, everything is purely cosmetic, as you’re completely at the whim of the designers in relation to how big Knack is at any given time. This results in a frustrating monotony of having Knack reset size at the beginning of every chapter (about a dozen total), and most of his enemies changing size with him. Fighting bugs as small Knack and tanks as big Knack repeatedly grows old fast.
For as creative as Knack‘s character design is, the gameplay never follows suit. Although Knack sells itself as a callback to Sony platformers like Jak and Daxter or Ratchet & Clank, Knack is a brawler at its core, drawing most similarity to, surprisingly, the God of War series. Except without the complexity or grandeur that makes that series notable, as Knack is as basic as brawlers come. There are no combos to speak of, as there is only one button for attacking, which can be somewhat interwoven into jumps and dodges to mixed results.
The most interesting moments of Knack are also the sparsest. Intermittently throughout the game, Knack will find other elements that he can infuse into himself that changes the gameplay fundamentally, be it crystals that allow him to become invisible and sneak past lasers, ice that gradually melts in the sunlight (decreasing your size), or wood that can catch fire but allow you to burn enemies; these are the only parts of Knack that actually felt interesting – and, well, fun – but they are ultimately too few and far between.
Victor Entertainment’s anime music specialized company Flying Dog has posted a full promotional video for bilingual singer neko‘s 1st single “Destiny” on its official YouTube channel. The song is now featured as the OP theme for the 3rd season of TV anime Phi-Brain: Puzzle of God. The anime is available to Crunchyroll’s audience in North America.
neko posted his first “Uttatemita” video on Nico Nico Douga in 2008 and launched his own indie record label “Tears of Today” in 2010. “Destiny,” his debut single as a professional singer will be released in Japan on November 27. The powerful rock tune is written and composed by neko himself.
“Wonderland” short PV (included in the “Destiny” CD single)
The Guided Fate Paradox is a game about Renya, the unluckiest boy in the world who goes to the mall and finally wins the grand prize in one of those lottery games they have in Japan which I never see here in Wisconsin. Renya’s luck seems to have turned around as he doesn’t just win a mere trip to a tropical island but the actual title of God himself. Yep, that’s right, apparently the title of God is decided by a lottery machine at the mall. Of course he quickly finds out that being God isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and actually comes bundled with a hell of a lot more busy work than you’d think.
While the story contains some funny moments, it’s the more serious aspects of the narrative that I was most impressed by. NIS games are usually better known for their humor than overall story but The Guided Fate Paradox is a clear departure from this rule of thumb. Answering each believer’s prayer makes for interesting little side stories, and they all came together as you discover the real purpose these angels have in making you God. Admittedly the emotional moments that were meant to elicit a response didn’t really hit home because I basically knew that it’d all work out in the end, but it was a fun ride for more than just the laughs. In similar vein to other games by NIS, though, if you’re looking for a game to wow you visually you should probably move along. Just as with Disgaea 4, the sprites are much improved from Disgaea 3, but the 3D environments are still pretty lackluster. Overall it’s another case of serviceable presentation, but there’s nothing to write home about.
Answering prayers doesn’t require any convoluted moral choices like you might expect, so how exactly does God go about answering the prayers of his faithful? Well, he walks around in Rogue-like dungeons beating down on monsters, of course. It’s actually right there in the footnotes of Leviticus if you squint a bit. At the start of each dungeon you’ll be at level one, and you can then use the trash monsters on the way to the boss to boost your stats to higher levels. If you leave, you have to start all the way from floor one for that dungeon and you’re obviously back to level one again. Dungeons only have 10 floors max, so it’s not as bad as you might think, but it can be rough when you’re banging your head against the final boss and all you want to do is see if you have to grind more or you actually stand a chance this time.
Congratulations! You have been randomly chosen to become God. As the newly appointed ruler over all creation, you shall be whisked away to the heavens above to fulfill your holy duties–which may include battling mermaids and flirting with angels.
Such is the fate of Renya Kagurazaka, an everyday, mild-mannered, dime-a-dozen, completely generic high school student. That’s right: The Guided Fate Paradox presents a truly nightmarish scenario where God is, in fact, one of us. It’s a goofy premise, since a lot of this fate guiding involves helping a weak-willed zombie find his courage or a knightly couple fall in love.
Sadly, the game chooses not to embrace this silliness, and instead gets bogged down in a workaday, good-versus-evil plot culminating in a workaday, good-versus-evil showdown. The fact that you’re playing as God is of no real consequence; it’s just a flimsy rationale supporting the game’s singular purpose: level grinding.
The Guided Fate Paradox is a turn-based role-playing game played on a grid. Combat and exploration are not separate modes, so every step your take, or attack you make, counts as a turn. After you act, your partner acts, and then all the enemies act in unison. As you fight, you collect equipment for Renya–aka God–and friends to use, which confers new attacks, spells, or other special abilities. It’s a play style reminiscent of the roguelike genre, but with a Japanese RPG twist in character advancement and death.
Paradox’s woes start with leveling up, which is divided across many systems. By juggling these different systems, Paradox makes you feel as if you’re getting stronger, but the complexity of this system also makes it difficult to understand exactly how strong you’ve become.
