Vita

xblaze1

Arc System Works is known, at least in the West, for its anime-style fighting games. With XBlaze Code: Embryo, though, it’s dipping into another side of one of the BlazBlue universe, straying away from intense combat and floating into the gentle waters of the visual novel. Despite the fresh (to us) approach, is XBlaze worth the journey? READ MORE

magicalbeat4

Both good music games and good puzzle games have value outside of the mechanics themselves. One gives you a reason to listen to new music, and the other keeps your head in check and reinforces pattern recognition. Arc System Works, known for its work in the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series, released Magical Beat, a hybrid rhythm-puzzle game, in the arcades in 2012. Two years later, it’s on North American Vitas. READ MORE

neptuniapp2

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection puts the characters of Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise into the roles of pop idols, competing for “shares” of the popularity in the world of Gamindustri. This spinoff places the series into the long-running Japanese genre of idol-raising simulators, in which players guide the lives and careers of pop stars on their way to success. It also manages to be the first such game to see Western release, meaning it stands without the context and general appreciation of its general concepts. READ MORE

demongaze1

New releases on the Vita may be slowing down lately, but publisher NIS America is doing its best to keep system owners happy. By the end of the summer, the company will have released four separate games on the system in 2014, and Demon Gaze, the second, follows the release of the well-received Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. How does it stack up with previous NIS releases, as well as other dungeon-crawlers?
READ MORE

conception2a

The JRPG is going through an oddly fruitful point in its life right now. On one hand, it is undeniable that the genre lacks the cachet that it had during the 32-bit era, and it is doubtful it will ever reclaim that. However, publishers like Atlus, Nippon Ichi and XSEED  long regarded as some of the biggest risk-takers in publishing have taken it upon themselves to ensure that many of the more offbeat titles in the genre actually make it outside of Japan. That has never happened on this scale before, and it is the only way that a game like Conception II would have ever seen the light of day in English-speaking territories. READ MORE

dw8xlce3

Throughout Dynasty Warriors history, one constant has been in place: do not, under any circumstances, pursue Lu Bu. He’ll kill you, probably. But, after so many years of not pursuing him, one must wonder what Lu Bu’s side is. As he lays waste to the battlefield, is his ferocity a reflection of his inner demons? Maybe he’s just misunderstood; he wants to be pursued by that special someone, but doesn’t know how to express his feelings. Luckily for us, Tecmo Koei and Omega Force finally address these burning questions and more in the spiffy PS4 (and other platforms) update, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition. READ MORE

ragnarokodysseyace4

The original Ragnarok Odyssey proved to be a great early hit for the Vita, finding success both in and outside Japan with its loot-driven hunting formula. With what is both an expansion pack and a revamped base game, Ragnarok Odyssey ACE refines its gameplay and adds content, along with making the move to the big screen with a PS3 release. READ MORE

ffxhd1

It’s been about 13 years since the release of Final Fantasy X. With two online games and two console entries since 2001, how well does it hold up? Is it worth revisiting the world of Spira again?

Absolutely. If you ever needed a reason to play either one of these games, this would be a great time to do it. READ MORE

luftrausers1

Ever since the humble beginnings of the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, we’ve seen releases of large swaths of arcade-style games. These titles, from Geometry Wars to Super Stardust, have populated these services from day one. Vlambeer, the creative team behind Super Crate Box and Ridiculous Fishing, is back with Luftrausers, a 2D action game that feels like it’s a lost gem from a bygone era. It continues the unstoppable trend of arcade-style downloadable games in style.

READ MORE

danganronpa2

If you’ve played a game in the Ace Attorney series, imagine if it had something like Final Fantasy IV’s Active Time Battle system and you start to approach the weirdness that is Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. FFIV was considered a game-changer for JRPGs, and similarly, Danganronpa introduces some game-changing elements for the mystery visual novel. READ MORE