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game review

NEO: The World Ends With You

Well, it took fourteen years, but NEO: The World Ends with You is finally here, and it's every bit as stylish, engrossing, and outright fun as its predecessor. ― When the original The World Ends with You launched all the way back in 2007 on the Nintendo DS, it won attention and praise for its unorthodox storytelling and gameplay. It used many of the features of the Nintendo DS in experimental ways an...
game review

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

It's easy to say that Monster Hunter Stories 2 provided the most enjoyable gameplay experience I've had within the genre in recent years. ― The monster-collecting genre might be one of the most criminally under-represented in gaming. Aside from the Pokémon games and the steady trickle of indie projects inspired by that franchise, it's practically barren. It is my hope that Monster Hunter Stories 2 wi...
game review

Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed

Akiba's Trip: Hellbound and Debriefed is a cheeky romp through anime fandom mecca with plenty of fun references. But sadly, it's also just shy of the mark to make it a must-have. Akiba's Trip: Hellbound and Debriefed is a lot of things. It's a remaster of a 10-year-old PlayStation Portable game. It's a cheeky romp through anime fandom mecca with plenty of fun references. But sadly, it's also just s...
game review

MARS RED Edge of the Nightmare

If you enjoyed the show, the story acts as a nice companion to the events of the anime, and several familiar characters from the Code Zero crew like Takeuchi, Suwa, and Kurusu all play key roles. ― Whenever a major new anime hits the scene, there's a mobile game to accompany it, like clockwork. Many of these games remain Japanese exclusives, with only a handful releasing globally. Additionally, many ...
game review

Death end re;Quest

Death end proves me dead wrong: it demonstrates not only Idea Factory's ability to put out quality titles, but that they can also be trusted to take real creative risks and create unique games – something all too rare in today's market. ― I wasn't expecting much from Death end re;Quest when I first picked it up. It's a product of Compile Heart, which is itself a subsidiary of Idea Factory – a studio ...
game review

No More Heroes 1 & 2

The No More Heroes franchise is first and foremost a celebration of video games. ― The No More Heroes franchise is first and foremost a celebration of video games. It perfectly captures a certain branch of gamer culture in its dialogue, visual styles, and gameplay, making for a unique experience that absolutely should not be missed. The games feature a brash comedic style, absurdly degenerate action,...
game review

Everyday♪ Today's MENU for EMIYA Family

With its sparse content, performance issues, and tepid dialogue, Everyday♪ Today's Menu for Emiya Family is a bad game even by the standards of low-budget anime tie-ins. ― With its sparse content, performance issues, and tepid dialogue, Everyday♪ Today's MENU for EMIYA Family is a bad game even by the standards of low-budget anime tie-ins. To be fair, it's not like I had no fun with the game at all; ...
game review

Touken Ranbu

Touken Ranbu. It's out in English now, almost six years after its initial release in Japan. I've played it for about two months, and I believe I can safely say… I'm not sure I get it. ― Touken Ranbu. It's out in English now, almost six years after its initial release in Japan. I've played it for about two months, and I believe I can safely say… I'm not sure I get it. I mean, yeah, on the one hand, I ...
game review

Ninja Gaiden Master Collection

For a certain vintage of gamer, Ninja Gaiden is a name that carries a certain amount of fear. Grant Jones revisits the franchise to see if the games still hold up to their legacy. ― The Ninja Gaiden Master Collection is hard to talk about in isolation. In many ways, you need a dramatic, long-winded cut scene to get the context for the release. So if you'll indulge me, I'll try to spin the tale as bes...
game review

Capcom Arcade Stadium

Video game archives and collections of this nature are all about making sure these newer generations of gamers get a chance to experience those which laid the groundwork for the stuff that we have today in an easy-to-digest package. ― Judging collections like this is always a bit tricky because we're not reviewing a brand new game made specifically for the current generation; rather, we're technicall...
game review

Famicom Detective Club: The Two-Case Collection

Both stories have some arbitrary info blocks like this, but even with my sus sense tingling, neither case went exactly where I expected it to go. ― This visual novel double-pack was released for English-speaking audiences for the first time on May 14, offering a shiny remake of Satoru Okada and Yoshio Sakamoto's adventure games for Nintendo. While this 2021 edition visually bears little resemblance t...
game review

Spirit Hunter: NG

Aksys Games' release of Spirit Hunter: NG is the second in Experience, Inc.'s Spirit Hunter horror visual novel franchise, serving up over 15 hours of creeping horrors. ― Aksys Games' release of Spirit Hunter: NG is the second in Experience, Inc.'s Spirit Hunter horror visual novel franchise, serving up over 15 hours of creeping horrors. Set in the year 1999, players assume the role of Akira, a punk ...
game review

Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne HD Remaster

It might be a little hard to recommend, but Nocturne is still one of the most gripping and rewarding JRPGs you could experience. ― Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster has a tall order to fulfill. It's a modern-day port of an older Shin Megami Tensei game that was still experimenting with 3D movement and presentation (those have mostly stuck to the Persona games while later SMTs went back to ...
game review

Resident Evil Village

It has been three years since the events of the last game and our favorite, perfectly normal everyman Ethan Winters is trying to live a normal life with his wife and newly born daughter Rose. Unfortunately, the universe really hates Ethan. ― Capcom's Resident Evil VILLAGE, the ninth numerical installment in the Resident Evil franchise, is a game that I feel almost shouldn't work as well as it does wh...
game review

Nier Replicant Ver.1.22474487139...

Okay, so we've established that Nier Replicant earns top marks for its aesthetics. The real question is whether or not it is actually any fun to play, now, and the answer is: “…kind of? Sometimes. But it's bad on purpose, I swear!” ― Yoko Taro's recent transformation from cult JRPG auteur to something of a fandom icon has been a very welcome surprise. To be clear, Taro is not the sole reason for the ...
game review

SaGa Frontier Remastered

I do not exaggerate when I say that SaGa Frontier is extremely rude. This is a game that throws you head-first into the depths of its myriad gameplay systems with only a half-inflated life vest while telling you that you need to learn to swim right now. ― SaGa Frontier is a game whose original release could best be described as unfortunate. It came not long after Final Fantasy VII had made many new p...
game review

Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space

Another Eden is the latest offering from members of theChrono Trigger team It has a high pedigree and some great quality-of-life features, but is it a loving tribute to those original Squaresoft titles, or just a half-baked shadow? ― It's been a long time since I sat down with a gacha game the way I have over the last couple of weeks. My disdain for the genre has always been palpable – I've never bee...
game review

New Pokémon Snap

I took a four day weekend off work to play this and was squarely dedicated to getting the absolute most out of it. More importantly, I was never bored. There was always something more to see each time I set out on an expedition. ― By the end of 1999 Pokémon Snap was the sixth best-selling Nintendo 64 title of the year and by the console's retirement it was its 11th highest-selling title of all time. ...
game review

Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter: Rise offers a few new features like rideable monsters, grappling hooks, and customizable weapon arts. But will it be the knockout game players have been waiting for? ― Up until now, the Monster Hunter series has mainly existed in my periphery. I knew of and respected these games for the better part of the last decade, but I never played any of them (with the exception of Monster Hunte...
game review

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

Yakuza 6 is a triumphant ending to the Dragon of Dojima's story, even for all of its failings. If you've played many of the Yakuza titles and are interested in seeing how it all comes together, I can't recommend this game enough. ― Most Japanese RPGs are wildly fantastical and cartoonish in their setting, but attempt to stay grounded through relatable character writing and conflict. In contrast, Yaku...
game review

Neptunia Virtual Stars

The game incentivizes the player to watch these clips by promising a reward and it just strikes me that the decision to leave a targeted ad embedded within a $50 game isn't the sort of thing many players would be happy about. ― I'll admit that, upon starting up this game, I found myself slightly excited for what it would deliver. Neptunia Virtual Stars had a well-choreographed opening, and a cute eno...
game review

Gal*Gun Returns

However, even dismissing the lack of any new challenges, locations, or prominent characters, the absence of gyro controls in aiming is inexcusable. ― Gal*Gun Returns revolves around a simple but decidedly niche concept: an arcade-style on-rails shooter a la House of the Dead where instead of being chased by zombies through a haunted mansion, you're fending off the advances of every woman in your scho...
game review

Persona 5 Strikers

Persona 5 strives to explore social issues, and in the case of Persona 5 Strikers, this is specifically targeted at the way trauma can inflict long-lasting harm and resentment. ― Six months after the events of Persona 5 (not Royal), the Thieves have gotten back together for the summer holidays. But after meeting the AI Sophia and the police inspector Zenkichi, their plans get uprooted. While a lot of...
game review

Nioh 2 The Complete Edition

Taking place in Japan during the 1500s, Nioh 2 allows you to design your own half-yokai character who embarks on a journey to defeat a great evil at the center of a broiling feudal war. Nioh 2 is Koei-Tecmo and Team Ninja's answer to the Dark Souls series. While it would be easy to write it off as a Feudal Japan-flavored Souls game, Team Ninja has injected the series with their own brand of intense...
game review

