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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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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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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Review: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd is complementary

In Japan, there exists a category of games called fan discs. These can be additional games, but might also focus on forms of media. Their goal? To offer additional insight into a story by providing players with side stories or an epilogue. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd is essentially a massive fan disc for The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. It not only offers more information regarding Estelle and Joshua, but gives us a chance to learn more about party members or NPCs who might have touched our hearts in the first two games.

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Review: Virtual reality and real love in Period: Cube

MMORPGs are a social experience. People make friends as they play. Relationships form that start out as digital, but become physical. Some even fall in love as they go through these games. Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ is an otome game that explores that notion. Folks who have found themselves sucked into an MMO, à la Sword Art Online or .hack, also have a chance to find love.

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