All posts filed under: Humble Video Game Opinions

Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel – PlayStation 4 Review

Anime and Manga has this certain social stigma that surrounds it: It’s seen as a format wherein which the strange, perverse, and incoherent way, that it is a medium for strange people that enjoy strange things. Those of us out there that have an educated view of the Japanese Pop Culture landscape know that this is the truth only for the minority, and that the general Anime/Manga audience finds themselves constantly looking for what is essentially the opposite of the stereotypical. I find it amusing that not many people outside of the now-booming Japanese pop culture fandom are aware of Visual Novels. Amusing not from a obnoxious standpoint, but simply because it is the Visual Novel platform that produces some of the most bizarre, offbeat, and outlandish storylines and characters, most of which, thanks to an odd level of popularity, are eventually adapted into Anime series’ which are enjoyed, to a decent extent, by those who only choose to stick to the animation-based medium. Marvelous, the video game development studio behind the Senran Kagura series of raunchy …

MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune vs Zombies – Review

According to the wonderful world of anime, high school is a magical time. Chock full of friendship, hardship and personal growth, actually going to class is a complete non-issue. Hell, if it weren’t for the fact that school buildings offer the best locations around to eat lunch and stare contemplatively into the expansive abyss of introspection, I don’t think anyone would even make the rushed, last minute run there. However, things begin to change once the inevitable, world concluding threat rears its ugly head. Aliens, demons, non-descript monsters, princesses, dimension hoppers, time travellers, different dimension hoppers…time travellers from a different time. You name it, it could throw your youth into shambles. That being said, what’s life without a little unexpected, unbelievable adventure? Real life, that’s what. So check your disbelief at the door and learn to embrace the insanity, you might not survive otherwise…or you just won’t have fun. You probably won’t die…sorry I lied. Neptunia. The series with more prefixes and syllable than you can throw a fictional dictionary at, a fictionary if you will. …

Stranger of Sword City – Review (Vita)

Say what you want about the Vita’s presence (or lack thereof) in the current video game market but there is no denying that it is a treasure trove of unique games that you really won’t find anywhere else. When it all comes down to it, the Vita specialises in three genres: Visual Novels, Rhythm Games, and Japanese RPGS. If you’re into any or all of these genres, then the Vita was simply made for you. While there is usually very little in the way of physical releases, the Vita has simply embraced digital distribution for the better as many titles that would have been impossible to release and distribute physically can now easily make their way to the PlayStation store with minimum costs and fuss. Everyone wins really, small publishers can get games on the digital store without having to worry about retailers, and gamers get easy access to a larger library games they wouldn’t see on store shelves. When it comes to niche Japanese games in the aforementioned genres, digital distribution on the Vita is …

Stella Glow – Review

The JRPG genre comes in many shapes and sizes. It is a genre as rich with history as any and doesn’t seem to be losing any steam with age. The Nintendo 3DS has been home to quite a number of JRPGs and Stella Glow is one of the latest to join the ranks. Taking nods from popular franchises such as Disgaea and Fire Emblem, Stella Glow utilizes a strategy RPG style mixed with a rich story set in a high fantasy world of witchcraft. While it may not be as complex a title as those it takes inspiration from, Stella Glow proves to be a solid strategic JRPG title that sticks to the basics rather than breaking new ground. Following amnesiac Alto, Stella Glow is set within a world where music no longer exists due supposed calamities that songs have and may continue to cause. After his adoptive family is affected by an evil witch’s song of destruction, Alto sets out on a quest to save his adoptive mother and bring the witch who caused …

Trillion: God of Destruction – Review

We’ve all had that boss. You know the one I mean, the one who thinks they’re inherently better than you, who thinks they can do whatever they what with no consequence, who seeks to devour the entirety of the universe’s three ancient realms in order to sate their unfathomable hunger for chaos and destruction…okay, that last one was a touch specific, but you get what I mean. Luckily for all, despite the existence of these so called bosses, there are those willing to stand up for what is right and say no to evil. Those who lay their lives on the line to fight for a better tomorrow, to refuse to back down and…oh, those guys died? Screw it then, bring out the demons. Welcome to the Underworld, a location best known for its balmy summer nights, abundance of small businesses and prevalence of Fallen Ones who rebelled against God and were cast down from the heights of Heaven for their hubris. A real vacationer’s dream. Or perhaps it would be, were it not for …

Dark Souls III – Review (Xbox One)

No game stirred up a more colourful word-of-mouth reputation than Dark Souls when it first landed in 2011. Dark Souls had an aura about it that masked the true nature of the game itself. This reputation created such a strong priori that the actual experience became a self-fulfilled prophecy. I am of course referring to the game’s difficulty that has become a modern day legend of sorts. Ask any one who has played these games and they will give you exaggerated views on how difficult they are, or you may meet several elitists  who will brag about how they breezed through the many boss battles. Not to mention, people have accomplished speed runs that have lasted just a couple of hours. So honestly is Dark Souls for real or is it all just hype? Well, it’s both but at the same time it’s really neither. It’s an action RPG where you traverse a fairly open but structured game world. You explore a dark and bleak world that is filled with secrets and treasures, where slowly but surely you get …

Pokken Tournament – Review

Pokemon Stadium on the Nintendo 64 was an awesome concept back in the day, given that the main games were confined to a tiny 8-bit handheld, having a console game that allowed you to engage in glorious 3D battles was godsend, allowing players to transfer their Pokemon team onto the N64 for some visually dazzling battles that pretty much played out the exact same way as the traditional turn based battles. Still, it was nice to see Pokemon come to life and fully animated. Now this concept probably has lost its appeal in this day and age given that the 3DS has provided gamers with a fully 3D Pokemon adventure in Pokemon X and Y, with the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Mon hopefully raising the bar higher. Still, back in the day we dreamed up a Pokemon game where battles would be a lot more versatile and free flowing than the restrictions of turn-based, something that would be more akin to the way battles were depicted in the Pokemon anime. When it was first announced that …

Project X Zone 2 – Review

Since the dawn of fiction, there has been fan fiction. That ever expanding collection of stories written by the fanliest of fans who seek to insert themselves within the worlds imagined by  others. Be they quirky romps through unexplored realms, tales of woe relived through another’s eyes or discernibly more sordid tales, there is something for all within this bounty of narrative. However, there exists yet a another form of story, a culmination of the official and the not, an unholy fusion of canon and desire; the crossover. Licenced out the wazoo and born from dreams of cross promotional paychecks, these melting pots of fandom answer as many questions as they raise, as characters team up, beat down and chill out all across the collective dreamscape. Though sometimes, as it would coincidentally turn out, the universes at large may just need a team of inter-dimensional champions to best a series of equally inter-dimensional foes. Project X Zone; yet another foray into the series hopping exploits of Capcom, a company that just L-O-V-E loves mixing and matching properties. You’ve got …

Legend of Legacy – Review

The JRPG genre has undergone countless evolution across the years but still to this day whenever the term JRPG is used many immediately think of a certain type of game; a turn-based battle system, a world of magic and an epic quest to journey on. Over the years that iconic image of what a true JRPG is has been largely lost as the genre ventured into a plethora of different styles both successful and unsuccessful ventures alike. Every once and a while a game comes along that brings things back to basics, appreciating the simplicity of the foundations that the entire genre is built upon. Legend of Legacy is one of those games, a throwback to old school JRPG’s such as the original Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games. Among the overly complex and mind-numbingly deep character leveling systems of the modern JRPG and ridiculously confusing storylines, Legend of Legacy stands out as a refreshingly basic title that focuses more on its core elements rather than extraneous features and revels in simple fun and a …

