Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Don’t miss all the great VR-focused sessions and events at GDC 2017!

From the 50+ VR-focused sessions at GDC 2017 to the two full days of game/entertainment VR talks during VRDC @ GDC to the special VRDC mixer, here’s a rundown of all the cool VR/AR stuff at GDC 2017! …


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Google and Autodesk sponsor cutting-edge dev sessions at GDC 2017

GDC organizers are excited to highlight some promising day-long sponsored developer days from Google and Autodesk that offer GDC 2017 attendees first-hand learnings from leading industry experts. …


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Don’t miss the 50+ sessions on VR taking place at GDC 2017

GDC organizers want to quickly remind you about the bumper crop of sessions focused on VR games and tech that are taking place at GDC 2017 and thus still accessible to most GDC passholders. …


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Catch cutting-edge sponsored sessions from AMD, Intel, Nvidia and more at GDC 2017

Don’t miss the great sponsored sessions at GDC 2017 — everyone from Nvidia to Intel will be there talking about cutting-edge game tech like deep learning AI, DX12 multi-GPU rendering, and more! …


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Tokyo Mirage Sessions Was Originally Going To Be A Pokémon Crossover

Tokyo Mirage Sessons #FE is an inventive cross over between the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem series. But it didn't start out that way.

According to a recent interview with #FE producer Hitoshi Yamagami, the game was originally envisioned as a crossover between the Fire Emblem and Pokémon series, with no plans to add the Shin Megami Tensei characters into the mix. The game's director, Kaori Ando, felt the two series' RPG mechanics were pretty well in line, and that a crossover could work. However, the plan was not meant to be. "Though I agreed with her," said Yamagami, "by chance the Pokémon group had already proposed what eventually became Pokémon Conquest at the same time."

Eventually, after a lot of corporate red tape, Atlus got on board, the project became Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. In her review, Kimberly Wallace had high praise for the game, call it "a solid RPG with its own unique style and appeal." You can read the entire interview snippet here.

[Source: Nintendo Everythying via Neogaf].

 

Our Take
A Fire Emblem/Pokémon could have been massive (but hey, maybe Pokémon Conquest will be too). That said, I dig the crossover between the self-serious Fire Emblem characters and goofier Shin Megami Tensei ones, so I'm glad we at least got Tokyo Mirage Sessions out of the deal.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Google, Microsoft lead GDC Europe’s smart lineup of sponsored sessions

Passes for GDC Europe 2016 are still available, and as the show draws nigh organizers highlight some great sponsored sessions from Microsoft, Google and more. …


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Blog: Game UX Summit sessions roundup

Epic Games director of user experience Celia Hodent brings us a detailed roundup of the Game UX Summit. …


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GI Show – E3′s Best, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Inside Eidos Montreal

Welcome back to The Game Informer Show. On this week's episode, we mop up some of the best things seen at E3 2016 with guests Andy McNamara and Andrew Reiner but first we cover some games that are out now. We're joined by Kimberley Wallace to talk about the Wii U's hot new JRPG regrettably called Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. We also cover the woes of Mighty No 9, and the highs of the also recently released Drawful 2 and Rhythm Heaven Megamix. In the back half of this week's show we speak with Stephane D'Astous, who built up Eidos Montreal to develop games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the Thief reboot. While he's no longer with the studio, he has amazing insight into what it's like to work for Square within a Western studio and much more.

You can watch the video below, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes, or listen to episode 304 on SoundCloud. Also, be sure to send your emails to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show and win a prize by becoming Email of the Week!

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Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show's intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below…

2:15 – Mighty No 9
9:35 – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
16:45 – Rhythm Heaven Megamix
18:50 – Drawful 2
24:25 – Discussing Xbox One S and Project Scorpio
38:40 – Rare's Sea of Thieves
44:25 – Star Trek Bridge Crew in VR
50:10 – PlayStation VR at E3
58:30 – Nintendo's Ever Oasis
1:01:40 – Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
1:00:15 – Emails sent to [email protected]
1:07:10 – E3's biggest disappointments
1:34:25 – Stephane D'Astous brings us inside Eidos Montreal's growth and challenges

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Review – Over-The-Top And Plenty Of J-Pop Fun

Crossover
games have a tendency to be silly in order to make two disparate universes
collide. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is no exception, combining the worlds of
Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem into one heavy dose of Japanese popular
culture, ranging from pop stars and actors to fashion and anime. This unique
experience merges the two long-running franchises together in interesting ways,
since anything goes; you fight by performing songs to damage enemies, wearing
elaborate costumes on a vibrant stage. With a colorful cast, fun upgrade
system, and challenging battles, Tokyo Mirage Sessions provides an entertaining
performance through and through.

