Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Visual Novel Review] The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart

Nora Cover

2019 has been a decent year for visual novels so far. With that statement short of any pertinent examples, I haven’t found many issues with any of the titles I have already finished and covering a wide field of genres and interest, happy to pick up a majority of them. Some more than others, of course. For English speaking audiences, developer Harukaze finally has one of its prolific entries make landfall: Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart or The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart. Receiving some high praise and awards from the country of origin, this is one visual novel that does seem to live up to some of that acclaim.

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Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Video Game Review] Dragon Star Varnir

A world of knights, witches, dragons, and the capricious wheel of fate intersect in this dark fantasy RPG.

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Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Visual Novel Review] Suki to Suki, Love Triangle Trouble

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Thus far, publisher NekoNyan has made great headway and contributions in getting more visual novels in the hands of English-speaking audiences. With such titles like Fureraba and Sanoba Witch serving those that like moege – titles focusing on romance and cute girls with none of the plot entrenched conflict, it has been one subsection I have been meaning to dig into. For lovers of the genre and like their comedy unchained, one NekoNyan’s latest ventures, Suki to Suki, Love Triangle Trouble aims to please. Honestly, if you are looking for laughs here, you have come to the right place. Anything else…it might be a tough sell.

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Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Video Game Review] Lapis x Labyrinth

Lapis Lab box

Prepare for wondrous sights, relentless beast, and brave dangerous hazard all for the chance at untold riches. Get ready to enter the Labyrinth!

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Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Visual Novel Review] World End Syndrome

WorldEndBOX

An unforgettable summer story of romance and mystery begins to unravel into something so much more.

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Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Video Game Review] Moero Chronicle Hyper

As the Nintendo Switch continues to expand its game library with ports and remastered versions of older games, Moero Chronicle is one I was not expecting, but seems obvious. With the dungeon crawling RPG from Compile Heart getting released on the PlayStation Vita as an Asian English deal and an official English release on PC via Steam, one more console never hurts. With everyone that was looking to play it already having done so, Moero Chronicle H or Moero Chronicle Hyper would have to be the most definitive edition for any hold outs that might be left rather than those that have already partook in this mischievous misadventure.

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Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Video Game Review] Akashicforce – ∀kashicforce

Akashicforce cover

As someone that enjoys games that don’t always fall into a neat genre category, it is something of a wonder to see what most creators come up with. Up for almost anything that doesn’t completely force to put my ineptitude on display, developer Endless Shirafu takes no such mercy with their title: Akashicforce (∀kashicforce). Being one part puzzle and one part rhythm game, it turns out to be a fun test of reflexes and mental poise rather than outright skill and wit. Lacking heavily in the latter rather than former, maybe my ineptitude will not be such a factor. Just maybe….

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Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Video Game Review] Agartha & Agartha-S

agartha cover

Thinking back on 2018, the Japanese indie game scene has been somewhat mute for me. In fact, the only noteworthy title I can remember would be the sandbox action-rpg Hakoniwa Explorer Plus by Suxa (suxamethonium). Looking forward to getting my hands on something just as charming and crazy, pixel puzzle platformer Agartha (and Agartha-S for the Nintendo Switch) seems to be as close to the description as I could get. Hopefully, I won’t be wrong in that assessment…?

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Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Video Game Review] The Caligula Effect: Overdose

Caligula_Overdose_Cover cover

Even with the lack of support, high cost accessories, and performance issues, the PlayStation Vita managed to have something of an impressive lifespan and equally impressive library of titles. Still being no match for the Nintendo DS family or even its own predecessor, PlayStation Portable (PSP), having multi-platform entries and even its own exclusives, some going on later to become ports is something of a highlight. Developed by Aquria, The Caligula Effect, an RPG spawned from the mind of Tadashi Satomi (writer for the first 3 games in the Persona franchise), is a perfect example as it highlights a group of disenfranchised characters trapped in the idyllic world of Mobius, with the main character and the “Go-Home Club” seeking a way back to reality while clashing with their own inner demons and opposition from the creator “μ” and Ostinato Musician group that wants to protect the existence of Mobius. However, thanks to some performance issues and game itself seeming rather short-sighted in scope, it didn’t get the best results when came to exposure nor reception from those that stumbled upon it. Getting a major overhaul and released in May 18, 2018 for Japan, The Caligula Effect: Overdose was aimed to rectify most of the glaring problems. However, with the Nintendo Switch added to the list of platforms alongside the PlayStation 4 for the English release, does it manage to do enough and then some to gain it a place of worth?

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Video Game & Visual Novel Reviews

[Video Game Review] Death end re;Quest

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Ever since the launch of Compile Heart/Idea Factory’s “Galapagos” RPG project, it has certainly morphed and developed into a curious undertaking. From receiving fantastic titles like Fairy Fencer F to others of varying quality like Omega Quintet, the concepts and ideas that arrive within each entry commands attention, but hard to say that they exactly hit the mark of taking them from anomalous to astounding. Then again, with such productions like Death end re;Quest, the fourth release in the project lineup, while still not hitting a complete home-run, solidifies itself as a decent RPG – even when it appears to be going against its own best efforts.

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