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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Anachronisms? A-OK in Bakumatsu Rock: Ultra Soul

Games are weird. Japanese games can be among the strangest, but unconventional and unexpected releases can come from any region. Games can also go out of their way to cater to audiences, employing various methods of fanservice to delight people playing. Bakumatsu Rock: Ultra Soul is one of those odd titles that is both filled with fanservice and incredibly weird. Fortunately, it manages to be over the top without being offensive or unpleasant.

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Sympathizing with Sanan in Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

One of Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds’ major plot points is the supernatural soldiers within the Shinsengumi. Certain members are given a specific sort of medicine known as the Water of Life. It transforms them into powerful and durable beings akin to vampires. They can only walk around at night, have white hair and crimson eyes when enraged and go mad at the sight of blood. While every iteration has explored these characters, it is this specific entry and Keisuke Sanan’s route that gives us an opportunity to better understand what happens when a man becomes one of the Furies.

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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: Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds brings us into familiar territory

How many times have we seen a Hakuoki English release? Let’s go through this together. It started on the PlayStation Portable in 2012 with Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom. A year later in 2013, Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi came to the 3DS. In 2014, Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi showed up on the PlayStation 3. In 2015, mobile devices received Hakuoki. It is now 2017 and we’re privy to the fifth iteration on the PlayStation Vita: Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds. While there are new stories to enjoy, it’s difficult to overcome the sense of ennui that stems from yet another version of Hakuoki.

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Love overcomes daunting obstacles in Period: Cube

People are, by nature, flawed. Nobody is perfect. We each have our problems. The question is, can we overcome and learn from our mistakes? Even though we may be facing illnesses that could make loving us difficult, bad habits that frustrate anyone who would interact with us and other inadequacies, that doesn’t mean we have to shut people out and spend the rest of our lives alone. In Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~, we have multiple bachelors that prove our problems don’t have to hold us back.

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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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Period: Cube nails its MMO player characterizations

Anyone who has ever dabbled in an MMORPG knows there are different kinds of players. It’s something that just happens, as everyone has their own desires and motivations that drives them to play. This shapes their behavior and personalities online. Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ understands and nails this. All of its major characters fall into familiar archetypes and that helps make this otome feel authentic.

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