The amusing
(and predictable) plot has sinister Mirages taking control of renowned
performers, stealing their creative energy to fuel evil deeds. You play as Itsuki,
an ordinary high-school student who notices something is awry when his best
friend Tsubasa enters a singing competition and members in the audience start
disappearing, opening a portal to the mysterious Idolasphere. The story has a
good mix of humor and tender moments, from helping Tsubasa gain confidence in herself
to achieve her pop-star dreams to dealing with your drunk talent agent and
anime-obsessed instructor.

The Fire
Emblem characters come in by lending their powers to the main cast to stop the
baddies. For instance, Fire Emblem Awakening's Chrom provides Itsuki a slew of
sword attacks. The most interesting parts of the story come later when you
start piecing together why the Fire Emblem characters are in this different
world, since they have no memory of how they got there. The story is
self-contained, so even if you don't have experience with either series you can
still follow along. The gameplay leans more toward SMT's traditional RPG
gameplay; don't expect the strategy battles or relationship system that Fire
Emblem is known for.  

Everything
revolves around the entertainment premise, including the dungeons and battle
system. You trek through themed landscapes, often focused on modeling and TV
programming. While I liked having dungeons related to different aspects of
entertainment, they could be more interesting to explore. Every dungeon has
some main puzzle mechanic, but the puzzles are often tedious, requiring
backtracking for tasks like pulling switches on opposite sides of a room or
going through doors in a specific order. You're also dealing with enemy encounters during the process, which slows you down even more. Mirages appear on screen and lunge as soon as they spot you, so they're often hard to avoid. Though you gain
a skill to temporarily turn off battles, I hated having to constantly cast it
whenever I needed to figure out my route.

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The
turn-based battle system focuses on exploiting enemy weaknesses, which will be
familiar to anyone who has played a Persona or SMT game. However, in Tokyo
Mirage Sessions, when you hit an enemy weakness, you trigger combos with party
members who have skills that complement it. I enjoyed the battle system,
especially how it progresses. Characters learn extra skills that spontaneously
activate, making attacks hit more than one enemy, or even team-up for special
performances which damage the enemy and add perks like status ailments or
healing. Unfortunately, the grinding necessary to reach recommended levels for
bosses made the combat lose some of its magic.

Some of my
favorite features have nods to Fire Emblem, especially the upgrade system. You
can master and craft various weapons that open up new skills, but can only equip a
certain number at once. Once you get to a certain level, you can even change to
a more powerful class using a Master Seal just like in Fire Emblem. As a fan of
both franchises, I was disappointed by the sparse connections to Fire Emblem;
this game loses its strategy-focused gameplay altogether and its characters are
ancillary, not getting much that much screen time until the final story beats.

When you're
not in battle, you can walk around various locations in Tokyo such as Shibuya and
its famous Harajuku district. They're not exact 1:1 recreations, but they get
the basic atmosphere down with convenience stores and vending machines around
every bend. Various side quests also incorporate fun stuff about Japanese
culture into them, such as tracking down exclusive anime memorabilia and
watching silly TV shows with premises like a girl changing her personality when
she sneezes. This attention to detail creates a powerful sense of culture and
place, which works well to make the characters' everyday interactions
believable.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is a solid RPG with
its own unique style and appeal. I could do without the tedious dungeons, but I
still found plenty to love about the zany ride.  

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

GDC Europe 2016 debuts Hitman, Daglow as first sessions

GDC Europe 2016 has announced first sessions, including a Hitman level design talk from Io Interactive & an inspirational talk from 45-year video game veteran Don Daglow. …


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