Treasure Hunter – An Exciting E3, a Dull Month of Game Releases

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June has been an incredibly interesting month for gamers. Between Sony undercutting Microsoft with the PS4 and the latter company’s stunning policy reversal, there’s hardly a dull day. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for actual video game releases. May was an abysmal month for game sales as very few titles were released. Given the light schedule June is definitely shaping up to be more of the same.

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Let’s get it out of the way right now, The Last of Us is quite literally the game of the month. Naughty Dog’s new IP is exciting and its entire concept while not totally original, is full of promise. This post-apocalyptic action game was highly anticipated and is garnering lots of critical praise. The game begins 20 years after a major pandemic has caused civilization to almost completely collapse. Infected humans are little more than feral creatures and uninfected humans will do just about anything to survive. In this cruel word devoid of comfort and resources, Joel is a middle-aged man who has committed his fair share of atrocities. One day he’s hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl named Ellie out of a military quarantine zone. The Last of Us Survival Edition includes a full-sized hardcover art book, a comic book titled “The Last of Us: American Dreams,” the game’s soundtrack, a sticker sheet and lots of downloadable goodies. Unsurprisingly, the Survival Edition is sold out at a number of retailers but is available on Amazon’s Marketplace and eBay. The original price of the special edition was $80 but you can find it being sold for both above and below that price. The Last Us shuffled into stores on June 14.

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When Project X Zone was first announced well over a year ago many thought the game would never see the light of day in the West. And why wouldn’t fans be skeptical? Western localizations for niche Japanese games have been on the decline for years. Additionally, the game’s prequel, Namco X Capcom was a Japan-only affair. So it came as a big surprise in January when Namco Bandai announced the game would be coming out this summer. The game is now available and Geoff posted his demo impressions a while ago. There isn’t a lot of story to this SRPG mash-up. A device known as a “Portalstone” has been stolen and as a result various time/space rifts have appeared. This has opened the gate to multiple universes in the present, past and future. This convenient plot device literally allows for characters from the various Namco, Capcom and Sega franchises to interact with each other. Anyone who pre-ordered Project X Zone was automatically upgraded to the Limited Edition at no extra charge. This edition contains the game’s soundtrack, a mini-art book and a mini-poster. The LE is sold out at Amazon but there are copies available at GameStop and on eBay. Project X Zone warped into this universe on June 25.

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Muramasa Rebirth is the latest high profile game to hit the Vita. Unfortunately, this latest RPG for the system came out on the same day as Project X Zone. The latter is the only game handheld enthusiasts are talking about and it is rather indicative of the situation between the Vita and the 3DS. I’m going to skip the summary for Muramasa because I reviewed the Wii version of the game two years ago. The Vita port contains a number of changes and improvements, many of which Geoff outlined earlier this year. The Muramasa Rebirth Blessing of Amitabha Edition is quite spiffy. For $60 ardent fans can own a Muramasa themed face cover and Vita skin, a drawstring pouch and a framed lithograph print. As of this writing, the Blessing of Amitabha Edition is not available directly from Amazon because of shipping delays. The game is in stock at GameStop and can also be found on eBay. Kisuke and Momohime hacked and slashed their way into stores on June 25.

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Heaven’s a rough place to dwell when you’re a lazy, troublesome god. Cat gods are no exception and Mayu has been tossed out of paradise. She lands on Earth but quickly finds a new home with an antique shop owner named Yuzu. The girl quickly learns the cat god would rather slack off than contribute anything useful to the shop. Strange adventures are had and Mayu probably learns a lesson. As expected from NIS America the Premium Edition of The Everyday Tales of a Cat God is the only edition available. The set contains the usual hardcover slipcase, the series on Blu-ray, a 32-page hardcover art book and two paw print shaped rubber jar openers as a bonus for fans who order directly from NIS. The 12-episode series will set you back by $52 at NIS and the shipping is free. Mayu’s extreme sloth got her kicked out of Heaven on June 4.

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If NISA’s offerings for June aren’t to your liking Aniplex USA has you covered with Gurren Lagann on Blu-ray. Last month I wrote about the GL DVD set along with a complete summary of the series. For brevity’s sake I won’t be typing out (or pasting) that summary again. If you have $550 to spare the Gurren Lagann BD set is quite impressive. In addition to the entire series, Aniplex is including both movies, an OVA episode, the entire collection of drama CDs, a hardcover book containing productions material, and a hardcover illustration book. Simon again pierced the heavens with his drill on June 26.

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