Category Archives: Reviews

Yakuza Kiwami 2 Review Return of a Dragon

Developer: Ryu ga Gotoku Studio

Publisher: SEGA

Platform(s):PlayStation 4 (Played on PS4 Pro)

ESRB Rating: M

MRSP: $49.99

Release Date: August 28th, 2018

SEGA seems to be on a roll with the Yakuza series as of late. This year, western fans have been graced with Yakuza 6 the Song of Life, the series debut onto PC, and the Yakuza X Fist of the North Star crossover localization announcement. Now today, we take a look at the second entry in the “Kiwami” remakes of Yakuza games, Yakuza Kiwami 2. Just like Yakuza Kiwami, Kiwami 2 is a groundup remake of the original PS2 classic Yakuza 2, this time made in the Dragon Engine. How does this remake of the original Yakuza 2 hold up, and does this game paint an interesting picture of the future of the Yakuza series?

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Little Dragons Cafe Review-A Return to Form

Developer:Toybox Inc.

Publisher:Aksys

Platforms:PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch (Reviewed on Both)

Release Date:August 24th, 2018

ESRB Rating: E

MRSP: $59.99

Little Dragons Cafe is the latest brainchild of Story of Seasons creator, Yasuhiro Wada, and is an attempt by the looks of it to return to his Bokujo roots. Yasuhiro Wada has had a checkered past of game releases since he left Marvelous. One needs to look no further than his first non Story of Seasons attempt Hometown Story, a game that left a lot of fans disappointed. Now he looks to be trying again with Little Dragons Cafe to try and recapture that initial magic, so how does he do?

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Yakuza 6 the Song of Life Potentially Heading to PC

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It’s that time of the year everyone, finacial reports are in for a lot of big gaming companies. Sometimes these reports can give some interesting early announcements for things to come. Such as today, in SEGA’s finacial report, they seemed to have list Yakuza 6 the Song of Life for a PC release sometime between the end of this year and the start of next year.

While this may not come as a surprise with Yakuza 0 having a pretty stellar launch on PC and Yakuza Kiwami heading to PC later this year, it’s just good to see SEGA committed to bringing the entire Yakuza catalog to the platform one game at a time. It will be interesting to see if we get an official announcement of this at Gamescon. The PC could be where The Dragon Engine truly shine! In the meantime we will keep you all posted if any news break, meanwhile you can check out our review of Yakuza 6 the Song of Life here.

Or you can watch our video review:

Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition Review – A Royal Comeback

Developer: Omega Force/Team Ninja

Publisher: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Switch

ESRB Rating: T

Release Date: May 18th, 2018

MRSP: $59.99

Thank you, Nintendo for providing a review copy!

Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition is the re-release of the 2014 collaboration project between Koei Tecmo and Nintendo celebrating “The Legend of Zelda” as a franchise. This repackaging includes a load of new content not found in the original release as well as some updated visuals. Do these changes warrant buying the game again? Today we take a look and decide for ourselves. Please note that this will not be so much of a review as a comparison to the original release of the game not including any of its season pass DLC.

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Story:
The story is the original Wii U release of this game was surprisingly decent. It was not a masterpiece of storytelling but for a musou game it had a fun number of battles and the story never felt too serious or comedic for the tone of the Zelda series. The added DLC campaigns from the season pass included within the definitive edition re-release really help develop some of the characters who did not get too much time in the original story. The added the Wind Waker arc after the completion of the main story was a very fun addition as well. While there are your standard character misunderstandings that lead to battles, it checks out as a decent story mode. Nothing amazing, but it works for what it is.

5

Graphics:
The Wii U was not a technical powerhouse by any means, but neither is the Switch. While the original game ran at 720p 30 fps with an extremely variable framerate that often went below 20, the Switch version has made some pretty big strides. The Resolution has received a bump to 1080p and the framerate is now an unlocked 60 fps. While it is not stable, it makes a humongous difference in battle. The actual art style of the game is quite nice and compliments the various conflicting visual styles of the games in the franchise pretty well. Handheld mode on the other hand, is an absolutely atrocious experience. If you thought the Wii U version was a mess performance wise, the handheld mode will have battling constantly at 20 fps and below. It actually hurt my eyes at times, which alone is a testament to its poor performance.

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Audio/Music:
Musou games have been known to have very fun power metal variations on the themes and songs taken from the source material and this game does not disappoint. Most classic Zelda fan favorites are here with very fun and upbeat remixes. Most of the sound queues and alert noises are also taken from games throughout the franchise’s history. The sound design aspect of the original did not disappoint, and nothing has changed for the better.

