Mike Salbato
August 2013 In Review: A Summer Reborn
Let's catch up on everything that happened in August, shall we?
09.07.13 - 11:58 PM

No time for intro, must get back to Eorzea.

Podcast Updates
It's been quite a summer for RPGs, and the Random Encounter crew had plenty to talk about with Shin Megami Tensei IV, Dragon's Crown, and Tales of Xillia in Random Encounter #68 - Demon's Crown.

The latest episode of Rhythm Encounter has been in the planning stages for awhile. Rhythm Encounter #9 - Wild Wild West features music from western-developed RPGs, definitively showing that WRPGs aren't all filled with ambient background music.

Game & Music Reviews, Previews
Newcomer Joshua Bateman reviewed Telltale's prologue to Season Two of The Walking Dead games, The Walking Dead: 400 Days.

Early in August, Dave previewed Memoria from Daedalic. It seems his optimism was well-placed, based on Stephen's review at the end of the month.

Wondering if you should check out that Layton Brothers game on your iPad? Read what Zackery thought first. The same advice goes for After, a PC RPG that Dave reviewed. If you want one more game you may want to be hesitant about, Joshua walked away from Mystic Chronicles less than amazed.

One of August's biggest releases was Tales of Xillia. John penned a preview, and a few weeks later, Derek offered his answer to the question, "was it worth the wait?"

With only a little over a month to go, Andrew previewed Pokémon X & Y. And while it's already available, you may want to give newcomer Brian's Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn preview a read as the rest of us formulate our thoughts on the game.

Stephen took a look at Aksys' improved take on Muramasa Rebirth for PS Vita. Does it fare better than Ignition's release of the Wii original?

Neal previewed Giant Spacekat's Revolution 60, coming next spring.

Veteran editor Neal reviewed the haunting Fragments of Memories: A Melancholy Tribute To Final Fantasy VIII from Joypad Records. Meanwhile, completely new editor Brian reviewed Yoko Kanno's Ragnarok II O.riginal S.ound T.rack.

My personal standout music release of August was Blake Robinson's Chrono Trigger Symphony Volume 1. Bob reviewed it after a bloody battle, but I will do whatever is needed to bring you my thoughts on Volume 2.

August Releases
The first release of August wasn't an RPG or even a game, but Blik-0 1946, a multimedia eBook written and composed by famed Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu.

Even though we reviewed it in late July, Dragon's Crown released on August 6th for PS3 and PS Vita.

Indie followup to Analogue: A Hate Story, Hate Plus released on August 19th.

Telltale combined The Walking Dead's 400 Days add-on chapter with the rest of season one and released all of it for the Vita on August 20th.

While not a new release, Aksys Games brought Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward to the 3DS eShop on August 22nd (previously, the game was only available at retail).

You no doubt know by now that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn officially released on August 27th for PC and PS3.

Finally, sneaking in right at the end of the month on August 30th, Daedalic released its followup to The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav, Memoria.

Index announced the latest in its series of Shin Megami Tensei card games, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Collection.

Capcom announced a thing they're calling Breath of Fire 6, and that's all I can say about that while remaining objective.

Bethesda is bringing a new box set — and next week at that — that contains all of the main Elder Scrolls titles, with The Elder Scrolls Anthology.

We already knew that eastasiasoft was developing Rainbow Skies, but now we know the sequel is coming to PS3 and PSVita.

Love it or hate it, Mars War Logs had music. And that music can now be yours, free and legally.

SOE finally revealed the long-awaited next EverQuest game, appropriately (and tentatively?) titled EverQuest Next. Less groundbreaking from SOE, but much more imminent, is news that their MMORPG Dragon's Prophet officially launches September 18th.

Alongside the opening video, Atlus revealed pre-order bonuses for Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl.

Nintendo finally confirmed that Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney will release in 2014 in North America & Europe.

Gust and Tecmo Koei are remaking the PS3-based Atelier Rorona... for PS3. It's weird, but it does sound like a sizable improvement.

Kiss your way to a world-saving army in FuRyu's Exstetra. You heard me.

Blizzard opened a teaser site, and later officially announced Diablo III's first expansion, Reaper of Souls.

Aeria Games, makers of many a F2P MMO, revealed another such title in development: Aura Kingdom is an anime-styled MMORPG that, at least on the surface, has an aesthetic not unlike Star Ocean.

The game is well past funded now, but Project Phoenix is a promising Indie JRPG being built by an immensely talented staff.

Need more Borderlands 2 wub... I mean love in your life? Thank goodness the game is coming to PS Vita in 2014. Before that, however, and for those of you without a Vita, you can look forward to the Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition, a $59.99 pack containing over $100 worth of DLC.

Ubisoft surprised us all when it announced Child of Light, a JRPG-styled game with a touch of fairy tale magic, inspired by such games as Final Fantasy VI. Take my money, Ubi. Take it!

