Review: Yakuza 6 is focused and ready to fight

Long left to niche status in the West, the Yakuza franchise has spent the last year punching its way to larger global prominence with Yakuza 0 and Kiwami. Those games, which also reintroduced the series to much of Japan, set the stage for a game that doesn’t need the exposition or explanation to be understood, that can stand without supports on the backs of those that preceded it. Yakuza 6 is Kiryu’s last story, and that clearly meant a lot to those who crafted it.

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Video: Nabbing rupees in Tingle’s Balloon Fight (DS)

In a world full of cool Club Nintendo stuff that never left Japan, Tingle’s Balloon Fight stands out for being… well, a full, import-friendly game! Unlike the later DS Tingle games, it’s not too robust and basically just Balloon Fight, but it’s still a lot of fun! Check out our video for a better look at the game and an accurate view of our complete lack of Balloon Fight skills.

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Interview: SNK Heroines’ Yasuyuki Oda and Kaito Soranaka on the game’s goals and influences

SNK’s next fighting game release, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, is releasing later this year and headed West courtesy of NIS America. We were able to ask some questions to the project’s leads about what they’re hoping to accomplish and how the game will differ from a standard King of Fighters.

Michibiku: SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy seems to follow in the footsteps of cult classic Neo Geo Pocket Color release Gals’ Fighters. Was this intentional? Will we see references to Gals’ Fighters in the new game?

Yasuyuki Oda, producer: The story is not necessarily directly connected, but the concept is quite similar. It’s a new title, but it’s unmistakably a spiritual successor.

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Review: Dynasty Warriors 9 is taken down by its own misplaced ambitions

Dynasty Warriors 9 is intended as a fresh start for the series, a big numbered entry in a franchise that hasn’t changed a lot in the past decade and a half. It’s technically ambitious, an open-world China you can explore rather than a series of segmented maps. It’s an opportunity for big change for developer Omega Force, and an opportunity for new players to jump in and get the core experience of the franchise rather than a spinoff or variant.

So, um, about that opportunity.

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The Longest 5 Minutes is a visual novel for JRPG fans

NIS America’s latest, The Longest 5 Minutes, is a peculiar little game. It certainly looks like a JRPG, with its classic pixel-art trappings and all sorts of turn-based monster battles and shopkeepers. It doesn’t really play like one, though. Yes, you’re walking around and getting into fights and talking to NPCs as you’d usually expect, but the dynamic is much more like a narrative adventure than its supposed peers.

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