Review: Atelier Lulua is the epitome of efficiency

Different installments in Gust’s Atelier series can find themselves known for different things. Atelier Firis was about getting more places to go. Atelier Sophie tries to make us realize why each recipe mattered. With Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland, it can feel like the theme is efficiency. That extends to alchemy, exploring a world, telling a story and offering an epilogue to one of the better known Atelier trilogies.

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Review: Slash, spend, get a head in Lapis X Labyrinth

The latest release from the team behind the Disgaea series, Lapis X Labyrinth is a different sort of game for the studio, but one coated with similar trappings and aesthetics. It’s an action game in which you’ll make timed runs through areas to get loot and defeat enemies, but you’re still managing equipment with effects and maneuvering around a hub world taking the place of a more efficient (but perhaps less evocative) menu system. It’s got meters for special moves, reward-multiplying “fever time” and direction-based attack inputs, but you’re ultimately still equipping a small team of customized units and bringing them to a place to slash at gems and take out specifically-marked bosses.

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How to prepare for Atelier Lulua

A new Atelier installment is on the way! This time, the series is returning to a past era. See, with recent Atelier releases, there tend to be trilogies that all take place in the same world. Once they are over, Gust moves onto a new area and storyline. With Atelier Lulua, people are heading back to Arland. But, this might worry some people. Are there things they should know?

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The unusual fun of Japanese golf games

For most fans of Japanese releases, there are two words as reviled as any others: “sports game.” They’re likely to make the most open-minded player tune out at a moment’s notice, simply because of how they don’t generally line up with their basic sensibilities.

That’s not true about all sports, though. There’s one sport that Japan gets very, very right: golf.

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Otome games with rhythm elements can help ease people into the genre

There are many different kinds of otome games on the market. The most prevalent sort fall into the visual novel genre. People go through a story, pick certain choices or dialogue responses at major moments, then end up on a path for a specific character. Sometimes, we get ones that are RPGs, like Angelique, or simulations, like Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side. However, there is one route people can take to get into otome games that is rather welcoming, eases them into the genre and offers an alternate sort of gameplay that can be enjoyed even if you find you don’t dig the romantic elements. Rhythm games with otome elements can be a great way to ease into the genre.

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Why are there so many Ys IVs?

Most series are rather straightforward. Once with numbered installments tend to have some semblance of order to them. However, when it comes to Nihon Falcom’s Ys, things get a little odd. There are four Ys IV games. People outside of Japan might not realize this, since only one of them was released worldwide. However, with Ys: Memories of Celceta about to make its PlayStation 4 debut, it seems like a good time to go over what happened and why there are so many Ys IVs.

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Beyond Mother 3: The best Japan-only Nintendo games in need of localization

Will we ever get an official release of Mother 3 in the West? That’s… possible, but also a question that more than enough people out there are constantly asking. The late-life GBA game has been a looming shadow over Nintendo of America, but perhaps more importantly, it’s one that’s blocked fans from talking so much about the other games Nintendo hasn’t released over here. And those are good too! Let’s break down the best prospects.

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Picross S3’s Color Picross makes it easier to see pictures take shape

We are big fans of nonograms here at Michibiku, both ones created by Jupiter and those from other studios. We take their history very seriously. So, when Picross S3 became the first Jupiter installment to include color, we took notice. While this publisher is always known for some of the highest quality puzzles, Color Picross takes things to a whole new level. Thanks to its unique mechanics, it pushes people to think harder, gives them a better sense of progress and might even offer a greater reward.

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