Review: Mary Skelter: Nightmares involves some rather risky (and risque) business

The PlayStation Vita is rife with dungeon-crawling JRPGs. Traversing expansive spaces in the first person with a group of characters you are able to customize and organize in some way is commonplace. This means new games need to try something different to stand out. Enter Mary Skelter: Nightmares. In this Compile Heart and Idea Factory International release, players follow characters inspired by fairy tales as they attempt to escape a sentient jail. Sound weird? It totally is.

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Review: Ys VIII is all about community and combat

For as long as the series has been around, it’s a bit weird that we’re only now getting to the eighth numbered Ys release. The series takes its time, not necessarily to build grander worlds but to give its grounded adventures more time to breathe. Ys games are about engaging combat and a long but fulfilling grind, story and systems surrounding fights that are designed to enhance that core play. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is the most focused on its strengths the series has ever been, keeping players in comfortable fun for dozens and dozens of hours.

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Review: Ever Oasis shines, subsists in shifting sands

Ever Oasis‘ release timing is ideal for what it’s trying to do: be, much as its name implies, a respite from the hot, dry days of summer. To be a tale about rallying and working together to keep on living and fight away the darkness that pervades our world. To bring refreshment through familiarity and sustenance, seeking not to wow you with style and taste but to quench a more primal, nostalgic thirst.

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Review: Collar x Malice aims at your heart

There are two kinds of otome games. The first are titles where the romance comes first, and the story exists to further the relationships. The second are ones where the tale a title tells takes priority, and the romance is an incidental that happens along the way. Amnesia: Memories is a good example of the former, while Hakuoki showcases the latter. Collar x Malice is another game where the narrative needs and gets the most attention. This doesn’t make the relationships between characters any less satisfying, but does mean the adventure might not be as appealing to some members of its audience.

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Review: Princess Maker 3 abdicates its throne

Some series don’t age well. Even if they belong to a genre that remains rather timeless, certain aspects and elements keep it from being as attractive as it once was. Couple that with an unfriendly user interface, translation that is atrocious and occasionally incomplete and issues that keep it from running properly or at all and you get Princess Maker 3: Fairy Tales Come True. It’s a dark spot on an otherwise-bright series.

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