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No Gravatar*this post was written by “Kenesu Hojisan” <weapon0frevolution@gmail.com>*

Do you like girls? Do you like girls in bikinis playing beach volleyball? Do you like watching Dead or Alive girls in bikinis playing beach volleyball and and booty bumping each-other atop water floats? Then you’re probably familiar with Dead or Alive Xtreme already and will be happy to know that Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is in the works by Koei Tecmo.

DOAX3-11

Koei Tecmo released early game-play footage DOA Xtreme 3 and you’ll be glad to know that the Butt Battle is back from Xtreme 2.

Trailer:

Is this hype for DOA Xtreme 3?  Well, turn it down about 2 notches buddy… as DOA Xtreme 3 is a Japan Only release at the moment. Though Yosuke Hayashi (Head of the Koei Tecmo development studio Team Ninja) did specify if there’s a high enough demand, they would have no problem bringing DOA Xtreme 3 to the West. Koei Tecmo also spoke of 2 Collectors Edition sets that will released when the game launches next year for the PS Vita and the PS4. The Venus Collectors Edition (Vita) and Fortune Collectors Edition (PS4) will include Xtreme Sexy Costume DLC which contains 9 swimsuits, a set of Playing Cards showcasing all the DOA girls in provocative poses as well as a Photo Book that provides the same kind of content. You’ll also receive a very “busty” mouse pad that will feature Marie Rose in the Fortune Edition and Honoka in the Venus Edtion.

DOA Xtreme 3 is set to release in Japan on February 25, 2016, and we need to do whatever we can to get Koei Tecmo to bring DOA Xtreme 3 to the states so that we too can enjoy DOA for what it truly represents…

Those Bouncy Physics Baby! 🙂

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 9 Oct, 2015 At 06:41 PM | Categorized As Featured, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar*This post is written by “Kenesu Hojisan” <weapon0frevolution@gmail.com>

Bandaii Namco Entertainment Europe recently announced that in partnership with ESL Arena, The Tekken 7 World Arcade Championship Europe Qualifiers will be held at Paris Game Week. 16 Iron Fist Combatants (5 Top European Players selected by ESL & 7 players who qualified from different Tekken Tournaments within Europe) will compete to decide who amongst the elite will be the 3 best Iron Fist Combatants to be flown out to Japan and have a chance to compete in the Tekken 7 King of Iron Fist World Tournament in December.

With 12 slots already taken, 4 more slots are awaiting fellow Iron Fist Combatants who feel they have what it takes to compete with the best of the best in Tekken 7. All who truly feel they have what it takes will need to prove themselves against like-minded competition at the ESL Arena on Oct. 28th during Paris Game Week. Advance through the competition and earn your spot to be 1 of 16 competing in the World Arcade Championship EU Qualifiers. The World Arcade Championship EU Qaulifers will be held on Oct. 29th.

Prizes & Perks – 1 Round Trip (From a country of European Union) + accommodation (1 night in Paris, France) + 3 meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) + participation in a live tournament.

The Tournament will played using Madcatz FightSticks only on Tekken 7 Arcade Cabinets (sorry pad players.) Also, if you’re not able to make it out to the event, the tournament WILL be live streamed from ESL Arena’s Twitch so be sure to follow them asap so that you don’t miss any of the action, as this weill definitely be a very intense tournament with high level play demonstrated from high level players putting everything on the line to become the Ultimate Iron Fist Champion

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 23 Jan, 2015 At 02:19 AM | Categorized As Featured, Indie Spotlight, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIsabel Heyninck

What is Richard & Alice? Well it’s a game that is not gameplay driven, but mostly about narrative the same way visual novels are.

richardandalice4

It’s a point and click game but at its core is a modern work that uses the video game medium to tell its tale.

The scenery is dreary and lifeless, unimaginative at most, the pixelated characters and scenery leave much to the imagination that itself doesn’t make the world it brings forth much more exciting. This works in favor of the game.

Richard & Alice is about the struggle of a woman to survive after a cataclysmic change. She is Alice, and the other titular character Richard is the character you use to learn about her. Richard and Alice both find themselves in prison for very different reasons and since he finally has a cellmate and hasn’t talking to anyone but guards since his arrival he eagerly tries to learn about her. You can play as both Richard and Alice, with the game going through days and the same pattern of action taking place. Play as Richard in the prison and then play as Alice when she continues recounting her experience.

