Tag Archives: Video Games

Interview: Ska Studios – Salt and Sanctuary


Hi everyone, while going through my YouTube subscriptions the other week, I found a video by VaatiVidya who is well known around the Souls series community.  He put up a preview video for an upcoming game called Salt and Sanctuary by Ska Studios.  After falling in love with everything I saw in his video, I knew I had to reach out to the developers in hopes of an interview.  Lucky for me, the two person team were more than willing to answer a few questions for us!

 

-First off, to get formalities out of the way, could you introduce yourself to the readers who may not know who you are?

-We’re James Silva and Michelle Juett Silva, a husband and wife indie game development team. We have two cats named Neko and Gato and we create stylistic, usually violent, 2D interactive entertainment. Our games include The Dishwasher: Vampire SmileCharlie Murder and I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!1 We’re currently working on Salt and Sanctuary, a 2D Soulslike headed to PS4, Vita, and PC.

 

-And could you tell us a little bit about Salt and Sanctuary?

-Salt and Sanctuary has been aptly described as a “2D Soulslike,” meaning it draws heavy inspiration from the Souls series. Likewise, it draws themes from PSOne and DS era Castlevanias, like Symphony of the Night and Order of Ecclesia, and it draws much of its stylistic, visceral combat and brutal difficulty from our own The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile.

 

The game introduces you as a sailor shipwrecked on a mysterious and dangerous island, attempting to make rhyme or reason of the land’s creeds, sanctuaries and monsters. There’s a heavy emphasis on exploration: you’ll explore a vast interconnected world full of traps, hidden passageways, and monstrous bosses, and you’ll explore an endless variety of loadouts, build strategies, and play styles.

 

-So, looking at the material available for Salt and Sanctuary, it seems that it holds a lot in common with the Souls series of games by FromSoftware.  Are you two fans of those games? Were they an influence in the design of Salt and Sanctuary, and whether they were or not, what was your influence behind Salt and Sanctuary’s design, in both game play and art?

-We’re obviously pretty huge Souls fans, and the series has been a major influence on us and on Salt and Sanctuary, which you could say was more or less born of really, really wanting to craft and explore our own Soulslike universe.

 

-Do you have any plans to implement character customization beyond skills/equipment?

-You can currently customize gender, race, hair and eye color.

 

-How about an online aspect?  Are there any plans to implement direct interaction with other players?

-We’re working on a local co-op mode that we can almost promise, but it definitely has to feel integral and not tacked on. We also plan to include asynchronous online features similar to Souls games.

 

-And do you have any plans for replay-ability, such as a New Game+ mode? or am I starting to get too into the secret “Yet To Be Announced” details? lol

-Absolutely!

 

-Well, are there any tips you’d like to pass on to future players for when the game finally gets released?

-Take it easy! Patience is rewarded, button mashing is a bad, bad idea. Take the time to really explore the island; we’ve put a ton of time into filling it with tons of intricate details.

 

-Moving on from details about the game, Salt and Sanctuary marks the first game you have developed for a SONY system (being exclusive to the PS4 and Vita (and PC!)); All your previous games were on the Xbox or Windows phone.  What’s it been like working with SONY to bring Salt and Sanctuary to life?

-Sony has been amazing. We’re thrilled with their level of enthusiasm and support for getting our game onto their platforms.

 

-And which company do you prefer working with more? We promise not to rat you out to the big guys upstairs lol

-Working with Microsoft was always great, and we honestly owe our company’s existence—including every game, soundtrack, T-shirt and vinyl we’ve ever produced—to Microsoft, XNA and XBLA.  Unfortunately, two of those three things are no longer active, and that’s just how it is.

 

-I think we’ve reached the end of our questions, thank you for taking the time to answer them. Are there any parting words you have for the readers and anticipating fans?

-No problem! Thanks for talking with us. If you aren’t already following them, please check out our development Twitch streams that we do three times a week! If you follow us on Twitch.tv/SkaStudios, you can chat with us Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 1pm PST.

 

Our sincerest thanks to Michelle and James for working with us and answering our question.  If you’d like to learn more about them, Salt and Sanctuary, or their previous titles, you can visit their website here, or follow their twitch.tv account in the link above.  If you’d like to check out VaatiVidya’s preview video on the game, you can click the link here.  We look forward to covering more of Salt and Sanctuary as it develops, until then, stay frosty readers.

