Review: Feasting on the foodie feedback loop in Marenian Tavern Story

There are certain sorts of games that are compelling and enjoyable because of the patterns they provide. Players fall into a routine that is fulfilling because each time we go through this activity loop, we make a little more progress and grow a little bit stronger. Marenian Tavern Story: Patty and the Hungry God is a game that lives and dies by its virtual way of life. Players participate in certain actions, see their world expand, then have an opportunity to keep doing so and growing stronger.

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Review: Persona 3 Dancing and Persona 5 Dancing re-fuse rhythm with Persona and refuse to quit

Rather than follow Persona 4: Dancing All Night with a release covering the music of another mainline release in the franchise, Atlus instead opted to make titles for two games simultaneously: Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight. What’s more, the games expand from Vita-only origins to PS4 releases that still make one last cameo on the handheld. It’s an ambitious sort of plan, one that seeks to disappoint fewer by pursuing as many possibilities as it can.

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Review: Kitty Love: Way to Look for Love has a good concept, but poor execution

It isn’t uncommon for Japanese forms of media to showcase a story where humans transform into animals. Ranma 1/2 has a number of cast members who bounce between bipedalism and quadrupedalism. Fruits Basket is a series where its cast needs to be careful when hugging other people. Kitty Love: Way to Look for Love is an otome novel offer its own take on that sort of situation. It is an absolutely pleasant thing, though some technical issues and translation errors keep it from being something fans of the genre need to play.

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Review: Gal Metal is an ambitious cacophony

There exist in this world games that have appealing concepts and flawed executions. Gal Metal is one such game. The idea of a rhythm game that focuses on drumming is a good idea. Bandai Namco has a successful series based on that very concept. One that also introduces a storyline and character building could be exciting, but Gal Metal falters when it comes to making everything work together.

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Review: Black Bird is a feather in Onion Games’ cap

Onion Games’ Black Bird and Sega’s Fantasy Zones feel like the sort of creations that come from fever dreams. Both have otherworldly spaces, unconventional characters, strange enemies and leave players wondering about the premise behind them as they shoot through scrolling worlds. The difference is that one is a more colorful flight of fancy, while the other might have you wondering about the dark implications and undertones of its nearly monochromatic world.

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Review: Warriors Orochi 4 can be a godsend

Good news! Koei Tecmo and Omega Force finally decided they are done porting and updating Warriors Orochi 3. Which is great, because the companies were running out of words to append to it. (It already had Special, Hyper and Ultimate.) This means everyone finally gets to move on to Warriors Orochi 4. Which is largely a good thing. While it is not some massive renovation, it makes some positive changes that shake things up after Warriors Orochi 3’s many ports and results in a more solid game.

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Review: Disgaea 1 Complete is back to the old grind

A breakout hit that turned into a long-running franchise, the first Disgaea game still holds a certain charm for those who discovered it. Nippon Ichi Software knows it, too: it’s re-released it on tons of platforms and even developed the peculiar Disgaea D2 that was built explicitly as a response to the fandom surrounding the original. Now, that’s led to Disgaea 1 Complete, a release that remasters the visuals of the original while painstakingly retaining the systems and limitations of the debut.

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Review: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD knows what is important

Final Fantasy XV is a game that spent 10 years in development. Once it launched in 2016, Square Enix seemed determined to put as much effort as it possibly could to ensure the gaming world knew its name and went through the game. Part of this involves a DLC plan that extends its influence into 2019 with Ardyn, Aranea, Luna and Noctis add-on episodes, but the more interesting element is Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, which is essentially the Reader’s Digest Condensed Book version of the console game. With the debut of Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, players are seeing the most economical and time-friendly adaptation of a game Square Enix is trying to ensure everyone sees.

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Review: Valkyria Chronicles 4 refines the art of war

After two PSP sequels and middling success in the West, there was a long period of quiet for Valkyria Chronicles. Revered by those who played it, it was set to fade away like so many franchises before it. Thankfully, it found a larger audience on PC and PS4, and this unlikely fourth game became reality.

There’s a lot of pressure on a project that comes about like this, and the first Valkyria Chronicles casts a long shadow. Thankfully, Valkyria Chronicles 4 more than lives up to the legacy.

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