Review: Valkyria Chronicles 4 refines the art of war

After two PSP sequels and middling success in the West, there was a long period of quiet for Valkyria Chronicles. Revered by those who played it, it was set to fade away like so many franchises before it. Thankfully, it found a larger audience on PC and PS4, and this unlikely fourth game became reality.

There’s a lot of pressure on a project that comes about like this, and the first Valkyria Chronicles casts a long shadow. Thankfully, Valkyria Chronicles 4 more than lives up to the legacy.

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What are sound novels and kinetic novels?

Visual novels went from being a rare genre outside of Japan to one we see appearing on major consoles! This is great news, but it also means that there can be some ambiguity. Lots of games are having the “visual novel” label applied to them. Which is fine for beginners, but it does not really show how distinct and unique some games can be. There are different categories falling under the visual novel umbrella, after all. With games like Nekopara and 428: Shibuya Scramble finding their ways to consoles, now is a great time to go over the different kinds of visual novels, so you can be better informed before you start reading!

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What do you need to know about Shenmue?

August 21, 2018 is a big day for people who love Japanese games. A classic has made a comeback. Shenmue I & II headed to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, giving people a chance to learn about the fight between Ryo Hazuki and Lan Di. Which should be quite helpful, considering a third entry is in development. But what if someone are entirely new to Shenmue? What do you need to know about the series? Let’s learn about the games together!

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How seven mysteries help games develop worlds

There are certain recurring themes people can expect from video games intended to build ambiance, especially in RPGs. No sooner do you enter a new area or attend a new academy, then someone lets slip there are seven unsolved mysteries to discover. Inevitably, the main story or an extended series of sidequests sends you looking after each one. However, people may not realize exactly how extensive this story element is and why it is such a valuable inclusion in games.

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Game Tengoku playfully references past games

This is a big week for people who love shoot’em ups! A rather unusual one is getting a localization. Game Tengoku CruisinMix, an updated version of Game Tengoku, is getting its English language update this week. That means PlayStation 4 owners get a version they can easily play, while those with the PC version should expect a nice patch that makes it easier to understand. This means people might have a better opportunity to understand what is going on and why this game is so important.

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Where can players go after Octopath Traveler?

Octopath Traveler really blew up, didn’t it? The Nintendo Switch exclusive became a top eShop seller after launch and physical copies were so rare, Square Enix was issuing apologies and asking people to please consider a digital copy if they could not wait. It is a fun RPG to spend 40 to 60 hours playing. But, what if you already finished the game? What if you are ready to follow some new stories? Well, let’s help you find something similar to enjoy!

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Review: Lumines Remastered revives puzzle fusion

While the Lumines series has seen life over the past decade or so, there’s a particular charm to the initial PSP release, and a return addresses that nostalgic urge more than newer entries like Electronic Symphony and the mobile releases. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the game revisited, but it’s the latest, it brings with it a polish and some new features that make it worth a return.

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Preview: Shining Resonance Refrain tries to keep its characters active

It has been quite some time since a Shining game was released outside of Japan. Sega has been keeping the series alive, but our last exposure to it was Shining Force EXA on the PlayStation 2. (Unless, of course, you count the spin-off Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena.) Shining Resonance Refrain is another chance and fresh start for folks. It is an opportunity to see what has been happening with the series while it has been on its hiatus. And, as far as early impressions go, it appears to maintain a certain feeling that keeps familiar elements in mind.

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