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Operation Darkness demo dated, first screens

In the past few years the team at Atlus have etched their name into role-playing history books as a niche Japanese publisher that has quickly invaded the West with the unique brand of titles. Having announced two titles for the Xbox 360 in late 2007, Atlus has revealed new information on one of the two titles with an updated website and a slew of fresh screens. Visiting the newly updated official site for Operation Darkness reveals updated game information and that a demo is scheduled for May 5 on the Xbox Live Marketplace, months after the release of a Japanese demo that went live in December 2007.

With third party support from a team like Atlus maybe Microsoft can claim to be one helluva RPG-player's console after all. Operation Darkness, which has recently been rated M by the ESRB, is an RPG / small-squad tactics hybrid from developer SUCCESS that supports up to 4 players cooperatively over Xbox Live and is set to hit retail later this year.

Gallery: Operation Darkness

Didja know that the best RPGs are on the 360?

Microsoft just launched a new marketing campaign whose main aim is to get you trained so that when someone mentions the letters RPG your instant response will be Xbox 360. The Best RPGs Are On Xbox 360 is the campaign's name and highlights some of the best of the best RPGs that grace the Xbox 360 including Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect, Oblivion and of course Fable 2. Simply head to to get the dish on these super RPGs and if your interest is piqued, make your way to Gamestop. There you will find a free retail disc that comes packed with information on these "Best RPGs" as well as never before seen videos of Fable 2 and the complete Sci-Fi channel "Sci vs Fi" episode featuring Mass Effect. Now how can you not agree? The Xbox 360 is hands down the best place to find RPGs ... just none that are on the Playstation platform.

Mass Effect won't be in May

On Friday we pointed out that the Australian Xbox site had a May 18th release date posted for Mass Effect. It turns out that Microsoft has since debunked the rumor and changed the date on the site to "TBD", matching the North American regions. While the monkeys keep working away over at BioWare, there are no release date related announcements pertaining to the title other than it's not May 18th. Still, don't rule out a May/June release, but we'll have to wait until we get an official announcement.

[Thanks, Mythor & Jonah]

Rumor: Fallout 3 bound for 360?

Is the anticipated third installment of the Fallout series going to see the light of day on the Xbox 360? It's too early to tell right now, but there are a few things that will give gamers a glimmer of hope. After a brief interlude with Fallout Tactics, the popular RPG franchise is getting a true sequel from Bethesda. Executive Producer Todd Howard informed UK OXM that when work started on Fallout 3 in 2004, the team was only 10 or so strong. After Oblivion finished up, however, most of the staff moved over to work on development for the title. He also hints that while their preproduction process is relatively long, they should soon be able to show it off. Running on the same Gamebryo engine as Oblivion, the chances of there being a port to Xbox 360, with open ended gameplay intact, are high. On top of that, Todd was Executive Producer for Morrowind and Oblivion, which definitely makes the glass look half full. Do you want to see Fallout 3 make it to the Xbox 360?

[Via GameSpot]

TGS: See Blue Dragon gameplay (finally) [update 2]

Xboxyde has scored actual in game footage of the would be killer app for Microsoft in Japan, Blue Dragon. Split into two parts, the video shows off the game's graphics and combat system. For the RPG buffs out there, it's worth noting that battles are not random and that enemies can be seen before the player decides to engage them (or not). Beyond that, the game is very nice to look at. We know that a lot of readers will disagree on this point, but these graphics are solid and polished beyond belief. The gameplay, on the other hand, looks fairly standard. There are big chests with items in them, turn-based battles, summoning techniques, and a boss battle (complete with craptastic rawk music).

Granted, the quality of the video makes it difficult to pick apart the intricacies of the combat, but it all looks pretty traditional. Then again, it also looks an awful lot like Dragon Quest -- a game so popular in Japan it's practically a national holiday when a new sequel is released. Will bundling Blue Dragon with a core system be enough to entice Japanese buyers? Only time will tell.

Update: It looks like Xboxyde's servers are getting beaten up by the demand for this video. See the embedded YouTube video after the break.

Update 2: Fixed some weird formatting.

Continue reading TGS: See Blue Dragon gameplay (finally) [update 2]

Blue Dragon scans Japan

JeuxFrance has a bunch of Blue Dragon screens scanned from the gaming magazine Shonen Jump. At the request of Microsoft Japan, please do not comment on this post unless you are a Japanese gamer dying to purchase a 360 just to play this game.

[Thanks Mike]

Watch some Enchanted Arms

So, Enchanted Arms came out a few days ago, but we thought we'd share this video anyway -- be thankful that the game allows you to opt for Japanese dialog. It's not exactly a secret that the 360 is no treasure trove of Japanese games (though Dead Rising might change that). As such, Enchanted Arms presents a rare opportunity for the monotonous random battle masochists out there (like me). If you need, need a JRPG fix, Enchanted Arms just might do it. Clearly, it's no Final Fantasy, but if you've got to have a hero with feathered hair (you just don't see it nowadays) Enchanted Arms is your only choice.

