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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
The appeal of a fighting game can be all sorts of things. It can be about mechanical complexity, gorgeous animation, intense matches, speed or big combos, as well as any number of other aspects of the game. The importance of the appeal, though, is that the rest of the game builds around it, and that it’s indelibly defined by this one particular selling point. The game is its appeal.
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy certainly isn’t an exception, but its chosen appeal is… something.Read more
With Yakuza Kiwami 2, Sega returns to the second PS2 game to give it a visual overhaul and a feature set to match modern titles. With the refreshingly rapid pace of localizations for the series and a renewed interest in the franchise in general, a lot of people have been playing a lot of Yakuza lately. So what’s going on with this one? Well… quite a bit, actually.Read more
Touhou Project has not always had the opportunity to show its best face in the west. The bullet hell shoot-’em-up line that established the series’ characters and world is fantastic, but obscure. The titles that get the most attention and exposure are localized doujin games belonging to different genres. This means people are plopped into sub-par titles, like Touhou Kobuto V, or the palatable Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity. Fortunately, there is one “good” Touhou spin-off and it has received a definitive edition that offers more people a chance to see a better side of the series. Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded is that game.Read more
After a long drought, the Shining series is back in the West. Most remember it from its early days on the Genesis, but Shining enjoyed a decent amount of success on the GBA and PS2 before disappearing from areas outside Japan for over a decade. It’s great to see Shining Resonance Refrain‘s worldwide release, but, well, is it fun to play?Read more