Review: Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms offers a more straightforward story

Otome fans find themselves in a familiar place again. Hakuoki, much like the Furies that inhabit it, is an undying beast of a visual novel lurching its way to new systems. This time, it’s wrapping up a tale. Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms finishes the saga started in last year’s Kyoto Winds, bringing closure to its 13 storylines. While things may feel a bit different, it ends up feeling more efficient.

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Let’s look back at the history of White Day: A Labyrinth Named School

With the actual White Day almost here, it is the perfect time to talk about a game with the same name. In certain Asian countries, like Japan, South Korea and China, a holiday is celebrated where men who received chocolate or gifts on Valentine’s Day reciprocate by offering the women a gift on March 14, White Day. In White Day: A Labyrinth Named School, attempting to participate in this holiday has dramatic consequences for a young man.

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Monster Hunter enters morally gray areas

When players step into the world of Monster Hunter, they enter an untamed area where gigantic creatures roam free. Some are openly hostile. Others are not. No matter their demeanor, people’s goals are to wipe them out. While this makes for exciting gameplay, it may get players thinking. While we often engage in positive actions in the Monster Hunter series, some actions within the game can be suspect.

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Let’s talk about Sega’s rhythm games

Plenty of companies make a name for themselves by specializing in certain genres. People may not realize that Sega is responsible for plenty of great rhythm games. It has been musical for years, with plenty of titles that are entirely original properties or giving people an opportunity to tap along with characters or musicians from other iconic series. Let’s look back at some of the many games that can be found either immediately worldwide or easily imported.

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Secret of Mana’s battle system is timeless

Secret of Mana is a game that is getting a lot of attention lately for various reasons. One is the Super NES Classic Edition. It is one of the games getting a second chance at attention as one of the included titles. The other is the recent remake appearing on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC. This is even before taking into account the mobile port of the original game that allows people to play it on Android and iOS devices. It is the sort of action-RPG people can not forget, and one of the reasons why is because of its unique battle system.

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Zwei balances might and magic

Might and magic go hand-in-hand in games. Whether it is heroes who are incredibly adept with both physical force and supernatural abilities or parties willed with people who specialize in specific areas, it is common to see people using all sorts of specialties to survive. The Zwei series is no exception. It too has characters using both kind of abilities to complete challenges. What makes Zwei: The Arges Adventure and Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection stand out is the way it manages the two elements. There is a balance here that shows how important each one is.

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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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