Susume! Mamotte Knight: Hime no Totsugeki Serenade keeps the nostalgic spirit alive

There’s a good reason that we here at Michibiku are fans of the Gotta Protectors series enough to keep up with its often-hard-to-follow information flow. It’s not that the games are ever particularly impressive in size or mechanical depth. It’s not that they tell interesting stories, or that they’re just so polished that they can’t be ignored.

It’s this: they’re always a heck of a lot of fun to play with friends in a way few games can match.

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Picross S3’s innovation is underrated

When Picross S3 released sporting color puzzles for the first time, it wasn’t exactly a new thing in the world of nonograms. Multi-shade picture puzzles have been around for decades, and they’ve even made their way into HAL’s 3D spinoff series.

But it’s a big deal for them to finally show up in the genre’s flagship games, and there are a few reasons why.

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Review: Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games offers fun time, downtime in equal measure

After taking a bit of time off, the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series is back in time for Tokyo, and for a Japanese game, representing itself well for the host country is clearly important. It’s not a good time to phone it in, so it makes sense that this release could draw your eye. How does it manage, given increased expectations? Let’s get into it.

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Review: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD tries to reshape a Wii launch game’s legacy

By any given measure, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is a reclamation project of sorts. Banana Blitz wasn’t a particularly well-received entry at the time, and the intervening years have not seen a late fandom grow around it. So why is it, of all the Super Monkey Ball games, getting a remaster? One potential reason is that decision-makers at Sega thought it had an undiscovered appeal buried under its early motion controls and lack of development focus.

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Review: The unlikely Sega Ages Ichidant-R is a welcome surprise

In most instances, a retro re-release project is about capitalizing on nostalgia. It’s about letting players revisit old favorites on new platforms, and the comfort of the known being preserved for future play. And Sega’s no stranger to that, both with this Sega Ages series and its compilation efforts in general. At least for those of us in the West, though, Sega Ages Ichidant-R is different. It’s an unknown artifact delivered to an audience to let them learn more, and it’s exactly the sort of effort that fans of Japanese games should applaud.

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Review: The student has become the teacher in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III

Nihon Falcom’s The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is both a continuation and a new chapter. It’s not a fresh start for Rean Schwarzer and company, but it’s a clear inflection point, with a shifting status quo and a new cast of characters. At its core, though, it’s still very much the games that came before it. And for longtime fans of the franchise, a new coat of paint over the same structures is probably just fine.

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