It’s not just that popular series like Phoenix Wright and Zero Escape were influences on this game’s development; they are deliberately drawn upon for inspiration. But it was done so in a way that makes something unique that stands tall on its own merits, and even on some of its flaws. [...]
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February 10, 2014
I hoped WayForward Technologies learned their lesson from making Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, Why’d You Steal Our Garbage for the 3DS. I wanted them to make Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! less boring, more challenging, and full of more Adventure Time charm. But somehow they did the opposite and made the most monotonous and stripped down hack ‘n slash ever.
I originally played AT:ETDBIDK on an Xbox 360 (it’s also playable on Wii U and PS3) and found it to be moderately enjoyable. The graphics were simple but clean and well-suited to the game. The controls were adequate and offered a fair amount of versatility. And while the randomly generated dungeons were okay at best, the 4-player action – complete with an array of playable character and customizable powers – made up for it just barely. [...]
January 17, 2014
If there’s one thing Vanillawear knows, it’s how to make games that are just beyond beautiful. Muramasa: Rebirth for the Vita is a living piece of art, with elaborate backgrounds, an entrancing pallet, and characters that are as ridiculously cool to watch as they slice ninjas and demon gods to shreds.
But beauty is only pixel deep, and this game has much more to offer than some pretty sprites; there’s challenging gameplay that makes you feel like a real warrior wandering the Japanese countryside.
The story is divided between two protagonists, each with separate but connected plotlines. Kisuke is a ninja with amnesia, running from his former clan of assassins who now want him dead. Momohime is a princess possessed by the power-hungry ghost of a great swordsman who seeks a blade capable of transferring him to a stronger body. [...]
December 13, 2013
It’s no secret that I love me some visual novels, but Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi for 3DS tested just how serious I was about the genre.
Unlike most VNs I’ve played before, Hakuoki doesn’t incorporate any sort of gameplay, like the puzzles in Zero Escape or the murder mysteries in Phoenix Wright. This is all about reading an engaging story and making a few decisions for the protagonist along the way. [...]
October 31, 2013
Released for PlayStation 2 two years after the PlayStation 3 came out, Persona 4 should have, by all means, been a flop. But the latest installment of the acclaimed Persona franchise beat the odds and even spawned its own PS Vita port, Persona 4 Golden. And just like its console brother, despite being on an underdog console, it beat the odds and came out as one of the most successful JRPGs of 2012.
Set in the quaint little Japanese town of Inaba, you play as a high school student. There, you get involved in a serial murder case that pits you against a killer that transports his victims to an alternate dimension called the TV world. In this world, monstrous beings called Shadows hunt down anyone brought there. As you find yourself on the trail of the killer, you acquire a Persona: a benign being within one’s psyche that can combat these Shadows. [...]
October 9, 2013
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is quirky in a way that only the world’s most famous plumbers can pull off. It starts with Princess Peach being cordially invited to a new resort spot called Pi’illow Island. With her royal entourage in tow, the island turns out to be a hospitable and fun-filled hotspot… that was built atop ruins of an ancient race of pillow-people who have all been turned to stone by a bat king. [...]
September 17, 2013
Project X Zone (pronounced “Project Cross Zone”) is one of the most awesomely ambitious projects I’ve seen in handheld gaming. It’s a massive crossover on 3DS starring video game character from Namco Bandai, Capcom, and Sega. It even mixes genres by mashing turn-based strategy RPG gameplay with 2D action. All this should have spelled a game that’s completely made of win, but ends up being more like 2/3 win. [...]
August 29, 2013
Monster Hunter and Soul Sacrifice are two similar series that take drastically different directions. Both deliver a phenomenal experience on handheld (Soul Sacrifice on the Vita, and Monster Hunter on the 3DS and PSP) focused on players banding together to fight giant, scary, boss monsters.
But that’s where the similarities end. I have seen several games try to move in on Monster Hunter’s market, but Soul Sacrifice is the first to do so in such a unique way that’s worth comparing to reigning king of the genre. So let’s put these two handheld beasts in a ring and see which one comes out alive! [...]