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

It became clear to me that Atelier truly has a beating heart as a game. Despite its missteps, this game managed to capture a spark of inspiration that kept me interested the entire time. ― Atelier Ryza 2 is somehow both one of the most belligerently boring and uniquely compelling games that I have ever played. The plot is dull and heavy-handed. Gameplay consists in large part of traversing an oversiz...
game review

Shiren the Wanderer: the Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate

If you love roguelikes as a genre and want to experience one of the most satisfying, well-crafted examples of the genre, you owe it to yourself to pick Shiren the Wanderer up. ― When you ask Japanese gamers about roguelike dungeon-crawling games, there is one series that stands out as a benchmark among all others: Shiren the Wanderer. The formula developers Chun Soft (now part of Spike-Chunsoft) have...
game review

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- The Prophecy of the Throne

Prophecy of the Throne tells a compelling story that satisfied me greatly as a Re:Zero fan. It has everything I like about the original series: An intriguing mystery, fun characters, entertaining dialogue, and clever foreshadowing. ― The anime world is filled with cheap tie-in visual novel games aimed at niche collectors, very few of which get localized. In fact, this isn't even the first Re:Zero con...
game review

Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia

Gorgeous artwork sets Brigadine apart from other SRPGs, but will it keep players' attention? James Beckett tries out the new PS4 port to find out! ― In 1998, I was barely old enough to have a firm grasp on how RPGs as basic as Pokémon worked, so I had never even heard of the original Brigandine: The Legend of Forensa, though here in the West it has apparently amassed quite the reputation as a cult c...
game review

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

Easily the most unique title I've picked up in recent memory, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a side-scrolling platform brawler paired with an incredibly in-depth rice-farming sim, complete with JRPG leveling systems. ― Easily the most unique title I've picked up in recent memory, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a side-scrolling platform brawler paired with an incredibly in-depth rice-farming sim, complete w...
game review

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

The mixture requires Puyo Puyo to be faster and Tetris slower, yet the concept proved fun the first time around, particularly with four players involved. How does Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 follow that up? ― Pity the sequel to a perfectly good puzzle game. Its core idea is already established, appealing, and therefore limitlessly enjoyable. The sequel can only refine it, add to it, or broaden its player base...
game review

Robotics;Notes: ELITE & DaSH (Double Pack)

While it has the typical trappings of a game in the Science Adventure vein, it's also bolstered by fleshed-out characters, a sense of a stable grounding in reality, and a unique narrative. However, its drawbacks are not insignificant. ― The Robotics;Notes double pack is the third in a series of visual novels I've been reviewing in recent days. And while I hold no love for the visual novel genre, I mu...
game review

Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia

Champions of Vestroia is Bakugan's take on the monster-collecting RPG genre. It takes some unique steps in some interesting and smart directions, but also holds onto some of the more tedious aspects of other games in its fold. ― The Bakugan franchise has sold kaiju brawlers, duel simulators, and even tower defense games – these titles have variety in droves, and this is no exception. Vestroia commits...
game review

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Review

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is easily one of the best installments in the franchise, boasting a fascinating and memorable cast of characters, a twisting story chock-full of underworld and political intrigue, plenty of absurd sub-quests and addictive minigames, and combat that gets across the satisfaction of whooping serious ass despite its turn-based nature. ― I am, admittedly, a huge Sega fan, and part of...
game review

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

Once the training wheels come off and its gameplay opens up, however, Aegis Rim goes from a good game to a great one. ― 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a one-of-a-kind game that blends visual novel storytelling with real-time strategy combat. It draws on some heavy inspiration from War of the Worlds. This is most apparent in its storytelling, but the book is touched on all over. Space Invaders is referenc...
game review

Kandagawa Jet Girls

Summer isn't over yet! Kandagawa Jet Girls is racing on to PlayStation 4 but can beautiful girls bring life to this kart-style racer? ― When I first booted up Kandagawa Jet Girls, I had no idea what to expect. I watched the first half of its anime run as a primer, and I was looking forward to seeing how they would translate the premise into gameplay. If you haven't seen the show, it centers heavily a...
game review

Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxiboost ON

Myles tries his hand at the cut-throat arcade hit's port to the PS4. ― Playing Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxiboost On made me instantly nostalgic for times I spent traveling and enjoyed playing it in over-the-top Akihabara arcades. I didn't understand what I was doing or who I was doing it with, but the experience itself was a blast. I couldn't tell you then why is was that I felt so gravitated ...
game review