-Sample of the Soundtrack-

Gameplay:
Hyrule Warriors has your standard musou gameplay of mashing X and Y a bunch of times to destroy hundreds of braindead enemies, but there are a few new additions to the mix. The new equipment such as the hammer will introduce new ways to go about fighting bosses. The “My Fairy” system allows you to tackle the Adventure mode with bonuses and adding buffs to your character. Another great added mechanic is the ability to switch characters, which makes multitasking much easier of a feat to accomplish mid battle. These are only a few of the mechanics not found in the original release, and I have yet to find one that hinders gameplay.

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Content:
Of all the musou spinoffs out there, this one is up near the top in terms of content. The main story mode including all of the extra missions takes about 15 hours, which is 5-6 more than the original game. Adventure mode which includes more than 5 maps each of which can take of upwards of 4-5 hours to complete, and there are almost twice as many characters in the roster compared to the Wii U release. The only major complaint in terms of content is that you’ll be repeating a lot of the same levels in the story mode, and especially in the extra side missions.

3

Overall:
Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition takes some of the best aspects of Zelda and musou games and blends them into a somewhat monotonous but mostly fulfilling experience. Fans of the Wii U release and newcomers will appreciate what they have added here. With terrible handheld performance and a lot of repeating levels being its only major drawbacks, this is definitely the better of the two Nintendo Warriors games.

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Shining Resonance Refrain Review- Not a Shinning Example

Developer: SEGA

Publisher: SEGA

Platform(s): PS4*, Nintendo Switch, XBO, PC

Release Date: June 10th, 2018

ESRB Rating: T

MRSP: $49.99

It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen anything Shining related here in the west, the last game being a 2016 fighting game featuring characters from Shining games that were never localized, Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena. Before that, despite the constant release of Shining games in Japan on PSP, Shining’s presence in the west more or less disappeared after the release of Shining Force EXA for the PS2 back in 2007. That said, Shining moved back to consoles in 2014 with the release of Shining Resonance on PS3. That version wasn’t localized, but it has been remastered for current generation consoles.

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Death end re;Quest Heads to North America and Europe Early 2019

Today during their pannel at Anime Expo, Idea Factory International has confirmed that Death and re;Quest will be heading westward on the PS4 in Early 2019! Death end Re;Quest has quite a few names behind it who are working on it, such as developers who worked on Corpse Party and Mary Skelter. You can expect to find the following in this interesting game:

  • Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction? – Jump between reality and in-game modes, as players will need to investigate in real world view to solve the mysterious inner-workings of the World Odyssey, and switch to an in-game view mode to battle against glitched-out monsters. Choose options wisely, as your decision can change the game’s ending!​
  • Turn-Based RPGs Flipped Upside Down – In this turn-based command battle system, you can roam freely and duke it out with fearsome monsters. During battle, players can change the game’s genre from a first-person shooter to even a fighting game!
  • You’re Buggin’ Out – While exploring, players will need to activate character-specific dungeon skills to access hard-to-reach areas and hidden treasures!
  • ​Follow the White Rabbit and Discover a Bug Infested World – In this hyper-realistic game world, players must help out Shina escape a game universe filled with infected bosses and mesmerizing environments!

While the game is quite a bit far away, stay tuned for future coverage on this title! In the meantime check out some screenshots of this game.

The Caligula Effect Overdose Heads to the West on PS4, Switch and PC in 2019

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Today at Anime Expo, NISA has announced that they will be localizing The Caligula Effect Overdose for the PlayStation 4, and porting to to PC and the Nintendo Switch. For those of you who don’t know The Caligula Effect was released and published on the Vita last year by Atlus USA. The Overdose version is said to fix quite a few issues that plagued the original PS Vita release of this game, so this is definitely a game that should be on your radar as we learn more about the localization and the ports. The Caligula Effect Overdose will be releasing in 2019, be sure to stick around for any updates and news on this version of the game!

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Sushi Striker the Way of Sushido Review

Developer: IndieZero

Publisher: Nintendo of America

Platform: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS

A Review Copy Was Provided by Nintendo

Indieszero, known for their work on the Theatrerhytm games, have brought us a brand new IP with an interesting concept. Sushi Striker is a puzzle action title, set in a world where Sushi was outlawed due to the dish causing wars and strife. The main campaign is a silly, shonen-like story that is incredibly entertaining if you just turn your brain off, and enjoy the humorous writing. This premise is way too ridiculous to be taken seriously, but it seems that way on purpose.

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You’ll be in this mode a lot as the single player can range from ten to almost 25 hours. It has a lot of meat to it due to reasonably sized list of levels and missions. Though, trying to 100% the campaign became quite tedious as every level needed to be replayed at most three times to fully complete. Tedium aside, the core gameplay is addicting, fast, and very fun. After every mission, you will gain experience that go towards level ups to increase your HP, and attack strength.


