Production values matter in Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku

The Nintendo Switch is only just beginning to establish itself as a platform for otome games. More than a few companies have prepared ports of mobile titles, which allow people to pay a set fee and access all storylines on their systems. Idea Factory is beginning its Otomate invasion. This means you see games of varying degrees of quality on the console. Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku -Forbidden Romance with Mysterious Spirit-, from Digimerce and OperaHouse is one of them. While it definitely has a very large and very noticeable flaw, it also has some elements that are of a higher quality than others.

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Video: Dropping blocks and breaking hearts in Tokimeki Memorial Taisen Puzzle Dama

The enormous popularity of Puyo Puyo in Japan caused many, many competitors to try their hand at creating a falling-block puzzle franchise, and there weren’t many to find as much success in gameplay and domestic longevity as Taisen Puzzle Dama, Konami’s attempt in the genre. Let’s take a look at a signature entry — one tied to another Konami franchise that found a lot of fans in its home country!

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What to expect from the Retro-bit GoRetro Portable

Gaming has reached an age where people are getting unprecedented access to import games. Newer titles are becoming easier to acquire, thanks to the removal of region-blocks. Older games are being picked up and localized. One company, Retro-bit, is releasing plug-and-play systems and compilation cartridges with NES and SNES games that include some titles that never received an official release outside of Japan. One of the latest is the Retro-bit GoRetro Portable, a Game Boy-inspired handheld that runs on four AAA batteries and plays an assortment of titles that either were on the NES or would have been at home on the system.

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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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Review: SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy’s “fetishism explosion” is full of polarizing choices

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.

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Japanese games can help bring myths to life

How do you introduce people to folklore and fairy tales? Introducing people to mythology can be easy when they are young or in school, as such stories can sometimes be used to teach morals, introduce concepts that might be difficult for people to otherwise understand, act as warnings and get imaginations working. Once folks get older, it can be more difficult to get them engaged and interested in legends. Fortunately, some Japanese video games can step in to bridge the gap.

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What are sound novels and kinetic novels?

Visual novels went from being a rare genre outside of Japan to one we see appearing on major consoles! This is great news, but it also means that there can be some ambiguity. Lots of games are having the “visual novel” label applied to them. Which is fine for beginners, but it does not really show how distinct and unique some games can be. There are different categories falling under the visual novel umbrella, after all. With games like Nekopara and 428: Shibuya Scramble finding their ways to consoles, now is a great time to go over the different kinds of visual novels, so you can be better informed before you start reading!

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Who is Thief Arthur?

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy‘s first DLC character has been announced and she is a bit of a surprise. It is a cameo character called Thief Arthur, from the Million Arthur series. Which might confuse people, because the Million Arthur line of games, manga and anime is not exactly a big deal outside of Japan. Why is Thief Arthur? Why should people care about her and Million Arthur in general?

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