Anyone pick this up yet? Recommend it for die hard JRPG fans?

Massively dark Mass Effect screens

CVG -- the folks that pseudo confirmed Assassin's Creed for the 360 -- has posted some screens of BioWare's Mass Effect. All of them appear to be taken from combat sections of the game, and all of them are pretty dark. Perhaps that's why the CVG article in question was down at the time of this writing. Luckily, QJ has done us all a favor and hosted the images themselves.

While you may not be able to make out much detail, you can at least rest assured that Mass Effect will feature super trendy nighttime levels. Lest these screens leave you doubting Mass Effect's graphical prowess, be sure and check out the video on XBLM, or right here. So, who wants this? (Me.)

Two Worlds screens tree it up

Reality Pump keeps talking up the tree physics in their mondo RPG Two Worlds. Maybe that's why this latest round of screenshots is focused on foliage, as usual.

[Thanks Gaetge]

Teaser takes Mass Effect on XBLM

A four minute "Demo Walkthrough" for BioWare's 360 exclusive RPG, Mass Effect ,is now available for download on Xbox Live Marketplace. The video features Project Manager Casey Hudson talking over gameplay footage from E3. It's impressive stuff, especially if you haven't seen it before. The squad-based gameplay looks a bit like Gears of War and you have to love that incinerator gun (Not too crazy about the voice acting though). BioWare's baby isn't due until Q2 2007. No telling why the marketing guys are calling the vid a "walkthrough" when it's more aptly described as a teaser trailer -- unless it's to torture us with the hint of an early playable Mass experience.

Note: Bungie's Halo 3 "making of" featurette, long available on the web, is up as well.

[Thanks Matt T]

Name this concept art

Here's some concept art from EA's would-be Oblivion-killer, working title Project Gray. They really should have a contest to re-title this game. Corporate Scrolls: Oblivious? Feel free to offer your suggestions.

Takao Miyoshi Talks Phantasy Star Universe

Hey folks. I'm the new guy, and this is my inaugural post. My inaug-u-post, if you will. Enjoy.

During E3, the fine people of PSO World sat down with Takao Miyoshi, producer of Phantasy Star Universe, and asked him a few questions. The interview covers some of the new features in the game, including race specific special abilities, player controlled vehicles (!), and the new player lobbies. The new lobbies will actually encompass entire cities and can host up to 1,000 players. The vehicles are varied and include tanks, jet skis, and even mountable beasts that breathe fire. When asked about the possibility of cross-platform play (the PC and PS2 servers already support it), Mr. Miyoshi said only, "It is actually something that is not finalized." Not finalized? That means there's hope right?

Whether or not 360 owners will be able to school PC and PS2 players, they can rest easy in the knowledge that voice chat will be 360 exclusive when the game ships this fall.

[eM] -eNCHANT arM- becomes Enchanted Arms

[em] -eNCHANT arM-, the bizarrely named JRPG that snuck up on us in January, is coming to North America this summer with a shiny English translation (we assume) and a new, easier typable name, Enchanted Arms. IGN says, "As Atsuma, an Enchanter-in-training, you'll caper through 50 hours of gameplay adventuring with more than 75 unlockable creatures in turn-based strategy warfare."

Combined with the upcoming Japanese titles announced at last month's press conference, Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mistwalker games, and the recently announced Phantasy Star Universe, Microsoft's plan for Japan is looking increasingly strong.

[Thanks, Master X 24]

Bioware to show off Jade Empire 2 at E3?

X360Central reads two puts two separate BioWare interviews together and comes up with one Jade Empire sequel:

April 10 FiringSqad:

FiringSquad: What other hints can you give us about upcoming projects at BioWare?

Ray Muzyka: We're looking forward to announcing details about our new MMO being developed in BioWare Austin in the near future. We also have an unannounced surprise or two in the works which we will also be sharing at E3 2006, in addition to showing Mass Effect there. The Dragon Age team is hard at work and we%uFFFDre very excited about how the game is looking so far!

November 11 GameSpot:

"BioWare definitely plans to continue the Jade Empire franchise," reads one of Muzyka's responses. "The Jade team did a great job with the first game in that series; we have great teams working on all of our games here. We've also said in the past that we're working on not just one, but two Xbox 360 titles. Enough said"

So is a new Jade set in stone or does the much-admired KOTR crew have a real surprise up their Bio-sleeve?

Oblivion gold cheat v2.0

One of our gold-grubbing readers sent in another Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion cheat:

On Oblivion if you want an unlimited amount of money eqiup your most expensive weapon (has to be a weapon....NO ARMOR!!) Get on your horse (w/ the weapon equipped) And travel to Kvatch when you get there stay on your horse with your weapon equipped and go talk to the orc with cornrow things on her head. Sell her your equipped weapon (it doesn't disappear) Keep doing this as much as you want. You get lots of money!


[Thanks FeatherKing]

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