Review: Time and Eternity

Controversial game... but we loved it

Review: Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly

The greatest horror game ever hits the Wii

Review: Lollipop Chainsaw

Juliet's so hot right now

Review: Dragon's Dogma

There's not a spark of creativity in this wyrm

Review: Pandora's Tower

Tragic beauty

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Guardian Cross for iOS scheduled for a spring release in Japan.

Square Enix has announced that the free to play card battle RPG Guardian Cross will be releasing this spring in Japan.  Character designs by Akira Oguro, concepts by Hiroyuki Ito and music from Naoshi Mizuta highlight this title.

Friday, March 30, 2012

NIS announces Legasista for the PlayStation 3

NIS America announced that Legasista will be released for the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network sometime this august.  A dungeon crawler action RPG, features include full character customization, dungeeons that give you better loot that is randomly generated, and the use of image importing to alter character appearances.

Unchained Blades arriving in North America

From the designers of Lunar and Grandia comes the dungeon-style J-RPG Unchained Blades.  This ttile will be coming to both the PSP and Nintendo 3DS in 2012. 

Is Tales of Xillia coming to North America?

It appears so, as Namco Bandai filed for a U.S. trademare for the name for video game and computer game software.  This title came out in Japan last fall.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Screens: Orgarhythm (Vita)

Here's one of the strangest Vita games we've seen yet. Take the music genre, mix it with the strategy genre, and you get Orgarhythm.

PSN price drop for Atlus games

A slew of Atlus titles for the PSP are getting a discount for what they are dubbing the "reVITAlized" event.

Atelier Ayesha release information

The long-running Atelier RPG series looks like it is getting another installment.  The release date for this RPG in Japan is Jun 28, 2012.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Episode Lightning: Requiem of the Goddess information

Square Enix announced Episode Lightning: Requiem of the Goddess as a downloadable episode for Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chaos Rings II - Screens, a video and thoughts

Chaos Rings II for the iPhone/iPad has been garnering a lot of positive feedback since its release.  It carries the rather heavy tagline: Would you sacrifice the one you love to save the world?

Friday, March 23, 2012

RPG Maker VX Ace - PC Review

I love to create.

Swords and sorcery is my preferred template for whether it's the MUD I have owned for over a decade, or my tens of thousands of pages of writing or the hundreds of hours I have spent in RPG Maker titles over the years.  I have had my hands on several versions since this series first became popular, and have finished a handful of very small projects and had a couple of incredibly large and ambitious ones in a state of incompleteness.  I did skip a generation though, and last purchased RPG Maker XP and have little experience with VX except the trial which I never really delved into the way I meant to.

Best RPG character ever?  I think so...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Virtua Figher 5 Final Showdown screenshots and art

Virtua Fighter by Sega has always been a very technical one-on-one fighting game that really seems to galvanize fans who fall into two pools - those who really love the series and those who cannot stand it.  Even out of my friends that seems to be the case as there are very few on the fence.  Me?  I've been a fan of the series ever since first playing it in the arcade years ago.  It may not be my absolute favorite, but there is a lot to like here for me all the same.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More info and some art stills from Ninja Gaiden 3

It is time to pick up the Dragon Sword once more… TECMO KOEI Europe [i] is getting ready for the official UK release of NINJA GAIDEN 3 on Friday March 23d. Developed by Team NINJA, the innovative new installment in the famed fighting series is now available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system in a standard as well as a value-packed NINJA GAIDEN 3 Collector’s Edition (also available for both consoles).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Two Ys titles head to Steam

XSEED games announced that Ys: The Oath in Felghana will be available on Steam for the PC.  This is an action RPG that released for the PSO in 2010 and Japanese PC in 2005.  There are a few added Steam specific items such as Steam Achievements, Cloud support and online leaderboards.

Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia mk 2 (PS3)

Within five minutes of kicking off, Hyperdimension Neptunia mk 2 makes sure you know this is a game all about the fan service. From squeaky cute anime girl voices, to running gags about the heroine’s chest size and a camera that is strategically placed to take advantage of any skirt movement, this is the kind of game that gives the whole “otaku” thing a bad name.

