Mike Salbato
November 2013 In Review: Chill Penguin Edition
It's cold outside. Don't go out there. Stay inside and read this instead.
12.09.13 - 1:39 AM

Hey guys, it's cold out! I mean, even in Southern California it's cold, so I imagine it's even chillier for those of you in normally-colder climates. My suggestion? Make a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, cozy up in a blanket, and read through our November in Review. The RPGFan staff put out a ton of great things this month, so if you missed any of it, now's your chance to check it all out!

Podcast & Feature Updates
We only have three links in this section for November, but all are well worth your time. First is Random Encounter #72 - The Pokémon Among Us, a tangent-filled episode discussing Telltale's The Wolf Among Us, Pokémon X & Y, and much more.

While we were light on podcasts, we had two new features in November. We started with our picks for the Top 20 DS Games, a collection of the best from Nintendo's handheld system and a companion piece to October's Top 20 PSP RPGs feature.

For our second, we had the pleasure of working with music website Loudr in covering the weekend-long Game Music Festival. We interviewed three composers as part of the event — Zack Parrish, TPR, and Kan Gao specifically — and posted three new album reviews as well. Give it a read, and show the artists your support. With money.

(That's perhaps not the most subtle suggestion, is it...)

Game & Music Reviews, Previews
Two of the biggest games of November released at the end of the month within days of each other. Ashton managed to plow through The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds in a few days, and couldn't say enough good things about it (nor can I).

Then he returned to also review the latest Phoenix Wright title, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Dual Destinies for 3DS, as well as the Turnabout Reclaimed DLC. A few RPGFan editors really dig this game, and this should tell you why.

TPR was one of the featured artists in our Game Music Festival feature. Earlier in the month, Kyle reviewed his latest album, Buried in the Snow: A Melancholy Tribute To Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX, which comes highly recommended.

Mars War Logs wasn't exactly Kyle's favorite RPG of 2013, but he still shared his thoughts on the game's atmospheric soundtrack.

Andrew listened to the Final Fantasy VI OST Remaster Version, and while the "remaster" moniker makes this release sound more grand than it is, the review does contain a link to the best video ever at the end.

Launched earlier this fall, Card Hunter is a game Bob describes in his review as addictive, beautiful, and charming.

Since Derek's last NIS game review was Time and Eternity, it pleased both him and the rest of us that he actually enjoyed The Guided Fate Paradox.

I don't like to sensationalize, but it is worth pointing out that Dave's review of Valhalla Knights 3 offers one of the lowest scores in RPGFan history. So, that's a thing. While not nearly as abysmally low, Kyle doesn't exactly recommend Demonicon either.

I normally link directly to reviews in this feature, but this time I have to link to Kyle's news post about his Montague's Mount review, because it's one of my personal favorite paragraphs he's ever written. Although his description of Bob's Forced review is a close second.

Luna Lee liked point-and-click adventure game The Inner World, though not quite as much as Bob enjoyed the Wizardry Online Soundtrack.

John Tucker's review of Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition may surprise you. That's all I'm saying.

Derek's opinion of the Lightning Returns Original Soundtrack probably won't surprise you, even though the music of Lightning's final journey has a slightly different feel than you may expect.

Zackery penned our first review of Beyond: Two Souls. I'd tell you about Dave's review too, but since it was posted in December, I'm not allowed.

Speaking of Dave, of course he would review Avadon 2: The Corruption. As a big fan of the first game, the sequel didn't let him down.

News & Announcements
Rumors have persisted for a while now about the possibility of Persona 5. After learning that persona5.jp was registered, it seemed they were based on fact. And even though we had a feeling it was coming, Atlus' multi-title announcement still floored us, revealing not only Persona 5, but Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth for 3DS, rhythm game Persona 4: Dancing All Night for PS Vita, and Persona 4 Arena 2. Needless to say, there's plenty of Persona to look forward to.

Releasing in mere days, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's massive 2.1 update was detailed by producer and director Naoki Yosida (Yoshi-P), and it's quite extensive for the game's first content update.

Good news for fans of Muramasa Rebirth: North American and European players of the PS Vita remake will have access to the game's four addition DLC chapters starting in early 2014.

Also releasing in early 2014 — but in Japan — is an enhanced edition of Valhalla Knights 3, Valhalla Knights 3 Gold. Gold features improved battle speed, new jobs, races, and a facility called "Erotica Heaven." Sigh.

Daedalic's Blackguards isn't officially out yet, but you can play it anyway! The company has released a portion of the game through Steam Early Access.

Nexon's MapleStory has been running since 2003, and while it's not going away, the company has announced an actual sequel in MapleStory 2, which will begin beta testing in 2014.

Even if they don't have 12 million players anymore, World of Warcraft is still the biggest name in MMORPGs, and Blizzard is continuing to roll out expansions. Announced at BlizzCon 2013 is the next such addition: World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.