Alice’s story is one very much like The Road, a book Richard actually has in his cell, since it shows the strain a guardian must endure to protect a weaker and innocent child from a harsh reality and how to bring one child to adulthood without damaging them in the process. Where The Road had ash Richard & Alice has snow. Blanketing the world, delegating it to a reality far from the one that used to be.

richardandalice5

richardandalice6

My only real critique is getting places takes a long time since your characters move rather slow and the character illustrations next to the dialogue look rather amateurish. I really think having the characters better drawn wouldn’t have taken anything away from the dreary pixelated scenario and made the game stand out more. Other than that not much else. The writing is superb, the characters multidimensional, and based on your actions there are various endings with realistic outcomes. I recommend this for literary geeks like me, and gamers who want to play a great story driven game.

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 30 Dec, 2014 At 08:51 PM | Categorized As Featured, Indie Spotlight, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIsabel Heyninck

I love the first Cherry Tree High game. A lot. It set itself apart from most visual novels I’d played because unlike most visual novels it was highly interactive. Usually you just get the dialogue and a few choices, playing more like a pick your own adventure novel. It is a medium with endless possibilities and lends itself to some splendid storytelling. The medium however is only widely used in Japan, with most western VNs being subpar cash ins for anime fan money. Cherry Tree High was a visual novel and a strategic video game at the same time. You can read all about why Cherry Tree High Comedy Club was so good in my previous review.

Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! is the follow up I never expected to actually happen. When I saw it in the Steam store I could barely contain my excitement, and from the first episode with the subtle humor I’ve come to expect from the series out in full force I was greatly looking forward to some fun time with Miley and all her friends.

cthcc8

Wait what’s going on? Why are all the names Japanese?” was the sentiment that followed. When I first played the game it was westernized, with the setting in America along with appropriate name and reference changes. This was really alienating after playing through the westernized game. I couldn’t help but wonder if they made an original version of the first game so new players can seamlessly go from the first game to the follow up. Turns out they had.

original or localized

I’ve learned about some wonderful things in Japan by replaying the original version.

Now as to why they’ve deviated from localizing this particular game unlike the previous one can be attributed to an entirely Japanese phenomena. Idols.

idol cherry tree high

As to what idols are; you could equate them to pop stars but the culture surrounding them is so much more different than that of the west, it’s a difficult topic to explain. Unlike the first Cherry Tree High game where the plot involves happenings that can occur almost anywhere, the emergence of an idol in the story now makes it impossible for I! My! Girls! to take place anywhere but Japan.

The events of I! My! Girls! take place where the original game left off with the comedy club’s founding and all potential club members recruited. This new chapter in the Cherry Tree High series involves an idol, real name Ai Fujino, who finds out about the comedy club’s revival and decides to attend Cherry Tree High to pursue her dream of being a comedian. This of course is something that poses a problem since she is an idol.

comedian

The story, while primarily focused on this new character and Mairu the main character, also gives time to tell the stories of the other club members while introducing new characters.

Unlike the previous game, this one is purely visual novel. There are no choices, the story is told and slowly revealed. The game is broken up into “episodes” each with a chapter of some sort.

episode select screen

To me this actually felt more like reading a manga than playing a game since there are no choices. Did I like it? Yes I enjoyed the game for what it was. But do I think someone who knows nothing of Cherry Tree High Comedy Club should buy this game? No, this isn’t a story one would enjoy unless they are already acquainted with the characters and setting. It is knowing the character and seeing them carry on with the promise of the previous game that make I! My! Girls! satisfying.

Mairu faces challenges to her comedy club from rivals, you learn more about the adult characters from the previous game, about the Cherry Tree High Comedy Club’s history, you see character bond with each other, and so on and so forth.

I don’t want to describe the plot further since I wouldn’t want to spoil it but any CTHCC fan would like it. You get the atmosphere of the previous game and the same easygoing slice of life dialogue while being told a new story. The game ends on definite note of  more to come, and as much as I enjoyed this, I hope the next installment is as interactive as the first game. It’s a good companion to CTHCC, but as a standalone game it lacks footing.