Yakuza Kiwami 2

Yakuza Kiwami 2's recent release on the Xbox One means that the title is now accessible everywhere, and if you love Yakuza, there's no reason not to play it. ― The Yakuza series is notorious for its unique balancing act – depicting a striking and gritty realism offset by moments of ridiculous lunacy. Kiwami 2 is no exception to the trend, and it executes the franchise's characteristic mishmash of ele...
game review

SINoALICE

SINoALICE's spin is in how it takes the subjects of these oft-sanitized stories and not only drags them back down to their darker and bloodier roots, but also slaps on even more layers of Yoko Taro's unique brand of violent, kinky nihilism on top of it all. ― When NieR: Automata became my favorite videogame of all time in 2017, I dove headlong into the eccentric director Yoko Taro's weird and wonder...
game review

Fairy Tail

I went into Fairy Tail with the low expectations I've been accustomed to when dealing with many anime-adapted games, but I must say, this title blew them away. ― I went into Fairy Tail with the low expectations I've been accustomed to when dealing with many anime-adapted games, but I must say, this title blew them away. It's been a good while since I've seen an anime-based game so well realized – not...
game review

Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris

Myles takes off the kid gloves in his review, calling this Sword Art Online game installment a "thoroughly uninvolved experience." Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris attempts to translate the most recent season of Sword Art Online into a game, beat for beat. It promised engaging fantasy-action gameplay, a riveting plot taken straight from the show, and stunning anime-quality art. It fails to del...
game review

Sakura Wars

1996's Sakura Taisen was a pioneer for games like Persona and Fire Emblem. Myles sees how the franchise's newest installment measures up to its legacy. Sakura Taisen, released in 1996 Japan on the SEGA Saturn, was a pioneer for games like Shin Megami Tensei (Persona) and Fire Emblem. It was one of the first games to try and pair a sort of Social/Dating Simulator into a tactical JRPG title. Now, in ...
game review

Pokémon Sword and Shield: Isle of Armor

The Isle of Armor is the first of two expansions for the games, and it adds a set of islands with impressive diversity and new Galarian experiences. ― Before I could get into The Isle of Armor, my $30 took a one-hit KO. I was among the not insignificant number of players who got overly excited for the expansion, bought the wrong version, and got hit with a wave of confused regret. After purchasing th...
game review

Cadence of Hyrule

Find yourself hacking, slashing, bombing, and shooting your way through hordes of enemies to the nostalgic tune of classic Zelda tracks, re-imagined in a Chiptune/EDM style. ― Cadence of Hyrule is of the most unique games I've ever touched. When Crypt of the NecroDancer creator Ryan Clark approached Nintendo seeking permission to add characters from the Zelda franchise to his game as DLC, he was met ...
game review

Indivisible

Skullgirls developer LabZero is back with a new platforming action RPG featuring the work of Studio Trigger - Heidi Kemps has all the details. ― DISCLAIMER: I backed this project on IndieGoGo and am on cordial terms with some people involved with its development. Indivisible, Lab Zero Games' sophomore effort after Skullgirls, has had a fair bit of hype and attention surrounding it. A lot was promised...
game review

REVIEW: Robotics;Notes DaSH

The newest Science Adventure visual novel seeks to bring the worlds of Robotics;Notes and Steins;Gate together, as Daru takes a trip to Tanegashima Island. Richard Eisenbeis has the details on how these storylines converge from the game's Japanese release. ― The Science Adventure Series is a franchise of Japanese visual novels that mixes grounded science with pseudoscience to create sci-fi adventures...
game review

KILL la KILL - IF

The iconic cast of TRIGGER's KILL la KILL is back in a brawler for consoles and PC - but is the return worth your time? Heidi's here with the verdict! ― Kill la Kill is a beloved anime series for a very good reason: fantastic art design, memorable characters, a weird and fascinating setting, and – perhaps most importantly – fantastic action sequences. Fans have clamored for a Kill la Kill game for ye...
game review

REVIEW: Trails of Cold Steel

This underrated JRPG gem comes to the PS4 in a definitive edition that retains the original's charm. Branden Johnson explains what makes this series so special. ― There are RPGs that command attention with each new release. Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, even (to a lesser extent in the States) the Tales of series. Then there are RPGs that, while exceptional, fly under the radar for whatever reason: may...
game review

The World Next Door (Switch)

Manga giant Viz Media's first foray into game publishing hits the Nintendo Switch in the form of the colorful, visual novel-flavored match-3 puzzle game The World Next Door. ― When I sat down to play The World Next Door, I had almost no expectations, something that rarely happens with a new game these days. I had been impressed by artwork I'd seen, and I knew it was being released by Viz, manga publi...
game review

