Review: Penguin-kun Gira Gira Wars is on a roll

In 1985, a major war rocked the world of anthropomorphic animals. The Penguin Wars, as they would come to be known, pitted penguins and other animals against one another. They faced off the only way they knew how: dodgeball. Well, a variant of it. While there was a secondary scuffle in 1990, the differences seemed to largely be resolved. Until now. The animals are angry, my friends, and the Penguin Gira Gira Wars have begun.

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Review: Summon Night 6: Lost Borders looks nice and friendly, and that’s something at least

Summon Night 6 is such a pleasant-looking game. It has such a nice pastel palette, and it’s a refreshing break from the usual fare. There’s nothing grating or eye-straining about the aesthetics of the game, and that’s definitely worth applauding!

That’s a weird thing to lead off with, we know, but frankly a scrappy, unlikely localization like Summon Night 6 deserves some optimism and praise for what it does right. And… that was what we had.

Let’s get into it.

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Review: Yomawari: Midnight Shadows is a dark and haunting tragedy

How powerful is friendship? What lengths will people go to in order to reconnect with someone important to them? The Yomawari games have always explored the impact of the supernatural on such bonds, showing people won’t allow even the most horrifying situations to hold them back. Yomawari: Midnight Shadows offers a more comprehensive and richer view of such a situation, allowing players to see two sides of a situation and engage with even more otherworldly creatures and unfortunate altercations.

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Review: Absolutely everybody adores Aluche in Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon

With every sequel, people hope for something better. After all, it is a second chance. If a game was good, it could be a an opportunity to be even better. Should the original have faltered, the next installment could right those wrongs. Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon does its best to fix the problems with the original and make the sequel a stronger game, but in the process ends up making things feel a little more generic and less unique.

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Review: Touhou Kobuto V lets fans down

There are so many good Touhou Project games out there. I mean, Team Shanghai Alice has created some revolutionary bullet hell shooters. Touhou Genso Wanderer is an enjoyable roguelike. Even Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity, though a bit rudimentary, is fun. So why is it we keep getting games like Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle, installments that do nothing but tarnish the reputation of the series?

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Review: Bad Apple Wars may not appeal to everyone

A teenager dies. It is an unexpected end, but not quite as final as people are led to believe. Instead of nothingness or an afterlife, this person ends up in limbo. Which, coincidentally, is basically a boarding school. While some students follow the rules and work toward “graduation,” others join a rebel organization and fight the power. Sound familiar? No, I am not referring 2010’s Angel Beats!, the anime/light novel/manga/visual novel. It just so happens that Bad Apple Wars, Aksys and Otomate’s latest otome visual novel, is an unrelated game with an incredibly similar premise.

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Review: Blue Reflection’s a slice of magical girl life

The magical girl genre is a robust one in Japan. Series like Card Captor Sakura, Magic Knight Rayearth, Pretty Cure, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Sailor Moon have given us some idea of what to expect when young women are tasked with protecting others. Which makes it a bit odd that we do not see many games with original characters and storylines exploring the premise. This makes Blue Reflection an unexpected delight. It is a gorgeous game that borrows from both the magical girl and Persona formulas to tell a heartfelt story.

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