One route in The Charming Empire offers a dark view of court life

The Charming Empire is an otome visual novel that does not shy away from darker elements of life as a member of the royal family. While these are themes that can come up in many of its storylines, it is especially evident in Kei Yoshimine’s storyline. After all, he is a kidnapped prince who was brought to Japan in the Taisho era, held as what is basically a prisoner and is left to act as a tutor to players’ avatar as the story begins. The sides of court life players see here and the lessons learned offer an insight into a plausible world that is not as bright and lavish as people might expect.

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What do you need to know about SaGa?

It is a great time for fans of Square Enix’s SaGa series! Romancing SaGa 2 was ported to multiple platforms and released worldwide. SaGa: Scarlet Grace was the first new entry in the series in over 11 years when it was released on the PlayStation Vita in Japan in 2016. Basically, it feels like it is experiencing a renaissance. Which means it is a good time to review what makes it so special.

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Review: The Charming Empire’s an intriguing otome

Most otome games tend to be rather straightforward affairs. You have a heroine, someone who is often devoid of personality so the player can better envision themselves in the role, and an excuse for her to be exposed to multiple men she could plausibly romance. It is rare for other story elements to appear around this and be explored, but it does happen from time to time. The Charming Empire is one of those games that offers a little extra exposition. Yes, the heroine is suddenly exposed to five men who all happen to be single, but players also get to deal with the troubles that can come from being thrust into a royal life.

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Review: Atelier Lydie & Suelle ties up a trilogy

Gust’s Atelier series releases in groups of trilogies as of late. For example, Atelier Rorona, Totori and Meruru are part of the Arland trilogy, while Atelier Ayesha, Escha & Logy and Shallie make up the Dusk line. We are now at the end of another group. Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is a game pulling double duty. It is expected to provide people an opportunity to help a pair of twins develop the best atelier in their town, while also wrapping up all of the Mysterious series’ storylines. While this particular trilogy has not been the most enthralling in Atelier history, this installment tries to make up for its predecessors’ story shortcomings while quickly tying up loose ends.

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Explaining each of Kirby Star Allies’ Stone Copy Ability statues

There is a tradition in Kirby video games, regarding the Stone Copy Ability. In many games, transforming does not just turn Kirby into a rock with eyes. He will turn into an actual statue! Some of these are designed to be goofy fun, but every once in a while there will be a statue referencing something or someone really cool! Kirby Star Allies is no exception. The demo has been released in Europe, and thanks to it we can see some of the forms rock Kirby can assume!

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The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya shows how well otomes adapt to the Switch

Otome games and visual novels are the sort of genre that frankly, could very well fit anywhere. But, at the same time, there is something nice about having them in a more portable format. It places the story in the palm of your hands, makes it easy to read anywhere like a traditional book and allows people who are devoted to the sights and sounds to really focus on the presentation. In the eighth console generation, the PlayStation Vita really stood out as the system to play such games on, and The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya seems to suggest the Nintendo Switch could fill a similar role.

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Interview: SNK Heroines’ Yasuyuki Oda and Kaito Soranaka on the game’s goals and influences

SNK’s next fighting game release, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, is releasing later this year and headed West courtesy of NIS America. We were able to ask some questions to the project’s leads about what they’re hoping to accomplish and how the game will differ from a standard King of Fighters.

Michibiku: SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy seems to follow in the footsteps of cult classic Neo Geo Pocket Color release Gals’ Fighters. Was this intentional? Will we see references to Gals’ Fighters in the new game?

Yasuyuki Oda, producer: The story is not necessarily directly connected, but the concept is quite similar. It’s a new title, but it’s unmistakably a spiritual successor.

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