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – PlayStation 4 Review

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re totally into Digimon, which is, like, the cutest because, FYI…Digimon is, like, totally into you too. It’s been many years since a proper Digimon video game was released in the West so, as you can imagine, us wannabe-DigiDestined are pretty excited to have this title in the palm of our hands. Finally. Now the reason I say “proper” Digimon video game is because the last Digimon title us Westerners got wasAll-Star Rumble and – I’m sorry about this, Bandai Namco Entertainment – but that game was a breathtaking flop. Thankfully, that has been entirely made up for with the release of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth; a Digimon game about crime, mystery, theDigital World, and a sexy lady in what looks to be just a button up business shirt. How could you possibly turn your attention away from that? The answer to that question: You can’t! Once again, I would like to thank Bandai Namco Entertainment not only for providing us with a copy of the new game for review, …

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Review (Vita)

The Legend of Heroes franchise (known in its earlier years as simply Dragon Slayer) has been around for a long time but not widely known in the Western world. It wasn’t until the localisation of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky on the PSP that the series generated a real English-speaking fanbase. The latest in the franchise is The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel on the PS3 and Vita, which has  cross-save support in case you were planning on playing both versions. Honestly, given the tremendous size of the adventure it’s probably not a bad idea to have one copy on the telly and one copy on the go. Trails of Cold Steel is a dense RPG adventure epic that is jam packed with a ton of content. Hours simply burn when you play Cold Steel, it takes place in a rich setting, has a ton of characters, and there’s no shortage of activities outside of the combat. Modern RPGs tend to be all flash and all substance, and while Trails …

Megadimension Neptunia VII – Review

The word ‘love’ is often a strong word used to show how much affection someone has for someone else or something else, and that is definitely me with the Neptunia franchise. I can still remember the first time I played mk2 back in mid-2013 and just how fresh and fun the game was for me mainly because I hadn’t really properly played a JRPG before. Between the story, gameplay and overall quirks, and just the endless amounts re-playability the game had. After that, it was straight onto Victory, which I ended up buying on the day of release alongside a majority of the DLC, and my feelings only grew for the series, hell, I spent New Years Eve of 2013 just playing the game. Ever since then I’ve tried my best to get the games on the day of release, pre-ordering the physical copy of PP the day of it’s announcement, and in the case of the Re:Birth games trying to get my hands on the limited editions. However, the release schedule of the games have …

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – Review

There are stories, and then there are shonen stories. For the most part, they’re longer, follow a sharper upward spiral when it comes to the evolution of power and when the end finally rolls around the fanbase is pretty well divided on, well, pretty much everything. But therein lies their confusing charm. After years upon decades upon childhoods, these tale weave their way into the minds of youth until they are a defining factor. Convoluted in their straightforwardness, they present the quearies of life in an easy to identify, easy to punch form that delves into the meaning of meaning and the reason for reasons. Of course, you could simply ignore that and enjoy the ever present combat, but let’s not. Let us explore one of these well trodden tales a little bit more, let us once again witness the story of Naruto Uzumaki, the ninja who never quit…and also for some reason decided that bright orange would be the perfect jumpsuit colour for a life long career in the ninja arts. Okay, so I’m not …

A Wild Catgirl Appears! – Review

THE RIDE NEVER ENDS If you’ve been paying attention to SnapThirty this past month you might’ve seen a new addition to the team pop up here and there, “Hey how’s it going?”, doing his own take on SnapThirty’s, is that how you write that?, First Thoughts on some major 2015 anime that the guys missed out on, covering the recent release of No One But You and stirring the anime communities pot with his take on the current level of toxicity throughout the community. So, to finish off his check-list and become a full-fledged member, in his eyes at least, he needs to do a complete review of a game, anime or manga AND he needs to be a part of at least one episode of SnapThirty’s, again is that how you write it?, podcast: The SnapCast. However, with the second option out of the window because the rest of the team seem to keep recording them without him, cheers boys, the newest member of the team instead decided to go and review something. I …

Rodea the Sky Soldier – Review (Wii)

Rodea the Sky Soldier was first announced as a Wii title many years ago, and after a slow development process and going through some publishers, it was effectively cancelled until Kadokawa Games, and later NIS America, jumped in to revive the project. In doing so, efforts were made to build an almost completely different the game for the Wii U and 3DS. Fortunately, however, the original incarnation of the game on the Wii received its final finishing touches, and was bundled with the first print copies of the Wii U release as a free bonus disc. So as it stands now, if you want to play the Wii version you need to grab a copy of the Wii U version while the first print stock lasts. As an additional, and very cool extra, you also get a reversible cover art with the Wii U art on one side and the Wii art on the other. The limited availability of the Wii version is a crying shame really, because out of all the releases the Wii version …

Rodea the Sky Soldier – Review (3DS)

It’s almost become customary to have a Wii U and 3DS edition of the same title launch simultaneously, with not only obvious cosmetic differences, but even differences in the controls and the way in which gameplay systems are implemented. We’ve seen this happen to Sonic entries on Nintendo platforms, with games like Sonic Lost World and more recently Sonic Boom. Capcom pulled this off with class when they launched Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate simultaneously on the Wii U and 3DS, with both versions being equally stellar. Rodea the Sky Soldier too joins this trend, as accompanying the main Wii U version is this 3DS version that shares most, if not all, of the gameplay systems and mechanics, albeit a few differences to make the experience more functional on the handheld. For all intents and purposes, Rodea the Sky Soldier on 3DS is the exact same game as the Wii U version, with all flaws and issues intact. That being said, Rodea on the 3DS does not feel like a watered down de-make of the Wii U game, …

Rodea the Sky Soldier – Review (Wii U)

Rodea the Sky Soldier on the Wii U is an unfortunate case of too little too late. For one thing, this was originally intended as a Wii game which then switched to the Wii U and not as a port either, but instead it was completely reworked in terms of gameplay systems and mechanics. Within the first moments into the Wii U release, you can’t help but admit that it looks like something that should have been released 4 years ago. Still, better late than never as the old saying goes, and the release of Rodea the Sky Soldier is most certainly welcome in Wii U’s ever expanding library of unique exclusives. That being said, Rodea the Sky Soldier is a very,very flawed release. It has moments of brilliance for sure, but for every moment of bliss there are at least five moments of irritating frustration to dampen the experience that Rodea the Sky Soldier intended to provide. Rodea the Sky Soldier  tells the story of  a great war between two kingdoms: Naga the Machine Empire …

Superbeat: Xonic – Review

I know, it’s strange. Those of you who follow the site, and have done so for a while now, will know that we’re all about Japanese pop culture. It’s our thing, it’s what we do, and if you don’t mind me saying…we do it damn well. So to see a review like this on the site; one developed by Korean company Nurijoy, I understand that it can be quite startling, but we aim to please, and seeing as one of our loyal follows (@R0LAN65) has shown great interest in this title, and one of our review copy providers, Mindscape, offered it to us like they do many others, we simply couldn’t say no. Even if that wasn’t the case; Superbeat: Xonic is a rhythm game developed by a company with many years of musical experience, and they’ve, once again, created a video game that has gotten fans of the genre living all across the globe excite for what it has to offer. There’s no way we were going to let that slip by us. No way! Thank …

Tales of Zestiria – Review

For years now the Tales franchise has remained the last truly safe bastion of high fantasy JRPG. In a world that has become increasingly fascinated with cyberpunk sci-fi and techno-dystopias, the old guard has fallen to the way side with JRPGs focusing more on sci-fi settings and scenarios over the tradition magic filled fantasy of the genre’s past. The genre’s biggest series like Final Fantasy have shifted gears in recent times to science fiction and so too did the Tales series with the two Tales of Xillia games. Xillia released to a mixed reception with many claiming that some of the magic of Tales had been lost. With Tales of Zestiria, I can say for certain that the high fantasy Tales of old is back and it has never been better. Tales of Zestiria marks a significant return to form for the series as the game tackles a fantasy world once again. With influences of both medieval and biblical nature, Zestiria feels like a breath of fresh air for not only the franchise but the …