What is it that I find most disappointing about I! My! Girls! is the fact that this is not a game I could show to my non-otaku friends as an example of how visual novels can be for anybody, that it is not an obscure medium, and they can tell wonderful stories anyone can enjoy. Unlike Cherry Tree High Comedy Club it doesn’t lend itself to wide appeal outside of Japan.

The creator can’t be blamed. This game was made with a Japanese audience in mind, foreigners are the last thing doujin circles try to cater to. In a Japanese market obsessed with Love Live! School Idol Project and used to simple VNs like these there is no obligation to be innovative. I’m not saying the creator wrote to pander, it’s obvious through his writing he enjoys what he does, but the fact I! My! Girls! was so different from CTHCC disappoints me a bit.

Conclusion, play Cherry Tree High Comedy Club and then Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! If you’re unfamiliar with VNs and not a big fan of slice of life anime I suggest sticking with the first game unless you’re willing to take risks. Luckily, both games come in a bundle deal for max savings. Happy gaming!

 

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 11 Nov, 2014 At 02:31 AM | Categorized As Featured, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

No Gravatartigerdirectbash

This was my first year attending TigerDirect’s Tech Bash which itself isn’t exactly an old established event itself but apparently buddies and staff there last year noticed two major changes from its last run.

  • An increase in attendance.
  • An increase in observers.

What do I mean by observers? Well mostly people who don’t use technology so much, besides your run of the mill smart phone and computer for social networking and whatnot, and only attended to get a show and maybe some free stuff. There were many attendees and yet a lot of the large extravagant gaming setups seemed to go largely ignored by them.

Funny enough there was a huge line for a demo of the Oculus Rift which as you know Zuckerberg picked for its potential outside of gaming despite the project initially getting funded by a largely gamer demographic.

Now you can’t talk about the event without talking about how all the different exhibitors were laid out. The event was hosted at Marlins Park, the baseball stadium for Miami’s team. In the homefield where the actual games are played they set up a temporary show floor to not ruin the grass where the main sponsors were gathered. The areas outside the ring of stadium seat had rows of exhibitors with smaller booths from NVidia to Microsoft. I wish I could show the wide range of booths and setups but unfortunately my PC is not working normally and can’t detect my SD card. I believe I could benefit from buying either from Asus or iBUYPOWER whom had gaming setups in the main exhibit area. In terms of gaming a lot was going on, there were promotions for giveaways, gaming lounges, and Alienware even had a preview of Dying Light.

I have a few suggestions for both the actual event and its exhibitors to make next year even better.

  • Get a convention center. Marlins Stadium is large, but results in a lot of wasted space and more crowding.
  • Make the event slightly longer than 7 PM to 11 PM. It’s a short span of time to network, look around, have fun, find your buddies, etc. Especially when everything moves so slowly. Also observers can take up less of the event’s time.
  • If you’re having giveaways every half hour or so, PLEASE don’t make it a be there or lose deal. Seriously. Ask for a phone number and text the winner to collect their prize at the booth. A raffle of that sort should only be conducted once and have a prize worth the attendance. I’m looking at you Sandisk.
  • I can see Tech Bash is also an opportunity for people in the industry to connect. So please, make the networking event more accessible instead of a secluded area for the employees of event sponsors.

TigerDirect Tech Bash is a promising event with room to grow, but the event will have to grow along with its number of attendees lest they suffer in quality and lose the interest of sponsors and attendees. Miami does have a small but growing technology sector, and we need events like the Tech Bash to present it in a positive light and help foster it.

No GravatarIt’s been a while since I’ve played point and click adventure games; they were a childhood staple for me. Most kids had either a Gameboy or a console, both if they were lucky, for me it was adventure and educational computer games. I grew up in a strict household where if we were having fun we better be doing something that wasn’t making our brain rot so that’s how I ended up playing lots of point and click games. From what I remember most of those games probably wouldn’t be much fun for me today, but those mystery and puzzle games had always been fun to figure out. Apart from Nancy Drew I hadn’t really ventured in the point and click adventure game genre since but Broken Sword 2 has refreshed my curiosity.

smoking mirror 2 title

Definitely not for kids it’s the second game in the Broken Sword series which revolve around the adventures of George Stobbart and Nico Collard. The remastered game is available in both PC and mobile devices in download format. In this installment Nico goes with George to investigate a carved Mayan stone she came across while investigating a drug ring. When she goes to a professor’s house to get more info George is knocked out and she is immediately abducted. The game has you step in the shoes of both Nico and George to unravel a strange conspiracy that puts their lives in danger and might have the fate of the world rest in its balance.