Kemco is bringing another iOS/Android RPG release to new platforms, with Grinsia heading to 3DS, PC, Mac, and Linux.

Working Designs may be long gone, but their limited edition packages were the stuff of legend. Few RPG publishers dare to release anything as ambitious, but XSEED's Ys: Memories of Celceta "Silver Anniversary Edition" is pretty much gorgeous.

Level-5 announced the interesting and very multiplatform RPG, WonderFlick, coming to iOS this year and other platforms in 2014. The company also confirmed the next Layton title, currently titled Layton 7.

Finally, Nintendo confirmed a rumor that surfaced just days prior, announcing a Wii U bundled with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.

All The News That's Fit To... Print?
XSEED Games confirmed that Rune Factory 4 will miss its planned summer release, but not by too much. Separately, the company also would like to bring more RPGs to PC, stating that the performance of the Ys titles on Steam have "surpassed" their expectations.

We learned a bit about Three, one of Drakengard 3's many numerically-named sisters. In Japan, the title was also delayed from October 31st to December 19th.

Like you, we're hearing rumors of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster's delay, but are awaiting confirmation. In August, we learned that the re-releases will feature rearranged music.

CD Projekt RED managed to find even more talented developers, as they opened a new studio in Cracow, Poland. Elsewhere in Europe, Ghostlight opened pre-orders for Devil Survivor 2, planned to release later this month.

We got not one, but two looks at Pokémon X & Y's newly-revealed Mega Evolutions. While soundtrack releases are always a "will they or won't they?" story with Nintendo, Pokémon X & Y is getting a soundtrack release in November. This news came alongside the reveal of a new 'origin story' anime.

In MMO news, TERA: Rising received the sizable Alliance update, adding new factions, areas, and equipment to the game. Meanwhile, Final Fantasy XI — yes, it's still running — turned 11 and Square Enix celebrated by giving away add-on content and items.

We took an odd stroll through a massive collection of concept art & footage of Fortress, the cancelled Grin-developed spin-off of Final Fantasy XII. Oh, what could have been. Love it or hate it, Fortress is at least an oddly interesting footnote in Final Fantasy history.

Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness officially has a release date. Two in fact, in both North America & Europe. Completely unrelated except for starting with "D" and being a "2" title, Dragon Fantasy Book II also has a release date. Spoiler: It's next week. Going back to NIS, The Guided Fate Paradox is coming in November.

We've long wondered how Carbine & NCSoft would be making money with WildStar. Subscription? Free to play? How about both?

Can't wait until March 2014 for Dark Souls II? Have a PS3? Then you might be interested in next month's beta test.

New Media
We don't know exactly whether or not Capcom's Deep Down is the company's answer to Dark Souls, but we have a shiny new trailer to see. You know what is Dark Souls? This Dark Souls II teaser trailer.

Want to see Geralt kill things in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt? Here you go. We also added new screens & artwork.

Namco continues to please with a gameplay trailer for Tales of Symphonia Chronicles.

The just-announced Atelier Rorona remake, Atelier Rorona: Origin Story of the Alchemist Arland now has a gallery if you want to compare with the original release.

Following the reveal of both EverQuest and its world-building tools, EverQuest Next Landmark, we posted galleries for both.

It may have seen a slight delay, but we saw new Drakengard 3 media. Also from Square Enix, we had multiple media updates for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX with screens and videos.

We'd heard of Lightning's samurai outfit before in Lightning Returns, but we got a better look at that, plus a general gallery update. Our Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster gallery saw a sizable update with 40+ new images.

As you'd imagine with its imminent (at the time) release, we saw plenty of Final Fantasy XIV in August, with a look at the game's party system and a new trailer, a showcase of the endgame dungeons, and finally the North American TV spot and launch trailer.

Daedalic released new screens and launched a now-completed contest for their strategy RPG, Blackguards.

Telltale Games' next episodic series — besides season two of The Walking Dead — is The Wolf Among Us, which now has its very own premiere trailer.

Alongside its announcement, we posted a small gallery for Aeria's Aura Kingdom.

Spiderweb Software released a new trailer and screens for Avadon 2: The Corruption, coming this fall.

Another new gameplay quickie, with a look at Rune Factory 4's battle system.

Atlus' Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl is coming soon, and we have a new trailer to get you up to speed on the story & cast.

August's Gamescom convention had no shortage of new footage, from Dragon Age: Inquisition, to Lords of the Fallen, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, and, finally, Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut. Whew.

Want a third trailer for Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness? Sure you do! NIS also brought us new media for The Guided Fate Paradox.

Wrap Up
The one thing that didn't fit in the above categories, but I still want to highlight, was the large introduction post highlighting the twelve (!?) new editors on RPGFan. Give it a look, and give them a warm welcome. Or else!

Also, as always, I hope you enjoyed this trip down recent memory lane, blah blah, back to FFXIV for me.