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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Review: SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy’s “fetishism explosion” is full of polarizing choices

The appeal of a fighting game can be all sorts of things. It can be about mechanical complexity, gorgeous animation, intense matches, speed or big combos, as well as any number of other aspects of the game. The importance of the appeal, though, is that the rest of the game builds around it, and that it’s indelibly defined by this one particular selling point. The game is its appeal.

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy certainly isn’t an exception, but its chosen appeal is… something.

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Japanese games can help bring myths to life

How do you introduce people to folklore and fairy tales? Introducing people to mythology can be easy when they are young or in school, as such stories can sometimes be used to teach morals, introduce concepts that might be difficult for people to otherwise understand, act as warnings and get imaginations working. Once folks get older, it can be more difficult to get them engaged and interested in legends. Fortunately, some Japanese video games can step in to bridge the gap.

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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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Who is Thief Arthur?

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy‘s first DLC character has been announced and she is a bit of a surprise. It is a cameo character called Thief Arthur, from the Million Arthur series. Which might confuse people, because the Million Arthur line of games, manga and anime is not exactly a big deal outside of Japan. Why is Thief Arthur? Why should people care about her and Million Arthur in general?

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Review: Yakuza Kiwami 2 explores familial ties

With Yakuza Kiwami 2, Sega returns to the second PS2 game to give it a visual overhaul and a feature set to match modern titles. With the refreshingly rapid pace of localizations for the series and a renewed interest in the franchise in general, a lot of people have been playing a lot of Yakuza lately. So what’s going on with this one? Well… quite a bit, actually.

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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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Interview: Making Super Neptunia RPG with Artisan Studios’ Mario Rizzo

It’s rare to see a game collaboration between teams in Japan and the West, but it does occasionally happen! We got to pose some questions to Mario Rizzo, co-founder and CEO of Artisan Studios, the team developing one such project: Super Neptunia RPG. Read on to learn more about what it’s like for the globetrotting team to work with Compile Heart and what to expect from the release.

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Let’s look over the Penguin Wars timeline

Players often run into long-standing engagements in video games, perhaps never really grasping what is going on or what every fight entails. Penguin Wars is returning to modern consoles in a big way. But, with so many entries in the series referred to as simply Penguin Wars, it may be difficult to tell what is different. Fortunately, we are here to look through the series’ timeline and better understand what happens in each tournament.

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