REVIEW - One Piece: World Seeker

This open-world adventure takes its ambitions beyond the usual limits of licensed anime games. Sam Leach finds out if the result is fun enough to be worth a look for casual or experienced players. ― I'm hesitant to use the word “ambitious” to describe One Piece: World Seeker, because if we're comparing it to anything beyond licensed anime games, it looks like a half-baked cookie-cutter rendition of a...
game review

Fate/Extella Link (Switch)

The sequel to the Dynasty Warriors-style Fate game Fate/Extella is here, loaded with new characters and costumes - but is it a step up from the last one, or just more of the same? ― Fate/Extella Link is set in the same general continuity as the past games in the Fate/Extra series--Fate/Extra, Fate/Extra CCC, and Fate Extella. However, despite this, it is not a direct sequel to the previous game, Fate...
game review

REVIEW: Steins;Gate Elite

This remastered version of the sci fi visual novel classic is finally available with new footage and features for fans to discover all over again. James Beckett finds out if this revamped game is worth a look for S;G fans. ― Despite its foibles, I still consider the Steins;Gate anime to be a solid science-fiction romp, and I've long meant to double back and play the original 2009 visual novel on whic...
game review

Kingdom Hearts III

Sora's long journey with his many Disney friends comes to a close in this long-awaited final chapter of the trilogy. Callum May has our full review of this highly anticipated RPG. ― Your impressions of Kingdom Hearts III are almost entirely shaped by how much experience you've had with the series thus far. Or how you felt about each entry. Zipping around Disney, Pixar and original Kingdom Hearts worl...
game review

Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition

One of the most beloved Tales RPGs is finally available in HD on the Nintendo Switch. Dave Riley finds out how this classic has held up over ten years later. ― It took ten years, and one legendarily dismissive tweet, but we finally got it. Originally released on Xbox as part of Microsoft's push for a Japanese audience, Tales of Vesperia's updated and expanded PS3 version was a Japan-only release, bar...
game review

REVIEW: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

At long last, the definitive version of Nintendo's beloved fighting game series is out on the Nintendo Switch. Branden Johnson finds out if this edition really lives up to all the hype. ― The level of excitement in the Smash Bros. fan community has probably never been higher. For all intents and purposes, this is the game. The one that has everything we could possibly want (okay, except for Waluigi)....
game review

Pokémon: Let's Go!

Pokémon fans can explore the Kanto region like never before in this high-def remake of the classic Yellow Version, but has Generation 1 aged gracefully? Branden Johnson finds out. ― I missed the Pokemon train entirely the first time around. It's strange; I love JRPGs, and I was the perfect age when Pokemon Red and Blue hit the Gameboy in the 90s. Whatever the reasons, I haven't played a single Pokemo...
game review

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection

SNK delivers a history lesson with an anthology of early arcade and NES titles. Todd finds out how well these games have held up in this new game for the Switch. ― What made SNK a cult favorite game company? Was it the Neo Geo, which delivered arcade-perfect games at home for just two hundred dollars per cartridge? Was it the Neo Geo Pocket Color, a well-made and vastly underappreciated handheld syst...
game review

My Hero: One's Justice (PlayStation 4)

My Hero One’s Justice captures the essence of its source material, and offers a fine experience for anyone looking to cross blows as their My Hero Academia favorites. ― The anime franchise tie-in brawler is a venerable gaming institution, with Bandai Namco having published similar efforts for franchises like Naruto and Dragon Ball in the past. On the other hand, One's Justice developer Byking are rel...
game review

Fist of the North Star: Paradise Lost

The classic head-exploding action of Fist of the North Star is poured into the Yakuza gameplay mold, but do these two great tastes taste great together? Daryl Surat scours the wasteland to find out. ― The last few years have marked a surge in popularity among English-language fans of both Sega's long-running Yakuza series of videogames as well as—to a lesser extent—the formative trope-establishing Sh...
game review

Mega Man 11

It's Mega Man's big chance for a comeback, and it's not what some fans might expect. We dig into a video-game icon's return! ― Don't let the number fool you. This may be the eleventh or twelfth central Mega Man title. It may be backed by several spin-off series. Yet it's been nearly a decade since the last full-blown game in the series. Even then, Mega Man 9 and 10 were deliberate throwbacks, built t...
game review

Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle

Capcom resurrects a bunch of their classic arcade brawlers with a seven-game collection. Do they still put up a fight? ― Brawlers. Beat 'Em Ups. Belt-Scrollers. Double Dragon Clones. Punk Punching Parades. Those Arcade Games That Mom And Dad Always Said Were Too Violent For You Back in 1988. Whatever you call them, they never quite got their moment on top. True, they were staples of arcades in the la...
game review

