Author Archives: mankoto

Tokyo Xanadu Review Is Imitation the Best Form of Flattery?

Developer: Falcom

Publisher: Aksys

Platform: PS Vita

Release Date: June 30th

ESRB Rating: T

MSRP: $39.99

Thank You Aksys for Providing A Review Copy of this Game

It’s been a long time coming for the next entry for the Xanadu franchise. It’s been over 10 years since the release of “Xanadu Next” for the N-Gage. Although I will say that this game is nothing like the previous entry. For one, this game ditch’s the design of the previous entries entirely and now feels more that of Trails than anything else. If you take “Trails of Cold Steel,” take out the military background and make it modern day with Sci-fi elements, you’d get Tokyo Xanadu. That’s not a bad thing perse. But it’s not a great thing either. I loved Trails of Cold Steel faults and all but this one feels almost like a carbon copy.

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God Wars: Future Past Review – A Diamond in the Rough

Developer: Kadokawa Games

Publisher: NISA

Platform: Playstation 4/Playstation Vita

ESRB Rating: T

Release Date: June 20th. 2017

Thank you NISA for providing a review copy for this game.

It’s been quite a while since Kadokawa’s last strategy game, Natural Doctrine. It wasn’t received well due to its relentless and unforgiving difficulty if you made even a single mistake. In 2014, Kadokawa Games announced that they would try again, and in 2015 they officially announced God Wars: Future Past. Instead of the more Tactical side of the genre, they’ve opted for the more pure Strategy side of it.

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Utawarerumono Mask of Deception review – This Is (Not) A Game

Developer: Aquaplus

Publisher: Atlus USA

Platform: Playstation 4/Playstation Vita

ESRB Rating: M

Release Date: May 23rd 2017

Thank you Atlus USA for providing a review copy for this game.

Life is strange. Just a couple weeks ago, I was having a blast playing Disgaea 5 Switch, while at the same time, I was also having a blast playing “Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception on my Vita. Despite both being SRPGs, and are fun to play, both provide extremely different experiences for completely different reasons.

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Disgaea 5: Complete Review – Football Manager 5

Developer: Nippon Ichi Software

Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software America

Platform: Nintendo Switch

ESRB Rating: M

Release Date: May 23rd 2017

Thank you NISA for providing a review copy for this game.

It’s been a long time since Disgaea has last appeared on a Nintendo platform, as the last entry was a port of the original game on the DS. Almost a decade later, the second Disgaea game to reach Nintendo fans is the latest entry in the franchise, “Disgaea 5” on the Nintendo Switch. This version of the game comes will all of the DLC which you can access from the get-go. This means the extra classes, recruits, and scenarios are yours to play around with. That said, normally, when Disgaea is ported to a different platform (typically it’s been Sony’s portable devices) they’d get extra content on top of the DLC content. Sadly, that’s not the case here. Here, it’s just the DLC.

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Final Fantasy XV Review – A Fantasy Based on a Reality

Platform: *PS4/Xbox 1

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix

Rated: T

Release Date: November 29th, 2016

Final Fantasy. Whether you like Japanese video games or not, and whether or not you even play video games, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this franchise somewhere. Each numbered entry typically takes place in a new explorable world and always gives a new cast of characters. It’s been a long time coming since the previous single-player main entry Final Fantasy XIII, and it’s been ten years since this game itself was announced under the name of Final Fantasy VS XIII.

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Rose in the Twilight review: This Beautiful Rose Has Forgettable Thorns

Platform:Playstation Vita/PC

Developer: Nippon Ichi Software

Publisher: Nippon Ichisoftware America

ESRB Rating: T

Release Date: April 11th, 2017

Nippon Ichi Software has been on an interesting path where they decide to make “indie-like” titles. In 2014 (localized in 2015) there was the bizarrely gruesome 2D puzzle platformer, Firefly Diaries; in 2015 (localized in 2016) my new favorite adventure horror game, Yomawari; and in 2016 (localized in 2017) Rose in the Twilight follows Firefly Dairies as (despite the aesthetic,) it has no problem being gory while also being a 2D puzzle platformer.

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Trails of Cold Steel and Trails of Cold Steel II head to PC

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel will be coming off of PS3 and Vita and onto PC this summer and it’s sequel sometime down the line. The PC version will have 5,000 more voice lines (a 50% increase) as well as run at 60 frames per second.