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker – Review

Believing all apocalyptic preachers; the world we live in is perpetually on the verge of utter annihilation. If it isn’t a global zombie scare brought about by drug addicts eating each other, it’s a holy deity coming down from on high to take the chosen people to salvation, leaving us sinners behind for what is essentially Hell on Earth. I couldn’t count on two hands the amount of times, in my lifespan alone, the world has been under threat of complete destruction. Meteors, economic collapse, black holes, Satan’s arrival, the Rapture…all within the short span of twenty years, and that’s only an abridged version of the extensive list. The point I’m trying to make is; depending on who you ask, the eradication of all life on our planet is only ever just around the corner. In one of ATLUS’ many new video game releases, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker, you play as a young man thrown into a realm of utter chaos and destruction after coming into possession of a strange new …

Persona 4: Dancing All Night – Review

When Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 first landed on the PlayStation 2 back in 2008, no one could have predicted the mainstream success that the IP still enjoys to this day. Shin Megami Tensai: Persona 4 was an entry in a spin-off franchise, but at this point Persona 4 has become its own brand and franchise, far removed from its Shin Megami Tensei parent. Prior to the mainstream appeal of Persona 4, the series was always something of an acquired taste. Starting with two incredibly challenging entries on the PlayStation (PSOne), the series would make a comeback after a major hiatus in the form of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. That title was a breath of fresh air at the time, and for Western gamers who had grown tired of Final Fantasy, they couldn’t have asked for a more alternative Japanese RPG. It didn’t take long for Persona 4 to arrive after, and at first it enjoyed the same niche word of mouth success like its predecessors. For numerous reasons, however, the success of Persona 4 suddenly skyrocketed and …

Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden – Review

If there’s one thing that’s synonymous with Dragon Ball Z, it’s blue and orange…I mean fighting. It’s fighting…whilst wearing blue and orange that is slowly destroyed over the course of said fight. You know things are galaxy threatening when your hero is soaring into combat wearing only tattered Hammer pants. But I digress. With a story spanning more than it’s fair share of years, DB has plenty of canon to draw from, bringing forth a fighting game of varied roster…kind of. For those unaware, Extreme Butoden is a 3DS installment in the DBZ franchise. Though handheld games have excelled in leaps and bounds over the past few years, they still lag behind their less portable companions. This particular Z combat simulator takes a side on, 2D perspective, a la your traditional fighting games. Though far from a revolutionary decision, it is a sound one, with the style fitting well onto the 3DS screens. In addition to allowing combat to remain manageably simple, this viewpoint allows the character sprites ample space to shine, and shine they do. …

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Review

When it comes to ‘Warriors‘ games, you are going to have one of two reactions. You are either going to be excited at the thought of demolishing hordes of enemies between crumbs of a story or you are going to loathe the thought of doing just that for fear of sheer boredom. Both viewpoints are valid and if you have played one ‘Warriors’ game you are sure to have quickly formed an opinion one way or the other. In recent times the ‘Warriors‘ franchise has become the Japanese video games equivalent of Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed. Tecmo Koei and Omega Force crank out multiple games a year under the ‘Warriors‘ banner rarely stopping to do much in way of reinventing the wheel. While admittedly some ‘Warriors‘ games prove to be more interesting than others, it is the One Piece: Pirate Warriors series of games that has a place in my heart personally. As a fan of One Piece, these games are easily the best games based on the franchise ever put together. They …

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance Review

Revenge. We know it well, if not in our actual lives then in those of the fictional characters we follow. Not the most honourable of motivations, it is certainly one of the strongest, or at least the most relentless. Thus within these stories our heroes are often forced to battle the demons that dwell within before facing those that dwell without. But what happens when our hero isn’t alone? When those around him each seek their own, personal form of revenge? Simply put; you get the start of one heck of a fight. Ah Disgaea, the series that takes tactical RPGs and says, “You know what we need? More.” And boy does it deliver. If you’re new to this franchise, first of all welcome, then prepare to be bombarded by numbers. Damage counters, stat screens, weapon mastery, ranks, levels, mana…the list goes on…and on and on and on…then on a bit more, then it loops back around and starts all over again. what I’m getting at here, is that this is the perfect franchise for those …

Etrian Mystery Dungeon Review

The video game industry is no stranger to crossovers, and the trend only appears to have become more popular with time as developers bring their respective franchises together for an epic joint production. One of the earliest and most notable crossovers, Capcom and SNK cumulated their heated ‘90s rivalry by creating the ultimate dream battle that was Capcom vs SNK, pitching their celebrated fighting franchises into one mega 2D fighting package. Lately we’ve seen Virtua Fighter combatants make their way into Dead or Alive 5, but outside of fighting games we’ve seen some epic crossovers in the RPG genre with the likes of Project X Zone (Capcom, SEGA, and BandaiNamco), Kingdom Hearts (the still bizarre Disney and Square-Enix crossover), and with some unusual ones on the horizon like Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem. Another RPG crossover which only just recently graced the Europe and Australia/New Zealand region is Etrian Mystery Dungeon, a crossover between Etrian Odyssey (by Atlus) and Mystery Dungeon (Spike Chunsoft). A crossover between two niche and brutally challenging RPG makes for …

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls Review

Hope versus despair. Despair versus hope. An ever present, ever shifting conflict that takes place beneath the surface of humanity. Undermining everything, determining how people view the world and those who reside within it. But is it as simple as all that? Of course not. People rarely stop and take the time to think about these driving forces because, in all honesty, it isn’t necessary in day to day life. Stopping and stalling to mull over the truths of the world each and every time you make a choice is woefully inefficient and probably not too good for mental health, existentially speaking. But what about those moments where deep thought rears its head and barrels towards shallower waters? When people are forced to bear all and witness themselves? What happens then? Of course, said situation may or may not also be compounded by a merciless army of mechanical miscreants, throwing yet another wrench into the proverbial, hypothetical machine…but we’ll deal with that if it happens. Sooo…it happened. that thing I mentioned earlier, about the army …

Lost Dimension Review

Trust. It’s what binds heroes together during times of strife. For those moments when the task at hand is just too great for any one person to accomplish. For when the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of the chosen few. But what happens when the hand of these chosen few is forced? When trust has no time to even factor into the equation? They save the world anyway, because there is no alternative. They save it, with uncertainty…and a terrible cost to pay. A terrible threat, a single being who possesses the frightening power to bring the world to its knees. But, what ho, hidden under layers of red tape and top secrets, a band of soldiers who possess the grit and fortitude to fight this threat…and a bevy of psychic powers to boot. SEALED is their designation, and bringing down megalomaniacal malcontents is their game…apparently. I mean I think it is, they think it is…they have amnesia…kinda. Yet another devious mystery held by The End, the self proclaimed nom de guerre …

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Xbox One Review

Last year’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was an impressive offering in its own right, so much so that it’s arguably one of the better action games to come out in recent times. Of course, the game was dubbed as a prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, a teaser demo if you will. Back when Ground Zeroes landed, it was hard to predict just how much more Phantom Pain was going to add on top of what was already a pretty impressive showcase of game design and technology, and it was also uncertain whether all the talk of “open world” and “biggest Metal Gear game yet” was literal or simply mere marketing hyperbole. Experiencing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain firsthand, going in with the expectations you would have from a typical Metal Gear title, will truly shock you like no other game will. To put things into perspective, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, as impressive as its design and scope was, is merely a molecule when compared with Metal …

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos – Review

There is something about underdressed girls with sharp weapons fighting the forces of the undead that just seems to get people going. If that wasn’t the case, then how is it that Onechanbara has a long lineage of over ten games spanning from 2004 all the way up until 2015? Surely Tamsoft, the company behind the series’ development, are doing something right otherwise they wouldn’t have been given the money to continue developing additions to the series for all these years. It must be something primal within us, to want to mix sexuality with brutality…surely. Regardless, it seems to work, so I wont try to dissect it any more than I should. Instead, I should try to enjoy it for exactly what it is: A sexy gore-fest. Mindscape Australia, in conjunction with NIS America (Europe), have recently released Onechanbara Z2: Chaos across both Australia and New Zealand, and us here at SnapThirty have been given the mighty pleasure of reviewing it thanks to said companies. It’s a title I never once thought of playing, having seen …

Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Review

It’s time to duel. Get your game on. Feelin’ the flow. At one time or another, these phrases have carried with them the promise of victory, the affirmation that hope remains alive until the very end. Throughout stories of ancient pharaohs, high school turmoil and wars between dimensions, one hero after the other has taken up the mantle to show that a simple card game is anything but and that a single draw can save worlds…also that no hairstyle is too bizarre. In case the nostalgia hasn’t struck a chord with you, then I’ll assume you are either super young or particularly averse to card based series. Regardless, this is Yu-Gi-Oh! people, a franchise whose name relates strongly to the initial series and has come to serve as an artifact banner for those who proceeded it. For clarification, Yu-Gi-Oh isn’t the name of the card game, that’s Duel Monsters, or the main character, though Yugi is remarkably close…wait a minute, maybe they meant it to be. Those clever ducks. Regardless, whether you knew from the …

Inazuma Eleven GO: Shadow Review

I’m an Italian man, it’s true. With a last name like Inglese (the Italian word for English), it’s kind of hard NOT to tell that my cultural origin is that of the mediterranean variety. Being Italian, many people expect a certain few things of me: They expect me to express my words with the motions of my hands, which I do, they expect me to be an expert when it comes to the country’s cuisine, which I’m not, and they expect me to be good at soccer, which is understandable seeing how enjoyed the sport is over in the country shaped like, well…a big boot. Fact is…I’m not that big a fan of the game. Never have been and, until I started playing Inazuma Eleven GO, I never thought I would be, but here I am writing a review of the soccer video game that, without giving too much away, will most likely be my personal video game of the year, so long as Level-5‘s other title Little Battlers Experience (set for a release in …

Inazuma Eleven GO: Light Review

Thank you, Level-5. Thank you so very much. It’s a sentiment I feel compelled to express after playing each and every title this developer produces because they really are just that damn good. Be it the Guild series on the Nintendo eShop providing us with classic games such as Attack of the Friday Monsters and Crimson Shroud or whether it is the unforgettable Professor Layton series or even the PS3 JRPG fantasy epic Ni No Kuni, Level-5 always produce imaginative groundbreaking video-games and Inazuma Eleven is no different. Now before I get into the thick of things, I’d like to preface this review by saying that I am a pretty hardcore Level-5 fan and have experience with the Inazuma Eleven franchise having played previous installments of the game and immersing myself in the anime and even manga iterations of the series. I mean it is pretty great afterall. So this review is coming from the perspective of a fan of these titles and the franchise itself. Right from the get go Inazuma Eleven GO: Light …

Godzilla PS4 Review

When you hear the name Godzilla, there are a few things you are likely to think of. Perhaps it is the classic 1954 monster flick from Japanese film legend Ishiro Honda or maybe it is the 1999 Hollywood recreation that Matthew Broderick felt up for a moment or two. Regardless of your personal memories of the King of the Monsters it goes without saying that Godzilla is a name known the world over as one of the all time greatest characters ever conceived. A misunderstood hero often painted as a villain whose goal is both simple and profound, protect this world from all who mean to do it harm. He is the King of the Monsters and the savior of this planet we call Earth. While Godzilla has had many different evolutions over the years the heart of the monster has always been clear regardless of whether the film in which he was starring was a good one (2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars) or a bad one (1999’s Godzilla). With Godzilla for the PS4, Bandai Namco have …

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation Review

Welcome to Gameindustri, a world not unlike our own…you know, except for the personified game consoles who serve as guardian deities…and all of the monsters. Ok, so it’s not exactly like our world, but…I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. Regardless, Gameindustri is a crazy land of fun, drama and tension, centred around the concept that nations are formed solely around their loveable lady leaders and the gaming hardware said leaders can churn out. Truly a paradise for gamers this world over, but, as we all know, all is never peaceful within the game industry. Now, for those of you who have perchance strolled through Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 and/or two, you may wonder why I am reintroducing you to the world you know so well. Is it because I am polite? Maybe. Is it because I am appealing to those newcomers to the franchise? Maybe. Or maybe it’s because the plot starter in this particular instalment involves good ol’ Neptune being thrown into a parallel dimension. Yes, it’s the last one (though …

J-Stars Victory Vs+ – PlayStation 4 Review

Have you ever thought about the ramifications of Goku’s Kamehameha going up against Yusuke Urameshi’s Spirit Gun? When two unstoppable forces collide, the destruction caused by it is immense. Now think, what if a powerhouse like Naruto Uzumaki went head-to-head with a speed demon like Ichigo Kurosaki. Which would win; Uzumaki’s Rasengan of Kurosaki’s Getsuga Tensho? Disregarding the millions of dollars worth of collateral damage, who would come out on top? Questions like this are constantly thrown across tables of like-minded pop culture fans all discussing their favorite characters from their favorite pieces of media, each with their own theories regarding who would best who in combat. Usually those questions can never be answer, but it is with the release of crossover fighting titles like J-Stars Victory Vs+ that it all becomes just a little bit clearer. Not since the Japan-only Nintendo DS title Jump Ultimate Stars have we seen this many Shonen Jump heroes and villains come together to throw down in the combined arena. Ever since it was announced for a Japanese release, Western …

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy Review

As may very well be the case in regards to planet threatening disasters, the general public is often left blissfully unaware. Naturally fiction takes this fear as a jumping off point and combines it with threats from beyond the known world. More often than not, this takes the form of demons, humanity’s go to villain since time ticked over to AD. However, for equally as long, there has always been a force that triumphs over this wicked force. A beacon of light that pierces the darkness of the abyss brought forth. Vaguely, they are known as the good guys. In this specific instance, they are known as the Xth Squad. In what can only be described as a horrible way to wake up, our journey begins surrounded by corpses within the depths of a sewer. Gross. Frightening, mentally scarring and gross. Repressing all that, our mysterious protagonist is saved by a hooded gentleman and a girl who can magic a weapon out of thin air. Not exactly situation normal, but it beats the body pile. …

Splatoon – Review

Guess what? It turns out those scientist were right; Global Warming is actually a thing…who would’ve thought…right? So a few thousand years from now a bunch of ice around the Earth is going to start to melt and that’s going to cause the oceans to rise or something along those lines. Do remember; our planet is something like seventy percent water so us land-dwellers are already close to being “drowned out“, excuse my unnecessary but well-placed pun. It sucks pretty hard when you think about the human race drowning, but there IS something called evolution that has worked before and dammit I think it’ll work again. Now that the planet is mostly water, aquatic creatures begin to change and move up onto whatever land is left over just to see what all the fuss is about. Squids begin changing into half-human hybrids and, for some reason, Octopi followed suit. Neither of them like the other and seeing as they’re the most advanced creatures on the planet Earth of course they resort to violence to sort …

Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster – PlayStation 4 Review

My history with Final Fantasy X, and by association Final Fantasy X-2, is one that stretches all the way back to my high school days. Having a friend utterly obsessed with the duo of games, it was hard for me to avoid hearing about the ins and outs of what many consider to be the greatest Final Fantasy title ever released…and it’s less-than-great sequel. I once tried my hand at Final Fantasy X but, thanks to my borderline-ADD, I couldn’t find it in myself to properly appreciate what it had to offer. Years later, Square Enix decides that it is time to bring the pair of games into the new year and they release the HD Remaster of both on the PlayStation 4. I decide that it’s time for me to have one last crack at them before I close the book for good. I feel as though I owe it to my friend, and all lovers of both FF X and FF X-2, to properly immerse myself in the story that has stayed in …

Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed Review

For as long as there has been more than one console in the marketplace, there has been a certain type of rivalry between the purchasers of said consoles. Be it a friendly, personal opinion regarding the benefits one possesses over its competitors, or a more combative, stalwart argument regarding the superiority of their console of choice. The Console War is a constant my friends, a never ceasing conflict between sides that are neither good, nor evil…just opinionated. Hyperdimension Neptunia long ago decided to personalise this conflict by personifying these gaming machines as cute anime girls, all whom band together to fight greater evils. Perhaps we could all learn something from this series…or we could just say forget it and hit stuff with big weapons. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed is the latest instalment in the ongoing journeys of the CPUs, and CPU Candidate younger sisters, of the mystical land of Gameindustri. However, if you are at all concerned with story progression, you might be happy to learn that this is a non-canonical journey. How do …

Omega Quintet – Review

Obsessions with musical icons has always been such a predominant thing in the history of the known world. As far back as records go, there was always a standout musical talent or act that caught the hearts and minds of the people of the generation. Like anything else that stretches so far back into the past, it is a social phenomenon that has only continued to grow. In this day and age we have young girls self-harming for the sake of proving a point simply because one particular member of a boy band decided that the life of a young star was way too much for him to handle, so I think I’m safe to say it’s reached somewhat of a destructive point. We look at Japan and it’s pop idol obsession like it is something so foreign to us but if you just think about it for more than a split second you’ll come to realise that…no, it’s not that different to the way us living in Western countries like North America and Australia act. …

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum Review

Everybody dreams of power. The ability to accomplish your goals without compromise and succeed. That being said, dreams are difficult to realise. They take time, consistent effort and the desire to continue on after suffering a setback. After all, it’s not like someone is just going to descend from the skies and bestow you with near limitless power… I think we all know where I’m going with this. Shin Kamikaze is your all around anti-social, middling type who has no intention of making friends or really doing anything of note. Bing bang boom, suddenly winged messengers fly down from above and, you guessed it, stab him through the heart. Sorry, that’s not what you thought would happen? Oh. Well, if it makes you feel any better, he got over it. With a shiny new crystal heart, our technically undead protagonist finds himself with some winged allies and a nice title to go along with them; God. Yep, congrats dude, your God now. Unfortunately it isn’t all clouds and light, as you are now commander of …

Azure Striker Gunvolt – Review

Let me tell you a little story, reader: As a young lad I would always do my best to be good. Sometimes though, my behaviour would result in some time to play with our old computer. My father had three games available to play on his desktop: Some side-scrolling “Duke Nukem” title, a golf simulator loaded onto a floppy disk, and a demo of “Megaman X”. Each time I’d jump onto that hunk of junk I’d cycle through the three games always ending with “Megaman X”. It was, by far, my favorite. Fastforward to this very day, the day of writing this review, and I’m still a huge fan of “Megaman”, anything created by Keiji Inafune, Inti Creates, and anything else related to the Blue Bomber. “Azure Striker Gunvolt” interested me at a powerfully visceral level. At the beginning of the month (April, 2015) Nintendo hosted another one of their presentations. Alongside some other announcements that had me shaking in my seat, it was that of “Azure Striker Gunvolt” which had on my 3DS and …

Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea Review

Known for its tongue twister titles and alchemy themes, the Atelier series of JRPGs has garnered quite the cult following over the span of the franchise’s 16 titles. Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea marks the third installment in the ‘Dusk’ story, one of many in the Atelier series. Being my first entry into this epic series, I was somewhat concerned about jumping into the series 16 titles in. However I find myself pleasantly surprised by Atelier Shallie’s ability to draw me in without any preexisting knowledge of the series’ past. What really astonished me however was the immediate sense of understanding as to why this series has such a cult following. Put simply it is a fascinating game that feels simultaneously like a throwback to RPGs of old all the while firmly carving out new territory for itself. It is difficult not to be swept up in the grand story at hand here in Atelier Shallie and with the colourful cast of characters being so richly depicted it is easy to become attached …

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires Review

For as long as there has been civilisation, there ha been conflict. In the strive for progress, humanity has always formed allegiance with those of similar mind, whilst simultaneously combating those who stand atop a clashing viewpoint. Admittedly, it is far from a perfect system, yet it is by far the most consistent fact of history. But, as they say, time heals all wounds, and as the clock turns our memories of the past fade. The gaming industry however takes this concept with a grain of salt and utilises these bygone eras for the sake of content. Is it right? That’s up for debate. Is it fun? That too works on a case by case basis, but we can all agree it’s a far more uplifting topic. Set in a chaotic era across the country of China, warriors of all creeds seek the same thing; power. The added benefit of which being uncontested control of an entire country. Anywho, with your position as game player, you are granted the helpful ability to choose which historical …

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Review

Education. That irrefutably important facet of life that serves as one of the greatest sources of stress and drama in a young person’s life. Tests, teachers, relationships…war, combat simulations, top secret infiltration missions, murder. You know, all the hallmarks of school life…if your school just happens to also be a military academy. So don your colour coded cape and dive headfirst into your studies, because they may well be the only thing that keeps you alive in a world at war. Welcome to Class Zero, the most prestigious group from the most prestigious (and perhaps only) learning facility in all of Orience. Comprised of the best of the best, this group of teenagers is tasked with top secret military operations at the whim of their superiors and their so called Mother, the woman who provided them with their special abilities. Thus this less than traditional family spend the majority of their school days out on the battlefield, slaughtering the enemy militia who, in turn, throw some slaughter right back. Sure it isn’t the most educationally …

Toukiden: Kiwami – PlayStation 4 Review

People tend to look towards the Greeks for their rich and extensive mythology. A movie centered around the life and times of Herculese is actually quite common nowadays, but I really do think their are better mythological sources one can draw from. Whether or not people agree with me is something else entirely. I happen to be a huge fan of Japanese lore and legend. As a huge fan it’s obvious that I consider it to be more interesting and ultimately more exciting than than that of any other culture’s. Why is that though? This I can’t explain. All I can say for certain is that whenever I get a chance to experience something to do with it, I take it and I do my very best to absorb as much as I can from it. This is why when our friends at Mindscape Australia offered us a review copy of the new game “Toukiden: Kiwami”, I had to take it. “Toukiden: Kiwami” follows a very basic story with many character interactions that surprisingly result in …

Dragon Ball XenoVerse Review

The good guys have won. Evil is vanquished and the citizens of the globe can return to an era of peace and tranquility. Unless of course a villain were to, oh I don’t know, travel throughout time and systematically erase our heroes’ victories from existence. That, my friends, would be a very bad day for justice. One we couldn’t stop… But what’s this? A mysterious warrior, born from a wish and empowered by a desire to see the new wrongs of the past rewritten, back to the story they love. That’s right, it’s us. The customisable, multi-existence that is the Dragon Ball Z fanbase, one that now has an avatar into the series. Summoned forth by Trunks himself, we are the newest recruit in the Time Patrol, a group of inter-chrono do-gooders who make sure history happens the way it should. Thus, we set forth to quash a divergent timeline in which Raditz survived, rid history of a Ginyu Force led by Vegeta of all people and even take on an angrier version of Buu…because …

Suikoden II Review

The original PlayStation was host to a cavalcade of unforgettable JRPG titles, from the colossal mainstream success of Final Fantasy VII to the quiet cult classics like Guardian’s Crusade and Azure Dreams, the console gave way to a booming era for the genre. One of the more relatively unknown JRPG series of that era was Suikoden, a chinese dynasty era influenced JRPG series that excelled through its powerful storytelling, massive yet memorable expansive cast of characters an tight gameplay mechanics that feel like turn-based RPG perfected. The series has quite the following among hardcore JRPG fans and until now has been a series that I have personally never had the privilege to give a go. Jumping straight into what many call the series best game, Suikoden II, I found myself filled with deep regret. Regret that I hadn’t played this game sooner. What struck me almost instantly about Suikoden II was that the game looks just as good today as it would have 15 years ago when it was originally released. The sprite models are gorgeously …

