Review: The Alliance Alive binds many RPG mainstays together

False starts happen. People can attempt to create or do things with the best of intentions, with the end result ranging from passable to a miserable failure. FuRyu found itself in that exact situation with The Legend of Legacy a few years ago. It wanted to create a SaGa-style JRPG, but ended up with a drawn-out, tedious affair. Now, The Alliance Alive has come along to not only rectify every failing of its predecessor, but deliver the sort of experience FuRyu likely intended and Nintendo 3DS RPG fans deserve.

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Review: Ni no Kuni II builds a nation of imagination

The return of a property mashing up all-stars, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom aims to step out of its predecessor’s shadow. It uses animation work from those with Studio Ghibli experience, but no longer has a connection to the studio itself. It comes from the team behind many core Dragon Quest titles, but moves further away from some of that series’ tropes while retaining what works in a more divergent context. It tells a tale of idealized innocence, without for a second apologizing for it. And it never lets up on the charm.

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Review: Yakuza 6 is focused and ready to fight

Long left to niche status in the West, the Yakuza franchise has spent the last year punching its way to larger global prominence with Yakuza 0 and Kiwami. Those games, which also reintroduced the series to much of Japan, set the stage for a game that doesn’t need the exposition or explanation to be understood, that can stand without supports on the backs of those that preceded it. Yakuza 6 is Kiryu’s last story, and that clearly meant a lot to those who crafted it.

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Review: Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms offers a more straightforward story

Otome fans find themselves in a familiar place again. Hakuoki, much like the Furies that inhabit it, is an undying beast of a visual novel lurching its way to new systems. This time, it’s wrapping up a tale. Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms finishes the saga started in last year’s Kyoto Winds, bringing closure to its 13 storylines. While things may feel a bit different, it ends up feeling more efficient.

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Review: Part Time UFO is full-time fun

Imagine a world where people’s first thought upon seeing extraterrestrial life is to tell a UFO that it needs to get a job. Where said UFO immediately takes that advice and steps into a series of positions aiding humanity, earning money to spend on clothes and collecting medals for goofy little tasks. Everyone, everywhere is unfazed by the little fellow and his incredible worth ethic. This is the world of Part Time UFO, and it is a wonderful one.

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Review: The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya is a good first love for Switch otome fans

People who are looking for a little romance in their virtual lives were able to celebrate quite a landmark in February 2018. D3 Publisher released the first otome game on the Nintendo Switch. The system has its own version of The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya. It may not be the most elaborate game out there, but it feels like a stepping stone and proof that this console could be a good fit for similar titles. This basic title lays a foundation, one that fans of such games may want to consider while they wait for other companies to foster new relationships.

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Review: Dynasty Warriors 9 is taken down by its own misplaced ambitions

Dynasty Warriors 9 is intended as a fresh start for the series, a big numbered entry in a franchise that hasn’t changed a lot in the past decade and a half. It’s technically ambitious, an open-world China you can explore rather than a series of segmented maps. It’s an opportunity for big change for developer Omega Force, and an opportunity for new players to jump in and get the core experience of the franchise rather than a spinoff or variant.

So, um, about that opportunity.

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Review: Hit? Miss? Tiny Metal seeks to advance war

Tiny Metal has ideas.

That hasn’t been a given in the post-apocalyptic landscape of games seeking to fill the void left by the disappearance of Advance Wars. Some have brought style, and others have delivered faithfully on the sort of combat Wars perfected, but rarely have we seen a game that both seeks to follow in that franchise’s footsteps and further explore the tactical space within.

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