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Final Fantasy Type-0 was originally a Japanese PSP release, and one of the very few two-UMD games. Fans waited impatiently for a US release, but the PSP was already dead in North America and the Vita wasn’t selling particularly well. In the end, what really saved this title’s localization hopes was the crazy speed at which Western audiences picked up the PS4 and Square Enix’s desire to jump on the opportunity. Type-0 HD is out on Xbox One as well, but PlayStation still drives any Final Fantasy decisions; the vast majority of people who buy Japanese games do so on Sony’s platforms. READ MORE

On this episode, Graham and Jeremy walk you through the actually-very-new PS3 release, Downtown Nekketsu Koushinkyoku: Soreyuke Daiundoukai All-Star Special! A remake of a late-life Famicom title from Technos, it features characters from the Kunio universe, one you may have experienced through River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, Nintendo World Cup or Crash ‘n’ the Boys. It’s an unlikely recreation of an odd obstacle-course-and-fighting title, and sure to appeal to people looking for Japanese weirdness! Watch and see if it’s for you.

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday.

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When I talked about Aquasphere, I mentioned my day job in scientific research. Little did I suspect at the time that I would soon play another game, Alchemists, that would essentially focus on the ins and outs of academia (sort of).

In Alchemists, each player takes on the role of a potion brewer attempting to learn the secrets of their art via experimentation and deduction. There are eight “alchemicals” in the world, and eight mystical ingredients that each contain one of them. Your job is to determine which ingredient represents which alchemical. READ MORE

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Intelligent Systems has had a pretty good strategy game track record. With many successful and multiple entries in both the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series under its belt, the company took a chance in adding another strategy game to the mix. Does Code Name S.T.E.A.M. do enough to shake up the formula and add another excellent game to its repertoire? READ MORE

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With the rise of mobile and handheld gaming encouraging novel, bite-sized experiences that are still capable of taking creative risks, roguelikes have seen a return to prominence in recent years. Their structure allows for different experiences, with sessions not intended to last more than a few minutes. Games like Spelunky and The Binding of Isaac have received ports to portable systems, and proven that the formula works very well for devices built with a pick-up-and-play mentality. This brings us to Laughing Jackal’s devilishly difficult new entry into the genre, Flame Over, a game with a lot of great ideas that falls short in some tragic ways. READ MORE

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With six games on the PS3, Atelier has become one of the most prolific JRPG series on the platform. Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea, the end of the Dusk trilogy and likely the last PS3 Atelier release, continues to refine the franchise’s mechanics, focusing on removing constraints to the systems and controls. READ MORE

This time, Snack Time doubles as pizza time, as Graham, Andrew and Lucas revisit SNES classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. The heroes in a half-shell haven’t seen a game this good in decades, and we look back fondly on a more favorable time for the franchise’s interactive efforts.

New episodes of Snack Time post every two weeks. You can check out the Snack Time archive for some great shows you may have missed!

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Tormentum: Dark Sorrow is the game you get when you mix the aesthetics of Dark Souls, the puzzle-solving gameplay of Professor Layton and some basic moral-decision-based branching paths, wrapping it in a point-and-click adventure. If this sounds like an absolutely insane combination, that’s because it is, but it works so well. The style drew me in immediately, and the puzzles held my interest throughout the entire experience. The game feels a bit too easy and ends a bit too soon, but the fact that I wanted to keep playing more after the credits rolled only serves to signify the fun I had throughout the short and memorable journey. READ MORE

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These days, it won’t take you long to stumble upon a new Metroid-inspired game. Seriously, they’re everywhere. As a result, not too many of them actually stand out or move away from the standard formula in any remarkable ways. Enter Ori and the Blind Forest, a 2D action-platformer in the same vein as Metroid and its various counterparts. It doesn’t break the mold completely, but it manages to prove you don’t need to in order to create something truly special.

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Sometimes I have the focus of a refined musician, always knowing what notes to listen to, eliminating any perception of outside noise or the audience’s reaction. Anything that could diminish my performance isn’t relevant and I don’t pay any attention to it. It’s not there. This existence of Henry is limited, appearing only at the most opportune times. Like when I’m playing five-dollar blackjack in Vegas, or treading the boards as an actor on stage. Or, of course, when I’m really into a game.

Otherwise, I battle against ceaseless distractions, most of the time losing. Writing this Serotonin, for example, has already led me to start up some music, a podcast and two YouTube videos. I’m not even finished with the second paragraph. What is wrong with me? READ MORE