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late – Review

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a fan of fighting video games. I may not be as well-versed as i once was but games like “Bloody Roar: Primal Fury”, “Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max” and “Melty Blood Act Cadenza”. Despite how hard these games were for me to beat I played day in and day out. After a few years of this I considered myself one hell of an virtual fighter but the coming of the internet and things like more accessible network play quickly taught me that no matter how good I was…there was always someone better, and for the longest time I stopped buying fighting titles. Every once in a while I’d hit up an arcade, try out some “Tekken” or “Street Fighter”, but that was the extent of my interest in the genre. In more recent years I’ve somewhat gotten back into the groove so when NIS America announced they were bringing “Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late”, I thought I owed it to my former self to give arcade-style …

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – Review

It all started back in 2004. That year the Earth was introduced to a brand-new threat, one that could prove detrimental to the enjoyable existence of human beings but one that is a necessity for it’s survival. The first Monster Hunter game hit the PlayStation 2 with one hell of a bang and ever since then it’s only grown more and more popular. It’s one of those video games that people love to hate. Much like Dark Souls, Monster Hunter pushed gamers to their limits as they blazed their own trail through a world overrun with deadly wildlife. With a simple story and some incredibly deep gameplay mechanics, Monster Hunter quickly grew to be a series loved by people around the world. You, the player, fill the shoes of a rookie Hunter trying to make their way in a dangerous world. While dangerous creatures roam every forest, every canyon and every swamp, life goes on. It has to. Industry must continue to prosper, people must continue to live and hunters, well…they must continue to hunt. The …

Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart – Review

Anyone that’s ever touched a video game controller will know that the industry behind their favorite titles is one that is, for lack of a better term…cut-throat. Studios rise and fall each day, games get made, games get cancelled, games get good reviews and games get bad reviews. Some companies can gain high levels of popularity with one good title, others take years to attain even half of that fame. There are series’ that, while stale and now mostly unenjoyable, still stand tall at the very top of most “best seller” charts. The men and women behind the scenes are ruthless and will do most anything to have their game be received the best…sometimes that has nothing to do with actually making the game good. Money is made, money is lost and money is thrown around like it grows on trees. Look…what I’m getting at is that the video game industry is just as intense as the bosses featured in those games and it seems as though the only series OF video games that has …

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation Review

If you’ve ever picked up a controller, handheld or gaming peripheral, then congratulations, you’ve become a part of the Console War. Ok, so maybe it’s not as dramatic as all that, but even casual gamers come to develop a preference in their console. But imagine if you will a world wherein the first sentence is true, better yet, a world wherein gaming is crucial to the continued existence of the populace. With the companies and technology personified, welcome to dream/nightmare of players everywhere, welcome to Gamindustri. Kicking things off at what the climactic end to a previous adventure, we are privy to witness four consoles personified getting the ever loving crap kicked out of them by a scantily clad villainess, not that our heroes have the most reserved wardrobe themselves. Regardless, our champions of justice are roundly defeated and thus evil is triumphant… Jump cut to 3 years later, as two intrepid companions make their way to the site of the previously mentioned battle, with the intention of freeing the four captured heroes. Due to a …

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round – Xbox One Review

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is the final expansion to 2012’s Dead or Alive 5. While the game is available for last generation systems, the next-gen edition of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round on the PS4/Xbox One on the other hand is a whole different story, if not the real deal. The PS4/Xbox One edition not only features a wealth of new content but also a revamped graphics engine that takes advantage of the new technology. Dead or Alive 5: Last Round marks a less-than-ideal debut of the franchise on modern hardware, a distraction until Team Ninja unleash the inevitable Dead or Alive 6. Obviously for the uninitiated, Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is the best possible place to start and a great fighting release through and through. But even those who were on board since the original iteration landed in 2012 may find the offerings of Last Round appealing enough to fall in love with the game once more. Dead or Alive 5 on last generation systems is still a visually impressive game, …

Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed – PlayStation 4 Review

Just incase you havn’t had enough fun running through the streets of Tokyo’s Akihabara, striping random civilians and getting chased by the cops, NIS America have decided that it’s time for the game you played on both the PlayStation Vita and the PlayStation 3 to be released on the console with greater capabilities; the PlayStation 4. It was only last year that the West got its chance to taste the incredibly Japanese style of “Akiba’s Strip: Undead and Undressed” and even though it met with pretty average scores the world over, it has still somehow remained such a lovable and well-enjoyed game. At least, people like it enough for the developers over at Acquire to organise for the game to receive an updated port for a “next gen” console. In fact, there’s already word that the same game will, once again, be ported onto another console! This time the Nintendo 3DS. What gameplay mechanics will be added to that version I have no idea, but I’m not here to talk about the game that hasn’t …

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Review

It has been 12 years since Pokemon fans first got to journey throughout the world of Hoenn, but now players get to experience the same journey in a different way. Ruby and Sapphire have been reimagined into the same style as Pokemon X and Y and it has brought Ruby and Sapphire back to their once glorious selves. Pokemon fans who loved Pokemon X and Y are going to love Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Whether you have ventured in Hoenn before or you’re a new traveler, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire proves to be an exciting experience for all. Just like the originals you wake up in a moving van as you move into your new home in Littleroot town. This time however things are a little different, for starters the intro sequence was filled with references and nods to the original games, a little love letter to the fans. The premise is about as ‘classic Pokemon’ as it gets: you’re a kid who wants to be a Pokemon trainer and then you do …

Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix Review

Kingdom Hearts fans are used to waiting. It was nearly a decade ago that Kingdom Hearts II was first released and nearing 15 years since the original Kingdom Hearts game was released. Yet in spite of all of that, fans have found their appetite for more Kingdom Hearts sated by spin-offs and remakes all on the long road to the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III. So what is it about Kingdom Hearts that keeps fans coming back for more? Why is it that a remake such as Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix becomes essential gaming for Kingdom Hearts fans new and old? It’s quite simple really – this is Kingdom Hearts perfected. There is no two ways about it, this is the definitive Kingdom Hearts experience. As far as the story of Kingdom Hearts goes, it is more than a little bit complicated. At times the series has become convoluted with the multiple spin-offs set in different time periods and worlds. The effects of that are clear here in Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix which …

Persona Q: Shadow Of The Labyrinth – Review

For me, there’s no greater video game than a crossover video game. If you sit back and think about it, it’s basically a fan fiction story come to life. I cried when “Marvel VS Capcom 3” got released, “Street Fighter X Tekken” had me naked by the title screen and “Project X Zone” made me wet my pants. Yeah…I love crossover titles THAT MUCH. When I heard about “Persona Q: Shadow Of The Labyrinth” I was institutionalised for a period of three weeks but I managed to get myself out of the straight jacket and back at my work desk with enough time to research the characters of “Persona 3” just so I’d be able to enjoy the game a little more. Having only played “Persona 4 Golden” but absolutely loving it, I was very much excited for “Q” but still felt as though I needed to do my homework before jumping in “half prepared”. North America, those lucky bastards, got the game before us here in Australia and an influx of reviews flooded the net. …

Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!! – Review

Oh I love me some fighting games! I’m not that good at them but, for some reason, I continuously find myself attracted to them. I stop to look at the case of the latest “Street Fighter” and “Tekken” games even though I know I wont play them nearly as much as I think will. I also happen to love incredibly niche and semi-unheard of Japanese games that only I, three other Western gamers, and a hundred thousand Japanese arcade-goers know of. Good or bad, I love tackling these games. If they’re bad I can just blame the development crew, if they’re good I can pretend I “discovered” the game and I’ll talk about it until my friends kick me out of what will probably be a moving car. “Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!” was released originally as an arcade game in Japan and then subsequently on home consoles. Well, it’s now reached the West despite the previous titles in the series ever doing the same and, thanks to our wonderful contacts, I’ve been given the …

