Meet The Japanese Underworld's Supporting Cast

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No crime drama is complete without a cast of cutthroat gangsters. For that reason, it's appropriate that the most recent Yakuza 5 update takes a look at the supporting cast members who populate its vision of the Japanese underworld.

Originally released to Japanese gamers in 2012, Sega is bringing Yakuza 5 to North America and Europe as a PlayStation Network exclusive. Today the publisher shared profile information for characters who will interact with the action-adventure game's protagonists.

These include a grouchy clan lieutenant by the name of Masaru Watase, who is itching to take over and launch a gang war, and an enigmatic detective from Osaka who guides the player. A ghastly jail-yard bully Hiroshi Kugihara will torment protagonist Taiga Saejima, who likely won't turn the other cheek for long, according to Sega. Finally, rounding out the lineup of crooks you wouldn't want to mess with is Goro Majima, a series stalwart known as the "Mad Dog" of the Shimano Family. Get a close look at these rough characters in the gallery below.

Free Demo Heading To PS4

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Today Koei Tecmo announced it will bring a free demo of Arslan: The Warriors of Legend to the PlayStation 4. The upcoming action game is based on the anime and manga adaptation of The Heroic Legends of Arslan.

The demo will launch January 12, 2016 on the PlayStation Network, and will include a mission from the first stage. Players will guide two characters, Arslan and his protector Daryun, through a tutorial that showcases moves and powers like Mardan Rush and Weapon Arts special attacks. Check out the November gameplay trailer for a look at how game's combat works.

Along with the demo, Koei Tecmo announced it will incorporate the character Elam's culinary skills in the gmae. Players will be able to collect recipes and boost character abilities during battle preparations. These can include increased health, attack boosts, healing, bonus gold, and extra experience.

Total War: Warhammer Shows Off Orc Campaign Gameplay

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Greenskins get prickly when they aren't fighting, so Total War: Warhammer developer Creative Assembly has put together this video walkthrough of the title's gameplay highlighting the Orcs' campaign.

The video (from alpha) explores some of the unique abilities, units, and challenges of the Greenskins in the game's campaign as the Orcs' territory borders Dwarf lands.

Total War: Warhammer comes out for PC on April 28. For more on the game, check out this general overview of the title's campaign map.

Life Is Strange Dev Dontnod Shows Off Vampyr’s European Setting

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Dontnod’s follow-up to Life is Strange is off in the distance, with the title not slated for release until 2017. However, the developer is laying the ground work for Vampyr, with new concept art featuring the 1918 London setting.

Players will take on the role of doctor turned vampire in the midst of the Spanish Flu outbreak. Vampyr is an RPG, which means you’ll have the opportunity to decide how you take advantage of your unearthly powers.

The setup of a healer turned bloodthirsty killer presents moral challenges. Being a vampire requires human blood, and you’ll need to decide how much of your humanity to cling to.

New Screens And Trailer Herald A January Release For ACE Team's Quirky Title

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New Screens And Trailer Herald A January Release For ACE Team's Quirky Title

 Deadly Tower of Monsters, ACE Team and Atlus’ homage to classic B-movies, is set to premiere on January 19. Some new screenshots and a goofy trailer re-introduces players to fake director Dan Smith's cheesy sci-fi opus.

The quirky title stars fictional actors Jonathan Digby, Stacy Sharp, and The Robot as heroes Dick Starspeed, Scarlet Nova, and...Robot, respectively. Each character sports unique abilities used to battle Lizard-Men, UFO's, and giant robotic apes while ascending the titular, movie set-style structure. Deadly Tower of Monsters is priced at $14.99 and will be available digitally on Steam and PlayStation 4.

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Touchscreen Combat And Creatures Take Center Stage In This New Trailer

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Guacamelee developer Drinkbox Studios has released a new trailer and details for its upcoming PS Vita game, Severed. The trailer shows off the monstrous world and touchscreen combat system players use against numerous beasts.

Players control Sasha, a one-armed warrior who wakes up in a strange new world, acquiring a living sword from a mysterious cloaked creature. She then sets off in search of her missing family. Combat with multiple creature types involves learning the appropriate strategy for each monster, and use of the focus meter to enter “sever mode,” which allows Sasha to throw enemies into the air and sever their limbs.

Check out the trailer for a look at the bloody combat. You can also see Severed's announcement trailer here.

Gameplay Trailer Paints A Grim Tale Through The Eyes Of Adolescents

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Gameplay Trailer Paints A Grim Tale Through The Eyes Of Adolescents

The somber war survival title, This War of Mine, from 11 Bit Studios is heading to consoles next month with a new focus on displaced children. Dubbed The Little Ones, the younger viewpoints look to add another distressing element to an already grim experience.

The Little Ones charges players with overseeing a group of adults and children trying to survive the harsh environment around them. In addition to gathering food, weapons, and supplies, players must also look after the kids by making toys and other distractions to keep their young spirits up. The gameplay trailer below provides a glimpse into how the children's comparatively tiny problems add enormous weight to This War of Mine's emotional narrative. 

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Modes Range From Boss Rush To One-Hit Death

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The much-anticipated Mighty No. 9 aspires to package fun, challenge, and replay value in its various game modes. Today, developer Comcept released a trailer detailing each one.

If you can tune out the lame narration, the new video provides a brief and enticing overview of Mighty No. 9’s various gameplay modes. These include Boss Rush, challenge, and one-hit death maniac modes, along with competitive and cooperative online challenges.

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Catching You Up And Giving You A Glimpse Into Kingdom Hearts III

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Square Enix recently announced Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, which isn't too big of a surprise considering it's remastered the majority of the Kingdom Hearts saga. Long-winded name aside, it contains three key pieces. The meat of the collection is Dream Drop Distance HD, an enhanced console version of the 3DS release. Fans itching for fresh content should be satiated with a new episode, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage, starring Birth By Sleep's Aqua. Additionally, this release continues the trend from previous collections of including an HD movie - Kingdom Hearts χ [chi] Back Cover - which sheds light on the Foretellers and the series' early history.

[This preview originally appeared in Game Informer issue #272]

The collection gives fans some time to refamiliarize themselves with the storyline and piece together new revelations, but director Tetsuya Nomura also tells us that Birth by Sleep 0.2 incorporates elements from Kingdom Hearts III, essentially giving fans their first peek at the long-awaited project. "It's not necessarily for getting feedback, but more about letting people get a taste of Kingdom Hearts III through introducing a small part of the game system," Nomura says.

Grinding Through Beauty

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Grinding Through Beauty

Getting lost in games with massive worlds and hundreds of sidequests is a joy, but experiences of this size come with an inherent challenge. They need strong hooks in the early hours to draw the player in, but they also require surprises and depth in the later hours to keep the excitement high. Xenoblade Chronicles X excels at the first step, presenting a vibrant world and an intriguing combat system. While a few story and gameplay surprises wait for the persistent player in the crucial late game, the insistence on a painfully slow grind results in too much tedium for too little payoff. 

The Earth has been destroyed by warring alien species, and a lone colony ship crashes on the distant planet Mira with the chance to reignite humanity. Pulled from the wreckage, your created hero or heroine joins a crew of explorers and soldiers as they pull themselves back from the brink of extinction. Early adventures feel momentous and interesting, as you get to know the scope and variety of the action and setting, whether you’re discovering a forgotten valley or unearthing ancient alien wreckage.