Fire Emblem: Three Houses shows what makes teaching worthwhile

I do not know how these kids get by without me.

Every Saturday, I wake up. I put on the exact same uniform, complete with lace tights. (Do you know how difficult it is to be a respected professor and take student soldiers out onto a battlefield without getting runs in lace tights?) I see how much time I have to spare for myself to prepare for the week. Then, I start my walk around Garreg Mach.

Read more

Picross S3’s innovation is underrated

When Picross S3 released sporting color puzzles for the first time, it wasn’t exactly a new thing in the world of nonograms. Multi-shade picture puzzles have been around for decades, and they’ve even made their way into HAL’s 3D spinoff series.

But it’s a big deal for them to finally show up in the genre’s flagship games, and there are a few reasons why.

Read more

Trials of Mana proves that anything can happen

The Mana series hasn’t had the best track record for localizations. Square Enix released the first outside of Japan as a Final Fantasy game. The mobile games never had a chance outside the region. The greatest tragedy was Seiken Densetsu 3, an entry with a customizable party, cooperative multiplayer and storylines that changed depending on who you followed. While Secret of Mana, its predecessor, and Dawn of Mana, its successor, both received localizations, that one didn’t.

Read more

Preview: Project Sakura Wars focuses on establishing characters

Project Sakura Wars, known as Shin Sakura Taisen in Japan, is an opportunity. The series has been dormant for years and is being revived with a new developer (Sega CS2 R&D), a new character designer (Bleach’s Tite Kubo) and entirely new gameplay that abandons its strategic roots. It is a lot of change all at once. As a means of showing how what is old fuses with something new, the Shin Sakura Taisen demo does its best to try and introduce everything this installment attempts in a short amount of time.

Read more

A beginner’s guide to Star Ocean

Star Ocean is one of those series that did, and still does, things that others don’t. Think of it as a JRPG for fans of series like Star Trek. The casts regularly involve people from more advanced civilizations getting involved with those who are still growing, even though there are various measures in place to allegedly stop that sort of interference. As a result, we get energy weapons, cyborgs, magic and people who can turn into cats. It is a lot to take in, and Michibiku is here to help you on your way into this ocean of stars.

Read more

Nintendo Switch imports guide: the best Japan-only games to play

The Nintendo Switch has made it easier than ever for Western Nintendo fans to enjoy import-only games, and it’s a good thing, too, because there’s some fun stuff to check out! (Even if, due to so many localizations about which we will not complain, the options are still a bit slim.) Here’s your guide to what you should be playing that hasn’t made it to Western eShops.

Read more

Luigi’s Mansion 3 paints its ghosts in a better light

In the Luigi’s Mansion series, the ghosts’ disposition and roles can vary. The very first game painted them all as “evil.” More recent entries have suggested they are misguided. For example, Dark Moon had every specter’s sudden shift in demeanor attributed to a shattered Dark Moon. Luigi’s Mansion 3 places players in a similar situation. Ghosts are around. They’re causing trouble. However, they aren’t as malicious as you might expect.

Read more

What do you need to know about Groove Coaster?

There are plenty of different sorts of rhythm games available in Japan. Since they typically don’t require much knowledge of the language to succeed, they’re great candidates for importers worldwide to enjoy. Fortunately for fans of the genre, that isn’t necessary with some series. Taito’s Groove Coaster series has been making a big showing worldwide! Which means you should probably know more about it.

Read more