Attack On Titan Hands-On Impressions

I can’t say I have spent a lot of time with Attack On Titan as a property. Sure, I read several volumes of the manga and the first dozen episodes of the TV anime, but I still don’t know much about the characters or the overarching plot that was introduced after I had already given up on the material.

Walking into the Koei Tecmo closed meeting room at E3, I noticed the giant poster adorned on the wall to promote the upcoming release from the company’s subsidiary, Omega Force, best known for their Dynasty Warriors games – a series I am a huge fan of.  Continue reading

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Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book Review

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

Atelier Escha & Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky Review

Before getting into this article, I would highly recommend my very thorough review of Atelier Escha & Logy for the PlayStation 3 I did for the site. This review will focus on the differences between the console and handheld release.

Atelier Escha & Logy blew me away when I first played it nearly two years ago. It marked my first brush with the series after initially being intimidated by the whole prospect from looking only at screenshots. Continue reading

Ar nosurge Plus: Ode to an Unborn Star Review

Gust has this effect on me as a gamer where I can put one of their titles down, and have that experience resonate with me for a long time afterwards. Last year’s Ar nosurge had that exact effect on me.

While I still felt it had faults, I fell in love with the story. The character development that happened during the Genometrics events were heart-rending. Words cannot describe how amazing the soundtrack is. I would still argue it is one of the best the genre has had in years (Rest In Peace, Origa).

Two months ago, Koei Tecmo announced that they would localize Ar nosurge Plus: Ode to an Unborn Star for the West. I would have loved to see Ciel nosurge (the Japan-exclusive prequel) make the jump to fill in the blanks missing from the story. That said, I am not about to sit here and argue against having another JRPG in my library. Continue reading

Toukiden: Kiwami Review

I recommend checking out my review of the first title as this will cover only the new content exclusive to the enhanced release.

When I wrapped up my review of Toukiden: Age of Demons when it arrived a little over a year ago, I talked about how I would love to see a sequel to the title. Things left off on a very interesting note with its fascinating plot and well-developed characters.

Those types of things are a basic necessity for me to stay engaged with the hunting subgenre. It kept me away from Monster Hunter due to its lack of a real story. It’s also why I like God Eater far more.

The original Toukiden did plenty of positive things, but it still had issues with taking a template almost wholesale from another series and try to ride that success. My concern with Kiwami is that it would be all that once again in a simple port with additional dressings without the proper closure I was seeking.

Good news: Toukiden: Kiwami is definitely not that and instead a heck of a lot more, and I loved it. Continue reading

Bladestorm: Nightmare Review

I am a big Dynasty Warriors fan. While many people look upon the series with a measure of disdain, I appreciate how satisfying it is mowing down thousands of people in a one-man army approach with a weapon that can reach to impossible lengths and abilities that make the world around you crumble.

I referred to Dynasty Warriors because Bladestorm: Nightmare follows many of the same conventions: it is you against an overwhelming wave of enemies coming in all shapes and sizes. The gameplay can get repetitive, it’s chaotic, but the action remains entertaining. To balance things out, there are distinct tactical elements akin to the Kessen series that players will find enjoyable. Continue reading

Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea Review

Atelier Escha & Logy tried to mix things up by introducing a main male protagonist. Gust soon learned how much that ended up displeasing fans based on the lower sales numbers.

Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea looks to remedy that by having two female leads in Shallistera and Shallotte (who share the common “Shallie” nickname to others, but Stera and Lotte to each other) that acts to split the storyline in a similar fashion.

After a short introduction of both ladies, players are given a choice between the pair to experience the events of the story through their eyes. Set six years after the events of Escha & Logy, things are looking more destitute than ever as the Dusk, a natural phenomenon of desertification, has really taken its toll on the world. Continue reading