Umihara Kawase’s latest incarnations inject more life into the game

For many years, who Umihara Kawase is was a mystery. Past games established her as a traveling sushi chef. They never explained how she ended up in a strange world with doors leading to nowhere and bipedal fish. Instead, it offered a “just go with it” approach. Yet now, suddenly new games are adding unprecedented context. By refreshing the series with Umihara Kawase Fresh and bringing her in as a crossover character for games like Blade Strangers, we have more substance.

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Celebrating summer festivals in games

Every year, summer is accompanied by festivals. Maybe they are local affairs, where communities gather for food and fun. Perhaps, if people are in the United States, it can mean fireworks and getting together for the Fourth of July. In Japan, July and August tend to be the main summer festival months, with people getting together for Bon festivals to celebrate their ancestors, enjoy fun with family and friends, dress up in yutaka and special clothing, have good food and perhaps even dance. While most people might not get a chance to experience this sort of thing firsthand, they can go through them virtually in games. Lots of Japanese games pay tribute to these events, giving you a taste of what that kind of life might be like.

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Is Super Neptunia RPG a lot like Valkyrie Profile?

When Super Neptunia RPG was announced, it had a very distinct sort of look. Initial screenshots and information from Artisan showed a game that seemed familiar. Both the battle system, presentation and world looked similar to Square Enix’s Valkyrie Profile. Now that its here, people might want to know if it could really scratch that same sort of itch. Is this really a Valkyrie Profile-like? Well, the truth is that it is more attempting to mimic that style, without delivering anything that could be considered even close to some sort of similar successor.

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What do you need to know about Granblue Fantasy?

Granblue Fantasy is a name on everyone’s lips. People who love mobile titles are talking about it, even though it hasn’t received an official release in North America or Europe. People who like the idea of the series, but don’t want to go mobile, might be wondering what’s going on with the two console games connected to the series. But, with no real easy access to English entries just yet, people might want to know more. Cue Michibiku, here to offer more insights into the series.

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Review: Judgment makes a case for your free time

While there are many forms of critique, for many, the purpose of a game review is essentially binary: should you play the game? It’s something you have to decide for yourself, after absorbing all the information you can to make your decision the most accurate and fair one. So in a way, what you read should be presenting the best case for each outcome, letting you make the final…

Yeah. Judgment. You knew where I was going with this. Let’s get to it.

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Which Atelier trilogy should you play?

There are a lot of Atelier games out there, and Gust keeps adding to the lineup with new installments in the main series and spin-offs to keep track of. It is a lot to deal with. Also, the major installments tend to come out in trilogies, which share storylines and sometimes gameplay mechanics. One line might not be as interesting for specific players, but another could be a perfect fit. So, instead of just going with recommendations of best or worst installments, let’s see if Michibiku can’t help you find certain trilogies that might fit your needs.

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What do you need to know about Phantasy Star Online 2?

E3 2019 kicked off with some rather unexpected news. After years of never getting any sort of official English release, Phantasy Star Online 2 was revealed. It actually will be appearing outside of Japan, and there will be some changes that really shake things up. Like, you know, it being exclusive to a console on which this game has never appeared before. To help people prepare for the sudden arrival of this beloved MMORPG, Michibiku is here to take you through everything you need to know!

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Preview: Judgment, the Yakuza team’s latest, works to build a Kamurocho shared universe

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, the team behind the franchise known in the West as Yakuza, attempted to walk a fine line when building Judgment. It’s an entirely new type of game, except for when it’s not. It’s got a brand-new cast of characters, except for when it has some existing characters. It’s meant to be a fresh start for the team, but it’s set in freaking Kamurocho, the place players know like the back of their hands. So it makes more sense to think of it not as a new series on its own, but instead part of a constantly collaborating shared-universe project.

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