February 2013


Toki Tori is exactly what everybody needs sometimes: a game to relax with that isn’t insultingly easy. Toki Tori moved as quickly or as slowly as the player wanted, it was beautiful to look at, and each level presented a challenge without feeling stressful. Toki Tori 2 changes the formula from the first game but, so far, retains the charm of the original. READ MORE


There are a lot of game projects that just didn’t happen for one reason or another, but to me, it’s most heartbreaking when a game’s completely finished and just doesn’t see the light of day. Propeller Arena, a first-party flight combat game for the Dreamcast, is one of those games. Why didn’t it release? Well, it was a late-2001 game about planes flying around tall buildings, so it suffered the fate that the original Advance Wars avoided by a day: a world that just wasn’t ready to have fun with that setting. READ MORE


There’s something very fulfilling about the Ys series returning to PC, and it’s all the better that English-speaking gamers are getting in on the action. As one of the very, very few semi-major Japanese developers that makes PC gaming its focus, seeing Falcom return to its home turf after a brief affair with the PSP is something quite nice, and even just a bit nostalgic. Earlier last year, we saw the phenomenal Ys Origin brought to Steam, and it turned out to be one of the best RPGs the service had to offer. So, does Ys I & II Chronicles+ live up to the same standards? READ MORE


Last year, Aksys took a risk and published Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom. Not only was it unique in that it was a visual novel, a genre that is still trying to get a foothold in our market, but it was also an “otome” game; a story specifically created for a female audience. Fleeting Blossom was a romance story revolving around Chizuru, a girl that finds herself involved with the Shinsengumi as they fought to assist the Shogunate at the tail end of a political era. It was very well-written, with a large cast of equally dynamic characters, and did well enough for Aksys to bring over another game in Idea Factory’s multi-game franchise.

This year we have Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi, which prides itself as being a Dynasty Warriors-style action game that explores the plot of the original (though it actually appears to be based on the anime adaptation), and also brings a new, alternate-universe story that introduces some new characters and battle scenarios. READ MORE


In the aftermath of a new console announcement, we talk about a Vita price drop, as well as some potential PS4-bound projects now that companies are allowed to acknowledge the system’s existence!