The End Is Nigh For Club Nintendo


Untitled

 

 

Nintendo has issued a statement that they will be ending the long running Club Nintendo program this year.  Giving no specific reason as to why they are cancelling the program, Nintendo has stated in a statement issued to Club Nintendo members that this year will be the last for Club Nintendo, to be replaced by a different program sometime in the future.  For existing Club Nintendo members, there are some things to know about your present and future coins:

A) No game or console released after 1/20/2015 will be viable to be registered on Club Nintendo

B) No game or console can be registered with Club Nintendo after 3/31/2015

C) All Coins and accounts will be deleted at 11:59 PM PT 6/30/2015

To make the most out of existing coins, Nintendo has stated that in February they will be adding “dozens of downloadable games and a limited quantity of exclusive reward items” to the catalog in February.  Also, all Club Nintendo members will receive a free copy of Flip Note Studio 3D in February.

Source: Nintendo

2015 In Preview – Brad’s Most Anticipated Titles of 2015


With 2014 behind us, it’s time to look towards the future.  While there are numerous titles already scheduled to be released in 2015, and even more that are not, let’s look at the 15 titles I’m looking forward to the most.

  • Evolve – While originally slipping under my radar, watching people play the beta has gotten me pretty hyped for this team based first person shooter, especially with the ability to play as the giant monster being hunted.
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – I’ve been wanting to play Final Fantasy Type-0 since it was coming to the PSP and title Final Fantasy Agito.  After a name change and years of silence about a western release, we’re finally getting an HD remake of the game for next gen systems, and I couldn’t be happier.
  • Bloodborne – Bloodborne is just about the game that I’m most anticipated for in 2015, an easy but close second.  With a more aggressive stance on the Dark Souls combat, and being made by the quintessential “A” team responsible for Dark Souls and Demons Souls, there’s no reason a Souls fan shouldn’t be excited (unless they don’t own a PS4, sorry Xbone owners).
  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin – It’s no secret that I love the Dark Souls series, heck, Dark Souls 2 made it to my GOTY list.  But it’s also no secret that the original release of Dark Souls 2 was lacking in comparison to the first and even the prerelease footage we saw of the game.  Promising enhanced visuals, better balance, tweaked enemy placement, and more story elements to bring some of the more confusing parts to light, I’m excited to dive into Drangleic again in this definitive edition.
  • Mighty No. 9 – One of the few Kickstarter projects I’ve backed, Keiji Inafune’s love child Mighty No. 9 finally makes it to release this year.  Hopefully after this he’ll finish up that Animal Pirate Dynasty Warriors 3DS game he announced oh so long ago.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight – I’ve always been a fan of the Batman: Arkham games, even Origins was a decent entry despite not being developed by the original team.  Boasting a bigger city and the ability to drive the Batmobile around, I’m looking forward to dawning the cape and cowl once again.
  • J-Stars Victory VS+ – Probably the only time you’ll see a fighting game on a list of games I’m hyped for (with the exception of portable Smash bros, but we’ve already got that).  I’m a big fan of the Jump All Stars game series, and seeing this PS3 entry being ported to the west makes me one happy gamer.
  • Kings Quest – Only recently have I acquired respect and interest for the old school point and click adventure games, from Monkey Island to Sam and Max, from Day of the Tentacle to Kings Quest.  Seeing how wonderful the game looks at the VGA a few months back has got me all aboard the Kings Quest Hype Train.
  • No Man’s Sky – This game holds a lot of promise, with it’s procedurally generated worlds and boasts about how it will never run out of content.  In all honesty it may not even be a game I play for long, but just based on what it’s promising I can’t help but be excited.
  • Soul Saga: Episode 1 – Another Kickstarter game I backed, Soul Saga is shaping up to be a mighty fine turn based RPG.  With the promise of Airship Combat, numerous playable characters, and voice acting from known voice actors Todd Haberkorn and Kira Buckland, Soul Saga is shaping up to be one fantastic product of Kickstarter.
  • Star Fox – I’ve been wanting a new Star Fox game for years now, something more in the vein of 64 instead of Adventures or Assault.  While no substantial information is known so far, the fact that one is in development has got me excited.
  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U – I’m just going to say this: Skyrim Sized, Open World, HD, Non-Linear Zelda.  Who wouldn’t be excited?
  • The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 3D – Ocarina of Time 3D was the reason I got a 3DS, and since I’ve been waiting for them to announce Majora’s Mask 3D.  Now that they have, and the possibility that it could be bundled with the New 3DS, I’m actually going to have a reason to pick up the new handheld.

