Review: Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception takes a novel approach to telling its tail tale

Have you read any good games lately? Visual novels are nothing new, but their presence on consoles is often paired with something more closely following the traditional definition of gameplay. Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception is no different, augmenting a dozens-of-hours-long story with strategy-RPG skirmishes. Still, the game’s primary motivation shines through: to tell a very specific story and have you follow along.

Read more

Review: Sunday, Sunday, someday in Akiba’s Beat

As fans of JRPGs, sometimes it feels like we repeat ourselves. Quests feel oh-too-similar, characters say the same things and, generally speaking, we yearn to escape the loops in which we constantly find ourselves. Akiba’s Beat, the latest from Acquire and XSEED, explores that in a more literal sense: a world in which time loops keep the characters trapped in “be careful what you wish for” delusions in a world of neverending Sunday.

Read more

Review: Escape the world of The Caligula Effect

The pitch for The Caligula Effect is a great one: a new Persona-like from the writer of early games in that series, but with a Social Link system that includes everyone and a battle system that relies on true synergy and teamwork. A soundtrack from accomplished artists and a theme that puts that music front and center. A tale that explores loss and trauma but gives you the tools to overcome those troubles.

It’s such a good idea on paper.

Read more

Review: Dragon Quest Heroes II offers hordes of fun

Connection. Dragon Quest Heroes II strives for a cohesive world with lands between towns and battles, for cooperative combat with friends and against large foes, and for compassionate, effusive personalities that interact with energy and wit. It doesn’t want to be a series of battle maps in menus, but rather an experience that feels complete and inseparable.

Don’t worry, though: you can still hit a bunch of monsters with oversized weapons.

Read more