Digimon All-Star Rumble Review

Digimon. Digital Monsters. Digimon are the champions. If your read that in tune then congratulations, you’re awesome and we are now friends. If you didn’t, then you must be a newcomer to the Digital World. Which makes me a little sad, but we can still be friends. Anyway, welcome to the Digital World, a place jam packed with wondrous creatures who possess the ability to transform into even more wondrous creatures at will. It’s kinda the coolest. But such a world is not without its problems. Though, they may not be the ones you’d expect… Peace. The ultimate goal of good guys everywhere. If you stand for justice, you stand for peace, you fight for peace, you sacrifice for peace. So, what happens when you actually get peace? I mean, the battle is over, the adventure is done, what’s left? These are all questions that the Digimon now find themselves plagued with. Having defeated evil multiple times, the Digital World is experiencing a long running and well deserved break from chaos and combat…and man is it boring. …

Tears to Tiara II: Heir of the Overlord Review

Empire’s rise, and Empire’s fall. We all know how it goes. Be it in the history books or set far, far away in the reaches of space, these monolithic forces have a certain weakness. A crack in the armour that always sees them topple. The ultimate opponent for armies that have already conquered the land: a ragtag bunch of misfits. After all, everybody knows that personality vastly outpowers training, discipline and a life devoted to combat. It’s just how things work people. That’s why the rebels win. Hispania is a province in distress. Under the reign of the Divine Empire, citizens have been forced into lives of hunger, physical labour and religious uniformity. All of these facts are made readily apparent in the early moments of the game, wherein the young Lord of Hispania is whipped for not dismantling the country’s Sacred Temple fast enough. Seriously, its the ultimate representation of the situation. Anyway, after a rather lengthy exposition sequence that details the great disappointment that is Hamilcar, the should be leader of Hispania who …

Tales Of Hearts R – Review

The “Tales Of” series of video games have been around for quite some time. Like “Dragon Quest” and “Final Fantasy”, every once in a while we’re graced with just another fantastic title to add to the already extensive list of “Tales Of” video games. Each time, the games come packed with more than the last and works to excite long time fans of the series and recruit some rookies who’ll soon find themselves masters of the “Tales”. The latest release of the franchise is a remake of a Nintendo DS game titled “Tales Of Hearts R”. Developed and published by the wonderful Bandai Namco Games, “Tales Of Hearts R” hits the PlayStation Vita with full force. Thanks to Bandai Namco Games, us here at SnapThirty have been given the chance to review this new game. I’m going to try and figure out just why it is that this particular “Tales Of” title deserves to land itself a remake. Follow me on our very own tale as we hack, slash and level our way through “Tales …

Freedom Wars – Review

I think it’s pretty safe to say that the PlayStation Vita, at this point in time, isn’t as popular as the West thought it was going to be back when it was first released. That’s not to say that the system itself is bad or that the games released for it aren’t enjoyable, in fact, out of all the consoles I have now the PlayStation Vita would have to be my favorite. Despite this being one of Sony’s own consoles in circulation during the same time as the PlayStation 3 and 4, the technological juggernaut seems as though it’s simply refusing to put any effort into advertising outside of Japan just how great the Vita is. Many games released for the handheld are niche titles that don’t get that much attention outside of their country of origin this is where we see a steep decrease in interest. In Japan, the Vita is still considered one of the members of the royal gaming family. Unfortunately, it’s not the same case in the West but I think …

‘Natural Doctrine’ Review

Natural Doctrine is a tactical JRPG from Kadokawa Games, the people behind games such as Kantai Collection and The Lunar RPG Series. Natural Doctrine is reminiscent of games like Dark Souls in terms of the incredible difficulty. The game goes beyond the point of being just challenging – in fact it gets to the point of being punishing, which could be good or bad depending on your preferences. Natural Doctrine is a game that will be loved by some and hated by many. This game is brutal. The game follows the poorly named Geoff who is essentially every JRPG protagonist ever rolled into one and nothing more. The game has next to no story at all but what it does have focuses on the concept of natural selection. While it is an interesting idea the game rarely gives players any context for the situations they find themselves in. The story is simply weak at best and the characters are terrible at worst. In terms of the gameplay, the combat system is interesting but grows very old very quick. It appears to have more …

Samurai Warriors 4 – Review

I’ve always believed I was born in the wrong age. It’s not that I’m so different from my brothers and sisters from this generation, it’s more that I have always dreamed about growing up in the time of the Samurai. I’m a romantic in that regard and I know this because, in all of my daydreams, I’ve never seen myself as anything less than the greatest sword fighter. Let’s be honest here, reader, I’d probably be a terrible Samurai, in fact, I probably wouldn’t be one at all! I’d probably be a farmer or a laborer who still, even while living in that time, would dream of picking up a sword and fighting for my land. Thus is the beauty in fantasy. It is video games like the newly released ‘Samurai Warriors 4’ that allows me to momentarily quell what occupies my mind and I couldn’t possibly think of a better title to load into my PlayStation 4 than this. It’s been quite a while since I last partook in a ‘Warriors’ game of this …

Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed – Review

A young man and a beautiful girl speed through the busy streets of Akihabara. The duo duck and dodge in and out of back alleys as the people they pass by holler words of encouragement. They’re being chased. Hunted, but not for long. They find the perfect battlefield: Somewhere not as populated as the main streets. Somewhere they can let loose. Somewhere they can fight without holding back. Somewhere they can strip to their hearts content. They call themselves the Akiba Freedom Fighters and the ones they battle, they’re an army of superhuman beings called Synthisters that have neatly woven themselves throughout mainstream Akihabara society and they need to be taken down. Now. In ‘Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed’ you play as, well…you. You’re the main character and, after applying for a dodgy-sounding job, you wake up to find that you’re no longer the same person you once were. Attacked by the people who imprisoned you, you’re saved by a young girl who seems to know of your situation. She saves you and explains that …

Super Smash Bros. For The 3DS – Review

Arguably, the latest addition to the ‘Super Smash Bros.’ series of crossover fighting video games is the most anticipated of its legendary lineage. It may be that the internet has grown and hype is now something that explodes and expands beyond all fathomability. It may be that we’re just more excitable in this day and age. It may also be that Nintendo have been secretly drugging us to become more addicted to their games. Regardless of all that, I believe it’s that it is the first of the series to come to a handheld console. That, alongside some other seriously impressive factors like upgraded graphics and large character roster, has made the game so sought after and, now that it is released and I’ve been playing it, I can see exactly why. Not that I didn’t have an idea about it beforehand. The original ‘Super Smash Bros.’ hit the Nintendo 64 just over fifteen years ago back in 1999 and ever since then the series has just gotten better with each new title. Featuring fan …

Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star Review

RPGs are a wonderous thing. They show us a myriad of worlds full of creatures, characters and chaos that has no possible chance of existing in our own. So we play these games, escape the daily grind. But have you ever wondered about the view from the other side of the screen? What would these characters think if they knew they were nought but playthings for himanity? What would they do once they found out? Welcome to Ar nosurge, a complicated story that contains within it one of the most interesting concepts I have ever seen in a game. Now this facet of Ar nosurge isn’t explicitly revealed until a ways into the game, so if you’re not one for spoilers, maybe skip to the next paragraph. Hinted at with the introduction of the playable character Earthes, Ar nosurge features a powerful plot device known as Interdimend. This force is one explained to connect the dimension of the game to one higher: the 8th Dimension. Or, more specifically, our dimension. Yeah. As in you, me, …

‘Fairy Fencer F’ Review

Fairy Fence F is a JRPG from Compile Heart, the wildly popular Japanese developer who brought you games such as Record of Agarest War, Cross Edge and the iconic Puzzle Mate! It mixes the visual novel style with dungeon crawling RPG elements making what is a niche experience that some will love while leaving others feeling that this game has very little to offer. Despite the fact that this game is not for everyone, for those who are into this style of game prepare to devote an insane amount of hours of your life to the wonderful world of Fairy Fencer F. The game follows Fang, a fairly generic protagonist, rude and ridiculously straightforward but could be considered honest, he also tends to laze around and also has quite an insatiable appetite. Basically the badass character from nearly every anime ever. The story revolves around the aftermath of a conflict between two gods. The gods created special weapons known as furies and the only people who can wield the furies are fencers, the furies are said to be very …

