Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization Review

Let me say upfront that I am a big fan of Sword Art Online. While others may enjoy trashing the series for the directions it goes at times, I fell in love with the high stakes drama it presented for viewers. While .hack had some characters falling into comas if they encountered a certain person, Sword Art Online had thousands of people locked into an MMORPG, fighting for their very existence.

.hack//Sign came close with a main character who is unable to log off, but when people in SAO died in the game, they died in real life. To me, this is an amazing concept that had me hooked from the beginning. My love may have tapered off a little with Sword Art Online II, but I am always eager for something to renew my enjoyment.

But even though Sword Art Online takes place inside an MMORPG, this experience hasn’t transitioned well to video games. Hollow Fragment had a huge translation problem, while Lost Song fell into a hole of mediocrity. Does Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization have what it takes to set it apart from its disappointing brethren? Yes and no. Continue reading

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Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls Review

Much like MegaTagmension Blanc + Noire, Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls is set in an alternate history from the rest of the series. The cast is present, but the characters don’t know one another. They take on different roles as the game sees fit. In this case, IF is still her adventurous self on the lookout for knowledge.

Things start off in a pretty rough spot. Gameindustri has transformed into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. While it isn’t immediately explained how exactly that happened, it is clear a war has destroyed the once beautiful scenery. While searching for an ancient library said to contain every piece of the world’s history, she sees what first appears to be a shooting star but is in fact a person falling from the sky (sound familiar?).  Continue reading

God Eater 2: Rage Burst Review

God Eater 2 traveled a similar trajectory that its prequel followed. It started as a game for the PlayStation Portable, received an enhanced release (this time ported to the PlayStation Vita), before finally making its way to the console. While fans in the West received the superior version of the original release with Gods Eater Burst, they were left grasping for air when every form of God Eater 2 came and went in Japan years ago.

In a single season, Bandai Namco has seen fit to release both God Eater Resurrection and God Eater 2: Rage Burst on the Western shores. In my review, I said Resurrection held plenty of content for the low financial entry it commands. But does the sequel justify its full price tag? Continue reading

God Eater Resurrection Review

It seems like it’s been ages since God Eater showed its face on our side of the ocean. Previously released as Gods Eater Burst on the PlayStation Portable, the series is billed as Bandai Namco’s attempt at cashing in on the Monster Hunter craze. The developers focused on delivering an interesting cast of characters built around a story of a world creeping towards the edge of annihilation.

God Eater’s core problem boiled down to the timing of its release; it came out too late in the west to make an impact. Sony’s PSP was already reaching the end of its profitability in the west. Sales had tanked, marketing was nonexistent, and people had already moved on.

It was a different story in Japan. The franchise continued to grow thanks to a loyal base who were (and still are) far more interested in games that complimented a growing mobile lifestyle. They were treated to a sequel, an expansion, and even an anime. Continue reading

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review

Let us first address how Advent Dark Force is not a sequel. Instead, it acts like an expansion pack to the original Fairy Fencer F (read our review of this version here). Having first appeared only a couple years ago, there hasn’t been a noticeable upgrade to the visuals, but Compile Heart has taken the time to redress almost every other feature in the game.

Players take on the role of Fang, a lazy good-for-nothing who only dreams about the quality of his next meal. While walking through a small town, he comes across a sword stabbed into the ground. A passerby explains that whoever managers to pull the sword out will have one of their wishes granted. With dreams of a large feast filling his brain cavity, the young man takes a chance and removes the weapon with barely any effort. Continue reading

I Am Setsuna Review

The main story opens with a lone mercenary traveling through the snowy banks of a desolate land, his legs carving a path through the mounds of soft powder. The masked man takes on different tasks in order to survive this harsh arctic environment, seeing them through to completion no matter how arduous they may be.

Approached by an unknown figure after completing a job, he is told to visit a small village on a tiny isle off the coast of the mainland. In that village, once every ten years, a ceremony is held where a sacrifice is chosen. That person must set out on a journey to the Last Lands to fulfill their prophecy. There resides a young girl there who is about to reach the target age, and he is ordered to eliminate her. Continue reading

Summon Night 6 Hands-On Impressions

Far away from the sensory overload that is E3, I had the chance to visit famed localizer Victor Ireland. This is a man many an RPG fan should know as the former president of Working Designs – best known for bringing the Lunar series to our shores.

Nearly a decade after forming his new studio and working on smaller titles, Gaijinworks is now focusing on giving the Summon Night series a chance to penetrate the Western market. After last year’s well-received 5th entry, they look to capitalize on their efforts with Summon Night 6: Lost Borders. Continue reading