 

Here’s a comparison video between the PS3 and PC version. Please note that the footage was shot at 30fps, but the game itself was running 60fps.

 

Here’s what XSEED has to say on the title

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel builds on Nihon Falcom’s beloved Trails franchise, improving on the series’ formula while delivering an expertly told, standalone narrative that both series fans and newcomers alike will enjoy. Taking place on the same continent as fan-favorite Trails in the Sky, Trails of Cold Steel further explores Erebonia and gives players a chance to delve deep into the inner political conflicts of this oft-mentioned and powerful empire. Players take on the role of elite military students at a time of great turmoil, who enjoy school life as they bond with fellow students to earn new abilities in battle, and then utilize those abilities via tactical turn-based combat. In between skirmishes, players can upgrade their party members with the “ARCUS” system – a streamlined version of the classic “Orbment” magic system from previous titles – allowing for greater access to abilities and quicker customization.

Screenshots:

XSEED Announces the Release Date for Trails in the Sky the 3rd

In a press release, XSEED has announced that Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd Chapter will hit Steam, GOG.com, and the Humble Bundle on May 3rd, at a price point of  $29.99, €29.99, and £24.99. During it’s first week at launch however, it will be available for 10% off.

Here’s a quick rundown on the title from XSEED.

Half a year after the events of Trails in the Sky Second Chapter, Liberl has settled into peace once again—but even during peaceful times, there are many among the distinguished and fortunate burning with greed thanks to the influence of ancient artifacts. Most of the population remains unaware of their abuses of power, but to the most enigmatic order of the beloved Septian Church, the Gralsritter, snuffing out these would-be villains and claiming artifacts in their name is as everyday as professing one’s faith in the Goddess.

On the eve of another successfully completed mission, high-ranking member Father Kevin Graham is immediately assigned to retrieve one more artifact that rests beneath Grancel Cathedral. What’s more, even though this is a task he could easily complete on his own, he must reluctantly do so in partnership with his newest recruit, rookie Gralsritter and childhood friend Sister Ries Argent. Thus begins the start of a routine mission that becomes anything but, delving into a new and mysterious realm that follows an unnaturally strict set of rules: Phantasma. Therein, the history of the Septian Church and the pasts of the many familiar faces who took up arms for the sake of Liberl’s future will be laid bare – and some may have been better off staying forever sealed behind closed doors.

Widely considered the most challenging title in the series, players are encouraged to iterate upon the combat style they’ve come to know in the 3rd’s predecessors by either enjoying its in-depth story on Easy or crying with frustration on its unforgiving Nightmare difficulty. The brilliant music that the Trails in the Sky series is known for also returns, adding dozens of memorable new tracks as players work their way through the mysterious new realm of Phantasma.

Some screenshots

 

 

Danganronpa 1.2 Reload – Port Report

Platform: PS4

Original Developer: Spike-Chunsoft

Port Studio: Abstraction Games

Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software America

Rated: M

Release Date: March 14, 2017

Thank you NIS America for Providing a Review Copy of This Game

Danganronpa 1_2 RELOAD_20170306165249_1

Danganronpa 1-2 Reload is a bundle of the original Danganronpa and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. For those not in the know, Danganronpa (as well as its sequel) are about students from Hope’s Peak Academy. Students that go to this school are destined for success and are considered the very best in their field, whether it be the “Ultimate Programmer,” the “Ultimate Writer,” “Cook,” you name it. The conflict in these games, though, is that they’ve been kidnapped and are doomed to a Battle Royale lifestyle. They can choose to live in peace and harmony with their classmates for the rest of their lives, or alternatively: kill someone and get away with it. Unfortunately, through circumstances, one classmate kills another and you must find out who and why. Failing to do so will lead to each person dying, save for the murderer. Simultaneously, if you find out who murdered who, they will die. It should also be pointed out that Danganronpa 2 is actually a sequel to the first Danganronpa, so when playing this pack of the two games, be sure to play the first Danganronpa first.

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Nier: Automata Review – Do Machines Dream of Electric Sheep?

Developer: Platinum Games

Publisher: Square Enix

Platform: PlayStation 4/PC

ESRB:M

Release Date PS4: March 7th, PC: March 17th

“Nier: Automata,” a game announced out of left field by Square Enix with series director and scenario writer Yoko Taro doing his usual duties with Platinum Games. The dream has finally been realized: a game created with the level of polish Yoko Taro deserves.

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