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call – Review

Music really does make a video game. There are some titles out there that are absolutely brilliant: They’re exciting, they’re engaging, they’re simply fun to play BUT they’re also missing something fatal…music. A good soundtrack could turn an ‘OK’ game into a ‘great’ game but I feel as though it is a video game aspect that is sometimes overlooked. I’ve seen plenty of games fail due to a boring or badly composed soundtrack but one series that doesn’t fall victim to this is ‘Final Fantasy’. Back in 2012 we saw the first culmination of the great series’ music. It came in the form of a spin-off title called ‘Theatrhythm Final Fantasy’. Playing like a typical rhythm game, ‘Theatrhythm Final Fantasy’ featured an abundance of songs from many of the different ‘Final Fantasy’ games and also played host to odd but interesting gameplay mechanic that made it feel more like an RPG. Well the game did very well and Square Enix decided that maybe they should go ahead and develop another one. This game is called …

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Review

Ah school. That great melting pot of personalities and ideals that gives the youth of the world the skills needed to progress through life…unless of course you decide to attend Hope’s Peak Academy. Contrary to its name, this particular institution is home to a plethora of twisted people, unfortunate victims and murder most foul. But that’s all in the past. I mean, there’s no way the Killing School will have a second year…right? Wrong, despite the fervent refusal of a particular plush rabbit…let me explain. Welcome to Jabberwock Island. A five star, five island resort designed for optimal relaxation, exploration and overall fun times. As such, Hope’s Peak Academy teacher Usami (the plush rabbit I mentioned earlier) decides to take her students on a little field trip. During said trip, the 16 students are to tasked with getting to know each other in order to build unbreakable friendships. So sit back, relax and get ready for a lovely game about idle conversation and days spent chilling at the beach…yeah, is anyone believing this? No? Thought so. Shortly after the students settle …

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution – Review

The world is never and will never be short of ‘Naruto’ fighting games. This is a truth all Anime and Manga fans have come to understand, and most of them are more than grateful. Every two years or so the good people over at Bandai Namco Games in conjunction with video game developer CyberConnect2 create and distribute a brand-new ‘Naruto’ fighting title. Each new game brings about new characters, upgraded battle mechanics and improved graphics BUT every single time a new one is released reviews say mostly the same thing; it’s not that different from the last game. This almost seems like a curse for the franchise seeing as it has been this way for years but does the latest addition, ‘Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution’, throw off the balance and break the hex of perpetual monotony? It’s quite possible. Unlike it’s predecessors, ‘Revolution’ does not fall victim to the habit of Anime-based video games simply retelling the story of the series. It is good thing to implement when it is the first or …

Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited – Review

A man only has two things in this world: His word and his balls. Any good man wouldn’t break either for anybody. That’s a lesson that I was originally taught by Al Pacino in his role as Tony Montana from the hit 80s film ‘Scarface’. Now, at the ripe old age of twenty, I’ve been given the chance to play the PlayStation Vita port ‘Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited’, a game that features a main character who just so happens to feel the same way as the Colombian drug lord himself. While Valvatorez the vampire doesn’t deal with narcotics, he was once called a tyrant…that was, until he made a promise to a young girl named Artina to never drink the blood of a human again. Being a demon doesn’t mean he has no morals. Valvatorez agreed and never again touched the sweet blood of a human being, teaching us that a promise is never to be broken. ‘Disgaea 4’ was originally released on the PlayStation 3 back in 2011 under the title ‘A Promise …

Tales of Xillia 2 Review

Choice. The constant that drives humanity forward and skews life down a path yet unseen. Be it as simple as choosing the words you speak, or as difficult as changing a life, everything builds towards a future. However, in the cruellest twist of irony and fate, when the time comes for you to lay your soul bare and grasp your own destiny, you may find that you have no choice at all. One year after the events of the previous game, we find ourselves stepping into the shoes of one Ludger Will Kresnik, a quiet, responsible man with a penchant for cooking. One day, Ludger sets out to work, with the simple intention of cooking for his customers and continuing his life (due to him recently failing the entrance exam for Sprius, a large organisation that at least requires its agents to be able to survive monster assaults). However, it would seem that fate has other designs, as he soon finds himself aboard a train that has recently been hijacked by the radical group Exodus. It is aboard …

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment Review

SWORDS! They’re so exciting! I’ve never used one before and, chances are, I’ll never use them at all. Why? Because, contrary to popular belief, I’m actually not a Samurai…though I want to be so bad. I instead rely on video game characters to do all of my sword wielding. Like most gamers I live vicariously through the characters I create on-screen. ‘Sword Art Online’, the highly popular Anime/Light Novel series, begs audiences to think about how they would go about living within a game world where death in the game means death in reality. In the PlayStation Vita title ‘Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment’, players are put into the virtual shoes of series hero Kazuto Kirigaya or ‘Kirito’ as he prefers to be called. Mostly following the story of the first half of the Anime series, the game features all of the characters fans have grown to know and love but also features a storyline that does it’s best to expand on the ‘SAO’ universe. Players can chose to follow the main story which basically …

Digital Devil Saga Review

Age is a demon we must all face, the same can be said about Digital Devil Saga, the PlayStation 2 Shin Megami Tensei RPG. Now a decade since it’s initial Japanese release date, Digital Devil Saga thoroughly shows its age, but it still has a wicked sense of style that stands in defiance of the hands of time. Here we are with the digital PSN re-release of Digital Devil Saga and the game invites a new generation into The Junkyard for a devilish journey they are likely not to forget. Digital Devil Saga takes place within The Junkyard, a desolate wasteland that serves as the battleground for the war between a multitude of tribes all vying for ascension to ‘Nirvana’. During a troubled battle between tribes, Serph and his companions become ‘infected’ by a strange force. Shortly after they each gain the ability to transform into devils, from there the battle for ‘Nirvana’ takes a hellish turn. Seeing how these characters deal with the situation they have found themselves in makes for some very compelling …

One Piece: Unlimited World Red Review

Set sail once again for One Piece, with Bandai Namco’s latest video-game adaptation of the wildly popular One Piece franchise, One Piece: Unlimited World Red. The latest installment looks to expand upon many elements present in past One Piece titles all the while taking it in some different directions. For this review we received a copy of the game on PlayStation 3 and as such our views are based upon that particular version of the game. The first thing that struck me with One Piece: Unlimited World Red was how much inspiration it takes from the Monster Hunter series. It was hard not to be reminded of the epic clashes and quests of Monster Hunter when tackling the Punk Hazard Dragon in an arduous battle. The game incorporates a lot of RPG elements that are highly reminiscent of games like Monster Hunter and the quest elements of the game definitely do mirror those seen in that series. One Piece: Unlimited World Red does have a story mode, but like most One Piece games, the story is …

Agarest: Generations Of War Review

Gods rise and Gods fall, much like that of the Earth’s sun. When the forces of good plummet, the forces of malevolence begin to take reign. It is as clear as the different between night and day. A war of divinity took place at the birth of the universe with the virtuous only wishing to create a world in which positivity may prosper but their counterparts stood for death, destruction and an existence as bleak as the dystopian wastelands they envisioned. It was a battle beyond human understanding. It was a battle that raged for what seemed like an infinity. It was a battle that good lost…and then the world we come to know was born. This is the setting of ‘Agarest: Generations Of War’, a game that I have been given the pleasure of reviewing thanks to British publishers Ghostlight who are known for the much beloved ‘Shin Megami Tensei’ many of which were distributed in Europe thanks to this fantastic company. ‘Agarest: Generations Of War’ is a tactical role-playing game based in a …