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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Review: Escape the world of The Caligula Effect

The pitch for The Caligula Effect is a great one: a new Persona-like from the writer of early games in that series, but with a Social Link system that includes everyone and a battle system that relies on true synergy and teamwork. A soundtrack from accomplished artists and a theme that puts that music front and center. A tale that explores loss and trauma but gives you the tools to overcome those troubles.

It’s such a good idea on paper.

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Review: Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy is a questionable undertaking

Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy finds itself in a difficult position. It’s an Experience RPG that gives people an opportunity to once again create a party of custom characters and crawl their way through dungeons with a first-person perspective. This is a genre that has done well on the system. However, it is the sequel to Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy, one of the developer’s less exciting games. Seeing as how it doesn’t learn from its predecessors’ mistakes, this may be a legacy that fades into obscurity

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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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