Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception Review

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

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Toukiden 2 Review

To me, Toukiden 1 was a brilliant but flawed game. Here was something I really wanted from the genre: a story-driven experience utilizing the Monster Hunter formula. On the other hand, it fell too deep into the hole of repetition and didn’t go far enough to differentiate itself.

The enhanced re-release Toukiden Kiwami rapidly expanded on the formula and provided a far greater amount of everything – storytelling, Oni, Mitama, equipment, and more. I had a better time with it due to the way it tried to fill in all the empty spaces that left the previous version a fairly hollow adventure. Continue reading

Criminal Girls: Invite Only Review

Criminal Girls: Invite Only takes place in the wonderful land of Hell. You, the voiceless protagonist, have been hired on as Warden of a group of girls who, for one reason or another, find themselves imprisoned in the afterlife.

As a result, they each must go through a “Redemption Program” to learn the error of their ways, escape eternal damnation, and earn their way towards rejoining the land of the living. As you might expect, the journey won’t be an easy one. Continue reading

Yomawari: Night Alone Review

My face turned completely pale. I wasn’t even two minutes into the game and I witnessed one of the most shocking moments I have seen in a long time. I cursed under my breath as I silently continued on; my expectations thrown out the window as I was captivated with what I may have to deal with next.

This is the type of experience Yomawari: Night Alone delivers shortly into its main story. The nameless protagonist, a young girl, takes her dog Poro for a walk one night. However, the girl suddenly loses sight of him.

Soon after, she comes across her older sister in the nearby park, who promises to help find their companion. She goes off in search of Poro and tells the young girl to close her eyes and hide behind a nearby bush. But after a few hours of waiting, the innocent girl notices she is once again all alone. Continue reading

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