Import Review: My Hero One's Justice

My Hero Academia arrives on consoles and PC as a fully-featured arena brawler bursting with everyone's favorite heroes, but does it go PLUS ULTRA? Find out in our early review. ― With the current popularity of superheroes in popular culture, it's no surprise that superhero anime My Hero Academia is three seasons in and commands an ever-growing legion of loyal fans both inside and outside of Japan. Th...
game review

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

This content-rich but intimidating adventure from the 3DS has landed on the Nintendo Switch. Branden Johnson gets lost in the world of Monster Hunter. ― I've long aspired to be the sort of person who is into Monster Hunter. It's a real “gamer” series: brutal difficulty, complex systems, a strong community. Being a fan of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, I figured I would get into Monster Hunter, if I could...
game review

Review: Fate/Grand Order Arcade

The smash hit Fate smartphone game gets an extra-fancy new arcade edition in Japan that actually prints out physical cards for you to take home - but it doesn't come cheap! Richard Eisenbeis took the plunge, here's his report. ― The Fate franchise is massive and sprawling. There are numerous games, TV anime, movies, novels, drama CDs, and manga. But while the franchise originally became popular duri...
game review

Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night & Persona 5: Dancing Star Night

In the wake of Persona 4's successful rhythm game, its siblings are getting in on the action! Which of these two new games should you play? Richard Eisenbeis has the answers in our full review. ― Following in the footsteps of 2015's Persona 4: Dancing All Night, Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5: Dancing Star Night are a pair of rhythm/music games that showcase the awesome soundtracks of Pe...
game review

Valkyria Chronicles 4

Whether you're a longtime fan of the series or a newcomer, Valkyria Chronicles 4 doesn't disappoint. Richard Eisenbeis delivers his full review of the newest entry in this TRPG saga. ― The Valkyria Chronicles series is a piece of historical fiction set in a world much like our own. However, instead of coal or oil, it is the mysterious mineral ragnite—which can do anything from cure wounds to power a ...
game review

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido

This quirky puzzle game for the Nintendo Switch and 3DS is sure to win over fans of absurd humor and fast-paced strategy. Branden Johnson elaborates. ― Nailing absurdist humor is tricky. If you wink too much at the audience, it can be eye roll-inducing, and if you aren't polished enough in your presentation, you run the risk of your audience laughing at you, not with you. But Nintendo has pulled it o...
game review

Review: Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time

This dungeon-crawling action RPG boasts all the style of Studio Trigger's hit series, but not so much the substance. Todd Ciolek digs into this magical adventure. ― It's neither original nor unkind to say that Little Witch Academia stood out on appearances. The series is a charming tale of a misfit at a magical academy, a fantasy staple since well before Harry Potter, but it might not have leapt from...
game review

REVIEW: Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet

This run-and-gun RPG for the PS4 allows SAO fans to interact with all their favorite characters in a brand-new story. But is it fun to play? Branden Johnson finds out. ― Unpopular opinion time: my least favorite arc in Sword Art Online was Gun Gale Online. Not that it was bad, just that it felt lacking compared to the two storylines that preceded it. So my expectations going into Sword Art Online: Fa...
game review

Ni no Kuni II:Revenant Kingdom

It took 8 years for a Ni no Kuni sequel to finally surface, and now that it's here, there's both good news and bad for this lavish Studio Ghibli-esque action RPG. ― Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was a bit too traditional for me. As a lover of RPGs and the films of Hayao Miyazaki, I figured it would be right up my alley. An RPG that looks and sounds like a real Studio Ghibli film is basically a...
game review

GAME REVIEW: Attack on Titan 2

This sequel to the first action game in the franchise from KOEI-TECMO and Omega Force makes significant improvements on its predecessor, but is it worth a purchase? Heidi Kemps has the answers. ― Omega Force's record with anime and manga adaptations is a bit spotty. We've had disappointments like Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, but we've also had some real win...
game review

REVIEW: Dragon Ball FighterZ

Dustin Bailey has the full rundown on the most hotly anticipated DBZ fighting game of all time. Find out if FighterZ lives up to all the hype! ― Dragon Ball FighterZ isn't just a good game for fans of Dragon Ball—it's a great game period, a best-in-class fighter that looks great and is fun to play at any level. That it's crafted with loving reverence to one of the most popular anime on the planet is ...
game review

River City: Rival Showdown

The open-world gameplay of this breezy beat-em-up returns on the Nintendo 3DS. Heidi breaks down how this game stacks up against its predecessors for prior fans and newcomers alike. ― For being such a long-running game franchise, the Kunio-kun series of beat-em-ups is quite a confusing mess. It's a beat-em-up series about a bunch of high school delinquents fighting for turf and showing who's the toug...
game review