After much speculation, Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster will be available for PS3 in North America on March 18th.

Bravely Default has a release date in North America! Also, we're going to get a shiny collector's edition. Additionally, Nintendo has confirmed it is also bringing Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy to North America later in February.

The chances that a game titled Conception: Please Have My Babies! would ever release outside of Japan were slim. The same goes for its 3DS/Vita sequel, Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars. Since we'll never see those games I — wait, Atlus is bringing Conception II to North America next spring? Well, um. Okay then!

After months of uncertainly regarding its release, XSEED finally gave Ys: Memories of Celceta a solid date, and it came to fruition on November 26th.

NIS America confirmed that mystery adventure DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc will release in North America and Europe on the exact same days as Lightning Returns hits both countries.

InXile Entertainment ran a successful Kickstarter campaign last year for Wasteland 2. In the meantime, the company has re-released the 1988 original on GOG.com and Steam with some additions, such as support for higher resolution screens.

I never thought I'd live to see the day when we'd we posting news stories about cloud-based Pokémon hosting services, but here we are. Nintendo announced more details and prices of the Pokémon Bank service.

Because there's not enough releasing in February, Namco Bandai gave their One Piece RPG, One Piece: Romance Dawn, a February release date in North America. And yes, it's on the same day as Lightning Returns and DanganRonpa. Because, why not?

Speaking of Lightning Returns, Square Enix is releasing some interesting DLC on day one in North America: Japanese voice-overs. While I couldn't say no to Ali Hillis, giving players the option of Japanese dialogue (including the original lip-syncing) is cool, especially since it will be free for early buyers. Meanwhile in Japan, Lightning Returns now has a demo, and we got to see some new special outfits available as DLC.

Aksys released a teaser trailer alongside the official website for its upcoming title Magus.

It's safe to say not everyone holds Final Fantasy IV: The After Years in as high regard as FFIV itself, but either way, the sequel is now available on iOS and Android.

We don't know what the next Tales game will be titled (though we have our educated guesses), but soon the "Next Tales" teaser site will tell us.

November news ends on a sad note, with the announcement that Rune Factory developer Neverland ceased operations. Although it seems Marvelous still has plans for the RF series' future.

New Media
We added new media for Gust's Ar noSurge, and if you're a fan of Ar tonelico's art style, you should give it a look.

Nintendo released two new English trailers for Bravely Default (watch here and here), which makes the wait until February 7th both easier and more painful. Of final note from this Nintendo Direct was a new trailer for Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. Well, we also saw a new The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds trailer, but you've probably finished the game by now, haven't you?

Like Lightning? It's okay to admit it. Do you, like me, relish in the thought of dressing her up in ALL THE OUTFITS? Then this new trailer is for you. So are these 13 additional outfit videos. Then there's the flashy special effects-highlighting trailer. One last media update gives us an 11-minute trailer and the ghastly Loveable Moogle Style outfit.

Now that it has a release date, I'm officially anxious to play Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster Turbo Edition. Thankfully, we can all make the wait easier with new screen shots, and a new trailer.

Are mere trailers not enough to sate you? Then you'll enjoy BioWare's 30-minute gameplay demo of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Ubisoft's Child of Light continues to delight (sorry) in this gameplay video.

Carbine released two new class-specific videos for WildStar, focusing on the Warrior and Esper classes.

Ossian Studios' The Shadow Sun has been in development for iOS for years, but it looks like the title may actually see the light of day before 2014, and there's a new gameplay trailer, to boot.

PS3 remake of PS3 original Atelier Rorona sees another new trailer, as well as screen shots.

We re-posted a recent English trailer along side actually new media for Namco Bandai's One Piece: Romance Dawn.

Are these four screens showcasing diverse locations enough to make you interested in Crimes & Punishments: Sherlock Holmes? At least you'll always have something new to see.

While there's a chance you have Ys: Memories of Celceta running on your Vita RIGHT NOW as you skim this page, there's a chance you don't yet own it, so you should watch these videos.

You may be seeing a bit more of Aura Kingdom on RPGFan in the near future. For now, take in these new screens and videos for Aeria's upcoming MMORPG.

Wrap Up
Hooray! I wrote a Month in Review in under 3000 words. You're welcome. I hope you all enjoyed our usual 30(ish)-day walk down memory lane. If you have a 3DS or Vita that you are playing Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and/or Ys: Memories of Celceta on, then I couldn't be more pleased. The latter comes highly recommended from other editors, and Zelda comes highly recommended from nearly all of us that have played it. It was certainly the gaming highlight of my November, at least.

Come back next month when I pretend there's a chance that I'll praise any December release higher than Final Fantasy XIV's 2.1 update, A Realm Awoken.