The goal in Sushi Strikers gameplay is to stack as many plates of Sushi of the same color as possible, then letting go to pile up your total amount of plates. Then you will fling them at your opponents to cause them to take damage. Once the health bar depletes to zero, you win. You can toss them right away, or build up a stack, and increase your damage. Then there’s the Sushi Sprites which give the player abilities such as a shield and make your opponents lanes move faster.

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The game quickly rewards on the fly thinking, as well as patience, and planning. This all applies to your opponent as well, and you’ll be competing to keep those combos up since there are seven sushi belts constantly moving. You and your opponent have three each and one shared. This gives the game a competitive edge for matches with two human players, leading to very fun times, or the loss of your best friend, whether it be locally on one screen, two screens, or online.

Switch_SushiStrikerTheWayofSushido_ND0308_SCRN_05_bmp_jpgcopy The game supports every control option the Switch has to offer, but the absolute best one is touch screen. Being in full control of your combo thanks to the added precision is a pure blessing. This game is perfect for handheld play as the art is much crisper on the Switch display, and overall much better suited for handheld play due to the casual pick up and play nature of puzzle games.  Every control option still does the job very well, but in this case touching is good.

Switch_SushiStrikerTheWayofSushido_screen_05 The weakest area of Sushi Striker is the overall presentation. The art direction just doesn’t do anything for me, as the faces on many characters are off-putting, and the designs are generally not memorable. At first glance, the title looks like a flash game, which is caused by the art style being too simplistic for its own good. The English voice acting is pretty underwhelming, with some actors giving poor delivery on various lines, but offering a better performance on other lines. The inconsistency was very distracting, and with no dual audio option this is very limiting to the player. The sound design issues don’t stop at acting, as the soundtrack is pretty underwhelming outside of that absurdly fun opening intro. The music is frantic, it fits the game, but it just never stuck around unfortunately.

Overall, Sushi Striker offers a fun frantic experience that shows that any silly premise can be made into something enjoyable. Underwhelming experience with the presentation aside, this game is so fun, it was almost completely surprising in of itself that it was this good. The price of entry is ten Dollars more than the 3DS version, but with no big differences between either the choice is entirely up to you. However, 50 USD is pretty steep for this title. Try the demo on the eshop, and go from there.

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Disgaea 1 Complete Launches on Nintendo Switch and PS4 October 9th

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Today NIS America has announced that Disgaea 1 Complete will be launching on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on October 9th in North America, and October 12th in Europe! Disgaea 1 Complete is a remaster of the original Disgaea to look as crisp as the more recent Disgaea games. Take a look at the latest trailer for the game here!

Fist of the North Star Lost Paradise Heading Westward October 2nd

It seems like last night’s Amazon leak was true. Today at E3 SEGA has announced that Hokuto Ga Gotoku will make its way westward under the name of Fist of the North Star Lost Paradise.

For the first time since the PlayStation 2, a Yakuza game will have an English dub. But fret not for those of you wanting to hear the Yakuza cast of characters voice certain roles, the game will still come complete with Japanese dub.

What you can find in the game:

  • Become the Fist of the North Star – Explore an alternate version of the Fist of the North Star canon; take control of Kenshiro as he searches for his lost love Yuria in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. For anyone unfamiliar with the original story, Lost Paradise can be enjoyed as a completely standalone experience.
  • “You Are Already Dead” or “Omae wa Mou Shindeiru?” Why Not Both? – Lost Paradise features English / Japanese dual-track audio, so you can ‘ATATATA!’ in the language of your choosing.
  • Master the Hokuto Shinken Style – Kenshiro’s ultimate assassination techniques, the Hokuto Shinken, are at your disposal in battle. After building up the Seven Star gauge, you can demolish enemies from the inside out with dozens of brutal and iconic Hokuto Shinken techniques, faithfully recreated from the original manga. More lethal techniques will be available as you progress through the story and battles. Keep your fists up!
  • Explore a Lost Paradise and the Wasteland Surrounding It – Even Kenshiro needs the occasional break from beating up thugs. Luckily, even in the dilapidated city of Eden, there’s no shortage of engaging side missions and minigames to take part in. Use the power of Hokuto Shinken to prepare drinks at a bar, manage a struggling nightclub, customize a buggy and race through the barren desert, play retro games at the arcade or your hideout, including the original Fist of the North Star game, and more! Tired of the city? Head out into the wasteland in your buggy to collect materials and complete side missions, but be careful of hidden dangers lurking beyond the dunes!
  • Extra Carnage – Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise features everything available in the original Japanese version, plus extra carnage for the localized version! For the first time, witness the full effects of Kenshiro’s brutal Hokuto Shinken on the lowlifes and thugs of the post-apocalyptic wastes.

Expect more coverage on the game as the news breaks but we are excited to see this game is coming westward!