Resident Evil Revelations Collection

Both RE: Revelations games have arrived in a special re-release for the Nintendo Switch, but is there anything new in this edition worth picking up? Dave Riley finds out. ― With the release of a new console, the Switch, comes the expected glut of HD ports, and Resident Evil Revelations, which has been ported to on average a console and a half per year since its original release on the 3DS in 2012, is...
game review

Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth

Does the newest entry in this difficult RPG series still hurt good enough to be worth the challenge? Todd Ciolek finds out. ― Etrian Odyssey games ask a lot. They require you to pace around dungeon grids full of nasty enemies. They require you to map out levels in the tradition of the hardest RPGs of 1986. They require you to try again and again, even after a sudden and vicious encounter wipes out yo...
game review

Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online

Is this super-meta RPG worth playing for more than its jokes and fanservice? Todd Ciolek finds out. ― Neptunia is a series of inexhaustible potential. The central RPGs feature anime heroines who represent various game consoles and companies, and that makes for rampant and excusable genre parody. Put the characters in a pop-idol simulation or a strategy-RPG and you're not just cynically exploiting a m...
game review

Super NES Classic Edition

With heaps of 16-bit classics to choose from including the never-before-released Star Fox 2, the Super NES Classic is a retro gamer's dream. Todd Ciolek has the lowdown on every title in this collection. ― Last year's NES Classic Edition was a finely crafted piece of nostalgia: an authentically miniature Nintendo Entertainment System with thirty built-in games, ranging from enduring classics to dispo...
game review

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Several changes have been made to this fighting game's new installment, but not all of them are for the better. Dustin Bailey gets into it. ― The new story mode in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has all the characters trapped in a pair of worlds awkwardly smashed together out of pieces from their respective universes. Marvel's AIM laboratories host not only MODOK, but also the BOWs of Resident Evil, smu...
game review

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

To call the end of Danganronpa "shocking" would be an understatement! Jacob Chapman takes on the controversial final chapter in this SPOILER-FREE review. ― Prior to the release of this (second?) conclusion to the main Danganronpa trilogy, series creator Kazutaka Kodaka was emphatic in several interviews that this "new semester" would be completely open to newcomers. While it would bring closure to th...
game review

Metroid: Samus Returns

Samus is back in this expansive, extensive remake of Game Boy original Metroid II, but can it capture that old Metroid feeling? Dustin suits up to find out... ― There's a lot of bombast to a title like Samus Returns. Not just a nod to the original Metroid II subhead, this is indeed the return of Samus after an interminable hiatus for the Metroid franchise. It's been thirteen years since the last 2D M...
game review

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

To call the latest chapter of Danganronpa "shocking" would be an understatement! Jacob Chapman takes on the controversial V3 in this SPOILER-FREE review. ― Prior to the release of this (second?) conclusion to the main Danganronpa trilogy, series creator Kazutaka Kodaka was emphatic in several interviews that this "new semester" would be completely open to newcomers. While it would bring closure to th...
game review

Warriors All-Stars

This colorful cast of characters spanning a dozen different Tecmo titles have come together for a crossover musou extravaganza! Dustin Bailey finds out if the gameplay can fulfill its promising premise. ― Tecmo has a deceptively large roster of franchises. There's the big stuff, like the Warriors games, Dead or Alive, and Ninja Gaiden. There's more niche RPGs and weird action hybrids like Atelier, Ni...
game review

Review - One Piece: Unlimited World Red

The PS4 version of this combat-based collect-a-thon is just one of many available on nearly every console and even PC! Sam Leach finds out if the most accessible One Piece game is worth playing. ― Unlimited World Red Deluxe is a re-release of the 2013 game originally made for the 3DS, the most recent in a series of One Piece “Unlimited” games. At this point, Red is out for nearly all Sony and Nintend...
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Review: Yakuza Kiwami

Can this entry in the Yakuza franchise escape the shadow of its older brother, Yakuza Zero? Dustin Bailey has the answers. ― Kazuma Kiryu. Some call him the “dragon of Dojima,” one of the most legendary fighters the Japanese underworld has ever known. But there's much more to Kiryu than that. He's Kamurocho's toughest boy scott, a righter of wrongs and puncher of faces, the kind of guy who'll help a ...
game review

Hey! Pikmin

Captain Olimar touches down on the 3DS in the first portable Pikmin adventure. Dustin Bailey finds out if shrinking down the action affects the experience. ― Up until now, the adventures of Captain Olimar have seen him and a legion little plant people called Pikmin in a long-term battle for survival, racing against the clock or dwindling food reserves to gather the materials necessary to repair the l...
game review

Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy

Layton passes his puzzle-solving prowess down to his daughter for the franchise's mobile game debut. Is it worth a look for Professor Layton fans and casual puzzle game players? ― The latest Professor Layton game opens with its most compelling mystery. Young Katrielle Layton endures a dream where she chases after her father, who vanishes into a dense London fog. Is Professor Hershel Layton, the didac...
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Review: Splatoon 2

Combine your talents as both kid and squid to ink your way to victory once again! Dustin Bailey finds out if this highly anticipated sequel holds up against the original. ― Two things are true of the Wii U—it was Nintendo's biggest hardware failure since the Virtual Boy, and it served as a home for some of the most fun, original games the company has ever produced. When the Switch came along to deliv...
game review

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto

This short - but engaging - Final Fantasy XV side story might not fill you up, but it's much more satisfying than the game's previous DLC. Dustin digs in. ― Final Fantasy XV's DLC didn't get off to a great start. Coming off a tremendously flawed launch where certain aspects of the game—you already know which ones—felt anywhere from “half-baked” to “completely unfinished,” the notion of turning around...
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Valkyria Revolution

This spinoff of the beloved tactical RPG series Valkyria Chronicles tries to live up to the sterling reputation of its predecessors, but Dustin finds it might fall a little short. ― Valkyria Revolution is told through the pages of history books. A young historian sets out to find the truth about the Five Traitors who led the nation of Jutland to revolution for their own selfish ends, and with the hel...
game review

Dragon Quest Heroes II

Dragon Quest Heroes II layers thoughtful strategy on top of a solid action-RPG base, but is it enough to stave off musou fatigue? Dustin dives in. ― Here is yet another entry in the pantheon of “Dynasty Warriors but with [blank]” from Omega Force, a single-developer genre that's produced its share of hits and misses, though there's come to be a certain baseline reliable quality that's made these game...
game review

Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City

It's the final piece of DLC for the final Dark Souls game - but does Dave Riley have any energy or spirit left for Dark Souls? The Ringed City puts him to the test. ― The Ringed City opens on a vertiginous sight: a sheer cliffside overlooking a bristling conglomeration of towers and mountain peaks spiraling down as far as the eye can see. Shattered chapels jut horizontally from ruined ground and terr...
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Review: Persona 5

Can this highly anticipated JRPG live up to the legacy of its predecessors? Dave Riley explores what new innovations Persona 5 brings to the table. ― Even though it's five hours before the game slips the tutorial reins and lets you loose in a full-on dungeon, Persona 5's opening grips you immediately and doesn't let go. In contrast to the milquetoast player-inserts of games past, this player-characte...
game review

Review: NieR: Automata

Androids battle alien machines for control of Earth in a boldly strange action game that loves to mess with your head. Todd Ciolek has the details. ― It's important to know that NieR: Automata does not hate you, the player. NieR: Automata very easily could, after all. Yoko Taro's Drakengard titles are vicious creations, and Drakengard 3 remains a fascinatingly savage mockery of violent games and play...
game review

Review: Berserk and the Band of the Hawk

Berserk: Band of the Hawk lets you slaughter your way through Guts' most traumatic adventures in classic Musou style - but it isn't without its problems. ― By now, the formula for Omega Force's increasingly prolific line of Musou anime adaptions has proven to be a mostly winning one. Take the basic Dynasty Warriors gameplay, replace Chinese historical figures with an array of fan-favorite characters,...
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Review: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

It's Resident Evil as "true horror", returning to the concepts that spawned the franchise in the first place. But is it Resident Evil, or a "me too" take on modern horror? ― It's easy to imagine a world where Resident Evil 7 was just called Biohazard, marketed as a spiritual successor to the venerable zombie-killing franchise. It leaves behind the complicated series lore with its intense network of c...
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Review: Tales of Berseria

The latest Tales game goes darker than ever before, but does that make it better? Todd Ciolek cracks into the first big RPG of 2017! ― Tales games are struggles, and they're not just between a world-saving cadre of misfits and some ruthless villain or eldritch power. They're clashes of quality. On one side, you'll find entertaining characters and hectic, enjoyable battle systems. On the other, you'll...
game review

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS

Can the portable version of this addictive nostalgia-bomb live up to the success of its predecessor? That might depend on what kind of Mario Maker you're looking for. ― Every once in a while, there's a game that comes along that makes me say “who wanted this?” Well, sure, I bet there were plenty of folks out there who said “Yeah, I love Super Mario Maker, but it'd be really cool to have a portable ve...

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