Screens: Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition

I still have not heard a great deal about this particular title, but given my appreciation of strategy titles - which largely began with Nobunaga's Ambition on the NES and my kids' fascination with Pokemon, this is a title I have been curious about.  It is being developed by Koei Tecmo for the Nintendo DS.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: My Neighbour Girl (iPhone)

Visual novels and dating simulations aren’t exactly booming outside of Japan, but that hasn’t deterred Daidai Inc. from attempting to appeal to English-speaking foreigners with My Neighbour Girl. Complete with English voice acting and a full text translation, it seems like a promising proposition for those wanting to take their first step into the genre. Unfortunately though, the core game is executed so feebly that no amount of bells and whistles can disguise its flaws.

While My Neighbour Girl isn’t technically even a dating simulator per se, there is some overlap. Mana Sakura, a student in your class, wants to do well on her upcoming final exams. It’s your duty to help her study each day after school, gradually building your relationship with her along the way as well. Your time is limited, though, so you have to make use of the few weeks you have to prepare her as best as you can.

Each day plays out in a two minute formulaic style. Mana will greet you in the morning and tell you about how much she’s looking forward to studying, you’ll study, then walk home with her. It’s a charming pattern at first, but you quickly realize how little is actually going on in the game. You’re going to want to hold down the skip button to fast-forward through her generic greetings then simply poke at the study options just so you can actually talk to Mana.

The entirety of the “gameplay” is based in the study section of the game. Mana has various interests and skills for each of the courses, so you need to deduce what course she’ll do best in. This is as simple as looking at her stats and studying accordingly, without tiring her out by repeating the same subject. Once her stats are sufficiently built, you can attempt a hard study session, which will vastly increase your love points if she does well. Sadly, that’s where the depth of things ends.

Once your studying is over, it’s time to walk Mana home. Even though Mana will discuss the more interesting aspects of her life at night, it’s difficult to feel invested in your relationship when the translation is so shoddy and the conversations are “blink and you‘ll miss it”-type affairs.  

Depending on how well Mana performs on her exams, you’ll get to see a slice of fan service. While the game builds up to going on a date, seeing her house, and more, all that’s really left at the end is a barely risqué picture of her. Depending on your persuasion that could be very enticing, but it’s certainly disappointing if you were expecting a solid story and even more so if you were expecting something lewd (considering you’re required to be 17 years or older to purchase the app).

Mana herself is voiced in both English and Japanese, but you’ll want to make sure the voice is turned to Japanese before you begin. Should you leave it in English, you’ll be treated to some of the strangest pronunciations and intonations of a script that wasn’t properly translated to begin with.

While I could simply sum it up in one word as “atrocious”, I have to give credit where it is due. In this case, a small company went out of its way to provide localized text and audio for an obscure game in an equally obscure genre in a foreign country. It’s heart-warming to see that there are developers willing to take a gamble on new audiences without compromising or insulting the intelligence of new players.

Overall, though, My Neighbour Girl is simply too formulaic and lacking in depth for its own good. It doesn’t help that the translation is shoddy beyond belief. The $9.99 USD price serves as an entry barrier rather than help make the game more accessible. Believe it or not, technically superior visual novels do indeed exist on the App Store for better prices.  

-Clark A

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A look back: Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love (Wii)

Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love was a slightly older game when it first released in North America a few years ago.  The reason being is it had taken five years for it to get out of Japan.  This makes the title old enough that it was released both for the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo Wii by Sega and NIS.  Certain design choices made in the game help it to hold up well even now, while showing signs of age in other places.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Import Review: New Love Plus (3DS); It's not the game you think it is

Love Plus is the most misunderstood game in the industry – at least, in the west where it has never been released and the criticisms and mockery has come from people who have never seen it in action, much less played it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment screeenies and more

The Persona series has really found its home on the PSP it seems, even with the Vita and PlayStation 3 as options (and I would personally love to see these titles make their way to the PlayStation 3 as some compilation - Atlus, can we make that happen?)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More Ninja Gaiden Screenshots

The game is currently set to release in Japan on March 22nd.  Some beautiful screenshots down below.  Are you excited for this title?  The first couple of games were tough - punishingly so, and I admit I lost interest in them after a time. 

Dragon's Dogma - information and some screenshots

Set in an open world, Dragon's Dogma is a new franchise from Capcom that features an AI team in set against an action-adventure system in a fantasy world.  Below is some fact sheet information of the features, and then some screenies under that.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Update: RPG Maker VX Ace pre-order information

The other day we learned that RPG Maker VX Ace would be releasing March 15th and that pre-orders started today.  At the time, they teased some bonuses and a discount.  Those additions have now been detailed.



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