[Video Game Review] Blue Reflection

 

A stage is set for magical girls, supernatural battles, and lingering dreams as high school student Hinako Shiari, after a tragic accident ending her ballet career is granted the powers of a Reflector, a magical girl. Together with the citrus sisters Lime and Yuzu that bestow her with this new found lease on life, her goal is to defeat creatures known as Sephira to grant a seemingly impossible wish.

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[Video Game Review] Lionheart

With 2017 already fulfilling its unspoken promise of delivering a deluge of delectable games I will probably never be able to finish, it does become difficult to limit my commitment or even outright pass up on a particularly interesting find. Smaller projects especially seem to have this hold on me. Lionheart, a visual novel/RPG hybrid developed by doujin circle Shiisanmei is a fine example of one that is engaging, but a joy to come back to between play sessions. Players take on the role of Leon, a young man dreaming to be adventurer. After a chance meeting with a young woman named Maria, she enlisted his unique abilities to explore the Magic Labyrinth, “Libra Corridor.”

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[Video Game Review] Fire Emblem Heroes

Franchises either live or die by their audience – both long time followers and prospective ones alike. Whether it is a change in approach or reaffirming its appeal, the challenge for most brands is staying relevant and being where the eyes of its consumers are. Fire Emblem is certainly one of many long running titles doing just that as it passes through the years modifying its mechanics, incorporating new elements, and even changing how it markets itself. With Fire Emblem Fates being a good example of the latter, one place I never expected to see the series is on mobile as it was so beholden to Nintendo consoles, but thanks to the minds at Intelligent Systems and Nintendo, Fire Emblem Heroes bucks that trend. Being quite the paradigm shift for the series to date, it does tend to take advantage of the franchise’s pedigree and proves to offer something worth while…or at least I think so.

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[Video Game Review] Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea

ateliershallieplus_box_art1Two years ago, Gust released Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea for the Playstation 3, which was supposedly to be the conclusion to the Dusk trilogy. Getting a few complaints from fans aside from the general gameplay, the narrative was the most criticized element as it felt incomplete as well as effacing all the developments made in the prior installments. Vowing to fix this mistake with another entry into series, there is no mistaking that the Playstation Vita title Atelier Shallie Plus is what the team had in mind. With inclusion of new events, bosses, and prominent returning characters, does it manage to succeed where the PS3 title failed?

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[Video Game Review] Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book

Exploring vast locations, making new items and equipment, and amicable characters are all qualities of Gust’s Atelier franchise that has attracted and kept me coming back to the series all these years. Mixing together fundamental and traditional RPG mechanics with modern flair, it is a franchise that has definitely changed its approach since its inception for better or worst to widen its appeal to a new audience. However, looking back on the many titles up until now, I do feel like the series has lost much of the traditional and creative life it once had long ago. With Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book – the start of a new entry for the long-running franchise – incorporating many of the lessons and ideas inspired from the earlier titles as well as handful of new ones, it does make for an interesting start, yet also one that falls short of the mark for the very same reasons.

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