Utawarerumono is one of those series that became a huge hit in Japan but never graced us with its presence in the west. For most, their exposure was through a fan translation of the visual novel or from checking out the anime adaptations. It’s a series I hold in high regard having played the original, appreciating how could blend different gameplay elements but never feeling like a mess.
Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception and Mask of Truth released in Japan a year apart from each other, acting as sequels to the original visual novel released back in 2002. I was excited when I heard Atlus announced they were localizing both entries for western audiences, marking the first time the series has ever been seen over here. I had heard great things about these games from those I knew who imported them, so I was more than ready to get my hands on it. Continue reading
To me, the Atelier series has been great in turning on the charm and putting me into a much better mood as I play it. It’s almost therapeutic in how it pulls me in close and wraps around me like a warm blanket. The fact the stories never get too serious makes a lot of my cares and stresses melt away the more I play.
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey does a brilliant job at this thanks in large part to its very likeable cast. Although each character has their own backstory and motivation, they all play off each other so well. Gust has continously managed to do this despite having to introduce a largely new cast of characters, though it’s not always seamless. This is easily the biggest game Gust has ever made, both in sheer size and the amount of content to indulge in, but does it stick the landing? Continue reading
Nioh takes direct inspiration from the Souls series – there’s no doubt about that. While other titles have tried their best to emulate those games, this one builds upon that foundation and creates an experience that is virtually unmatched. While Souls can at times feel slow and plodding, Nioh cranks the energy level to the breaking point while delivering an absurd supply of content to keep you busy.
The story takes place during the late Sengoku era of Japan in the 1600s. The Queen of England is hell bent on obtaining the fabled Philosopher’s Stone to the point that she goes to war with Spain in order to procure it. But there’s something even more malevolent happening. Continue reading
Atelier Sophie represents a jumping-off point for the series as it finally makes its way to the PlayStation 4 after continuing on in the last generation of consoles. Granted, the game was still released on the PlayStation Vita and on the PlayStation 3 in Japan (that version was not localized).
However, with the leap to the latest hardware, we should get a glimpse in what developer Gust is capable of with more horsepower at their disposal. While there is an indication of that happening here, it still falls short of what I would have loved to see. But that isn’t to say it was a disappointment. Continue reading
MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies takes the already bizarre concept of anthropomorphized game consoles fighting in a world full of memes and throws it into a school setting.
The four CPU Goddesses are attending Gamicademi, a place that allows the rulers to become closer to their subjects. With enrollment at a dangerously low level, the school is threatened by closure (you would think the CPUs could snap their fingers and stop that from happening, but I digress).
Late last year, Idea Factory International announced during their annual press event in San Francisco that they would be releasing Hyperdevotion Noire, their tactical RPG spin-off to the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, for PC in a move that falls in line with their recent attempts at basically putting their entire catalog on to the platform as a new means of revenue. So far, so good, as they have seen a lot of success on that front as they indicated in the interview I had with them in December.
Fast forward four months and here we are with another PC port for the series. Since I already covered the original PlayStation Vita version of the game for the site in the past (which I highly recommend reading), I will be focusing on the particular benefits that higher grade hardware has produced for the title. I was already a big fan of the original release, speaking as someone who holds a lot of appreciation for the tactical RPG genre, and the player experience has mostly been improved upon here. Continue reading
The storybook tale of Stories: The Path of Destinies tells the story of Reynardo, a rogue fox who is leading a rebellion to fight against an evil empire that is about to crush the freedom the world once had. To help him on his journey, he comes into possession of a magical book that allows him to go back in time to trial and error his way through the adventure.
The role of choice plays a very important role in Stories. At the end of each level, the player will have to make some tough decisions. The choices the player makes causes the story to branch out, and those branching storylines continue to branch over and over until you reach one of many endings. The consequences of your actions feel far more tangible than they normally do in other games. Continue reading