This is especially vexing when Renya is humming through a dungeon, dropping all challengers with a single blow, and a few floors later wanders into a foe that can do the same thing to him. Finding a happy medium where your abilities are comparable to your foe’s is a rarity, which is disappointing since those moments are when Paradox is at its best. They force you to stop and think about the battlefield, and carefully calculate every action.
Surmounting one of these encounters is a triumph, but it’s short-lived. Renya inevitably outpaces his foes, and then it’s back to the mindless slaughter. Some different enemy types would help break up the monotony, but Paradox has only a handful of different foes and none of them are especially interesting to fight. Many simply behave like zombies, wandering aimlessly until they spot you and then relentlessly attacking you until defeated. A handful of boss encounters offer complex challenges, but aside from those endeavors, enemy encounters are simple affairs. One of the most complicated enemies you encounter is a snail with a shield covering its face. The shield blocks all attacks from the front, and the snail follows you around. Besting this devious adversary requires all the trickery and guile of maneuvering someone behind the snail for a flanking attack.
A variety of stage gimmicks, including explosive traps and moving platforms, attempt to put a spin on these encounters. However, the enemies and stage gimmicks don’t play off each other in interesting ways, unless by total accident. The only constant in Paradox is the grinding: a circular system that rewards grinding with the ability to do more grinding.
Not even death can stop the grind. One of the cheapest items in the game lets you escape from any dungeon with all equipment in tow, so there’s really no excuse for dying. You can also safeguard your best equipment in a special vault that lets you continue to use it without the fear of losing it upon death. And if the worst should come to pass, you don’t have too much to worry about so long as you remember to save your game before entering the dungeon.
After you finish the game–a feat that could easily set you back more than 40 hours–something interesting happens. A survival dungeon is unlocked. This dungeon negates all of your base stat advancement, and lets you use only the items recovered in that dungeon. You can improve your characters and their items, just as you would in the rest of the game, but that progression is lost once you leave the dungeon. This goes a long way toward providing a consistent, satisfying challenge. Both Renya and his enemies start at the same level and advance along a similar curve. Play smart, and you can make life easier for yourself by getting ahead of that curve. Alternatively, if you rush through the dungeon the enemies will quickly outpace you.
With its intricate leveling system and randomized dungeons, The Guided Fate Paradox succeeds in creating a game that can easily gobble up biblical amounts of time. It’s simply too bad all that time spent ends up feeling like a waste when there’s no great payoff for all that hard work.
NIS America has a bunch of new ways to show off upcoming RPG The Guided Fate Paradox, which is set to hit PlayStation 3 in Europe on October 28, followed by North America on November 5. Watch the latest trailer and gameplay clips below, and then continue on for a fresh batch of screens.
NIS America’s synopsis:
God has never had it so rough!
Meet Renya, who happened to become God through a lottery. And then, his self-proclaimed personal angel named Lilliel took him to Celestia right away. Together, they will tackle countless randomly-generated dungeons in this story-driven rogue-like RPG in order to guide the fate of all mankind to a revolution!
Featuring the beautiful artwork of Noizi Ito — the illustrator behind The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Shakugan No Shana — this game is sure to bless you with a rapturous roguelike experience with HD sprites!
Sometimes, you find really impressive stuff in the most unexpected places. Between memes and pictures of people at Walmart using mobility scooters, Yomimaid found something impressive on 9GAG: a collection of art featuring Hindu deities, but redone in a modern League of Legends-esque style!
A little more poking around revealed that this is the work of deviantArt user molee, real name Anirudh Sainath, an incredibly talented mixed-media artist with a gallery full of art devoted to sleek modern redesigns of the heroes and villains of Indian mythology, along with favorite characters from Street Fighter, Batman and more. Here’s a sample:
Ganesha is the first god that’s prayed to in Hinduism before all others, is known as a remover of obstacles, and is worshipped as a god of beginnings. Ganesha is also a patron of arts, sciences, intellect, wisdom, and learning, and if this picture is to be believed, miniguns that would make Vulcan Raven pull a muscle.
At this point, I really should clarify that Hindu mythology is filled with countryside-leveling Dragonball Z combat with a deafening Dragonforce soundtrack played on eternal loop. Rama, hero of the Ramayana and human avatar of Vishnu, rides in on the holy monkey Hanuman and does what he does best: whoop ass. Who’s Vishnu, you ask? Well…
The Supreme God of Hinduism, Vishnu can appear as a man, or as his female avatar Mohini. He’s part of the Trimurti–the Hindu Trinity–as the Maintainer or Preserver, alongside Shiva, the Destroyer, and…
…Brahma, Creator of all things and the best driver you could ever ask for. Blind spot? What blind spot.
I don’t want to post the man’s whole gallery here–check out his deviantArt to see the rest of his work! I’m always big fan of mythology showing up in video games (more on the Asura’s Wrath side of things instead of God of War), and that’s what Sainath’s work reminded me of–well, that and the Exalted players’ guide. Which mythological figures do you want to see redone in this epic-fantasy style?