Review: Cladun Returns: This Is Sengoku! sends players back into a world of their own making

Hey, remember Cladun? It was famous for being a roguelike dungeon crawler that told you right in the title that “This is an RPG!” Well, seven years after the original and six after the sequel, Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! has appeared on store shelves. While it doesn’t do too much to change the formula, it is a solid game that gives more people an opportunity to speedrun through dungeons.

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Review: Oversized weapons, unrestrained ambition define Dark Rose Valkyrie

With Tales character designer Kosuke Fujishima and series veteran writer Takumi Miyajima, Dark Rose Valkyrie is clear in its aims and intended appeal. It wants to be a comfortable JRPG for existing fans of the genre, a game about relationships that, while unremarkable, are constantly building.

Of course, those games work because they’re backed by systems and expertise the development team’s been refining for decades.

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Review: Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada adds slice of life to the series’ move set

I’ve always found it interesting how periods of Japanese history and certain figures develop such rabid fanbases overseas and abroad. I imagine it would be like finding out the teenage girls of the United States suddenly had developed an Abraham Lincoln fixation, reading books based on his life and going through visual novels depicting his rise to power. It’s why Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is so fascinating to me. This isn’t just a game for people who adore the Sengoku period of Japanese history, but who also happen to be big fans of the Sanada clan.

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Review: Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception takes a novel approach to telling its tail tale

Have you read any good games lately? Visual novels are nothing new, but their presence on consoles is often paired with something more closely following the traditional definition of gameplay. Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception is no different, augmenting a dozens-of-hours-long story with strategy-RPG skirmishes. Still, the game’s primary motivation shines through: to tell a very specific story and have you follow along.

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Review: Sunday, Sunday, someday in Akiba’s Beat

As fans of JRPGs, sometimes it feels like we repeat ourselves. Quests feel oh-too-similar, characters say the same things and, generally speaking, we yearn to escape the loops in which we constantly find ourselves. Akiba’s Beat, the latest from Acquire and XSEED, explores that in a more literal sense: a world in which time loops keep the characters trapped in “be careful what you wish for” delusions in a world of neverending Sunday.

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Preview: Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada isn’t afraid to get personal

What do you think about first when the Musou series comes to mind? The battle system is always at the forefront for me. I think about the dozens of playable characters that I’ll send hacking and slashing across massive battlefields. Even though I enjoy any and every opportunity to see characters interact with each other in social situations, the fights always feel as though they are at the forefront. Yet, when it comes to my first four hours with Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada, the personal touch feels like the most notable part of this project.

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Puyo Puyo Tetris’ story is gloriously goofy

For many people, Puyo Puyo Tetris is an introduction to the Puyo Puyo series. As incredible as it is, there have not been that many installments released outside of Japan. Most entries remain trapped overseas, especially ones where the Puyo Puyo heroines and heroes feature prominently. You would think this would be detrimental to Puyo Puyo Tetris‘ campaign. Instead, Sega seized the opportunity to present a goofy and welcoming story for everyone to enjoy.

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