 

  • Yakuza 5 – I picked up Yakuza 4 around November of 2013, and while it still sits uncompleted on my shelf (as do most games), I absolutely love it.  The characters were great and the combat brutally fun, and if Yakuza 5 is even just more of the same I’ll be happy to pick it up.  Maybe I’ll even beat 4 before it comes out…

And my most anticipated title of 2015…

  • Rumored Virtue’s Last Reward Sequel – While nothing official has been said, rumors of the final installment in the Virtue’s Last Reward series coming to 2015 have been buzzing around.  In an article that interviewed a bunch of Japanese developers about what is coming in 2015, series director Kotaro Uchikoshi stated “It’s looking like 2015 will be the year where everything I’ve built up over the years will come together and be let out into the world in one fell swoop”.  It’s been stated in the past that the Virtue’s Last Reward series will be a trilogy, taking place between 9 Persons 9 Hours 9 Doors and Zero’s Escape, so with a statement like that I’m highly anticipating news of this final installment coming to our doorsteps soon.

That’s my list, how about you? What are you looking forward to in 2015?

If you haven’t already checked out Steve and My 2014 GOTY Lists, go ahead and click the respective names to check them out.

NUReviews Plays presents: BatWeek


It is with great pleasure that I would like to announce the first NUReviews Plays special, BatWeek.  Read the details after the break, but first, a promo trailer:

Continue reading NUReviews Plays presents: BatWeek

New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer Keeps The Big Magic Mountain Hype Train Rollin


Square Enix has released a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3 showing off some battle gameplay to give a sense of how things will work in the game.  It starts off with Sora, Donald, and Goofy fighting off some heartless in, what appears to be, Twilight Town.  The following scene shows off a new special that acts a lot like those swinging pirate ship rides, and finally a fight against the rock golem from Hercules while the trio rides around on the “Big Magic Mountain Train”.  Also Sora gets guns that shoot fire balls.  Kingdom Hearts 3 is currently in development for PS4 and Xbox One with no release date.

A NUReviews Photo Tour of New York Comic Con 2013


007-DSCN1721

Thursday, October 10th to Sunday the 14th was perhaps the most exhausting and longest weekend I have experienced so far in my life. Navigating through the crowds of the con and streets of New York was not for the agoraphobic. At least finding a way to the convention in NYC wasn’t a complete labyrinth, just follow the closest cosplayer you see, and you should be at the con in no time. Everywhere you turned your head on the con floor, you’d see a vendors with so much merch of all sorts of media. A nerd/geek’s shopping spree can get as nasty as a Black Friday shopper. It’s almost like an addiction. “I can stop buying swag whenever I want…or run out of money”. Finally, the patience of Buddha is required for the waiting lines for panels. Some people waited for 9 hours in the panel hall just to get into the Walking Dead panel. At least you could kill time reading comics, right?

Nevertheless, New York Comic Con is one of the few times of the year I actually get hype about. Hanging around like-minded friends, engulfed in all things geek is just a swell feeling. Down below you can see the pictures we snapped from the convention. We’ll be releasing a video of interviews and footage we captured later this week. Enjoy.

Click Here if you want to see the Facebook version of the album for tagging!

Some of these pictures might be blurry. We apologize for this. We promise to be mindful of the quality next time we release a photo set.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call Trailer Shows Off The New Stuff


SquareEnix released a trailer for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call at the Tokyo Game Show this week.  The trailer shows off a few new characters added to the game, as well as the multiplayer mode and some of the new songs added to the game (including tracks from Japan locked Type-o).  Theatrhythm Final Fantasy released in the US in July of last year, right along side another 3DS rhythm game, Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure.  While the game didn’t last me long, it was a fun and challenging twist on the Rhythm game genre, and is a good buy if you’re a fan of both it and Final Fantasy.  Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call has a Japanese launch date of Spring 2014.