The controls are easy to figure out in both mobile and computer with options to look, talk, pick up, and interact depending on the nature of the thing you’re clicking on. With simple controls you’re free to examine and figure your way through the game. One of the things that has always been frustrating for me was the common stuck feeling I always got when playing through these types of games, but Broken Sword 2 has hints to help you through the game when you need a nudge. My favorite thing about the hint feature is the games give you escalating hints that go from slight nudges to detailed instructions on what to do the more hints you ask for, which allows you to still get the satisfaction of figuring things out and not have to consult walkthroughs if you hit a brick wall.

This game is hard enough to not be a one sitting game, requiring me to stop playing halfway through so I don’t finish by the time the sun rises again. According to Steam I played for 8 hours, your experience may vary.

smokingmirrordialogue

Perhaps what made my game drag out so much was the witty dialogue and excellent voice acting, which had me pick every talking option with the other characters. If you’re like me in that aspect you’ll enjoy some of the jokes throughout the game, one of my favorite involves a tequila worm I picked up, and you have the option of showing it to most characters you encounter in the game with Stobbart himself seeming to notice his strange attraction to the worm as the game progresses. Everything else is top notch too. This game came out in the 90’s so there’s only so much you can remaster until it loses its old fashioned charm, and to me it seems tweaked enough to still feel like a game from the era but enough retouching to make the game look like a really good version of its old self. The cut scenes are some of the most gratifying things you get out of the game and push you to see how the story ends. The new game even comes with a prequel comic, a great bonus for such a satisfying game.

Smoking Mirror 2 bonus comic

So what I’m saying is you should definitely check out the remastered version of Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror, it’s a great game. If you want to watch the trailer be mindful that it might contain some spoilers.

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 24 Jun, 2014 At 12:45 AM | Categorized As ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarMiami New Times is not recognized as the most geek friendly magazine in Miami, as it certainly caters to the more modern “hip” side of Miami. They’re the type of trendy newspaper that discusses night clubs, fashion, and other mainstream interests that couldn’t hold my attention for more than a minute before setting it back down again, so this cover really surprised me at first.

Video game themed Miami New Times cover

I would’ve expected a hole would swallow up this city before ever seeing something like this on a mainstream publication read by bar crawlers and the type of people who would watch a mediocre movie before ever trying out a good comic book. Of course, the colorful pixel art spanned subjects I would skim over in favor of more interesting reads and suggestions (like the foodie and art section) but anyone can appreciate the imagination and breadth of video game characters seen in each illustration.

Mortal Kombat art New Times

Street Fighter art Miami New Times

Legend of Zelda art Miami New Times

Pac-Man art Miami New Times

Donkey Kong art Miami New Times

Whether a heartfelt salute to the video game industry or a “hey wouldn’t it be cool if we do this” idea, I’m glad I got the chance to see this happen. Upon thinking about this I decided it’s not the most impossible thing to ever happen. Over the years video games have received a surge in popularity many gamers still have difficulty understanding or appreciating. From national coverage on television channels like Spike to video games that only survive because of popularity our little world might not be so obscure anymore. My opinions on if it’s for the best or the worst shall be saved for another day, as it is a sensitive issue many people have differing opinions on and is definitely not a one dimensional subject.

As to who the creator of these great pieces is, it’s an artist specialized in video game art Jude Buffum, whose previous pieces of work and thought provoking blog can be accessed on his website judebuffum.com.

The pieces he did for Miami New Times can be seen here in their full glory.

Do you also enjoy seeing video games represented in a positive light in mainstream media? Let us know, whether on Facebook or Twitter you can reach Real Otaku Gamer anytime!

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 16 Jun, 2014 At 12:02 AM | Categorized As PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI kind of have a thing many people find weird. I love visual novels. In a medium where some of the most talked about subjects is either graphics or game play mechanics it seems unusual to some one of my favorite types of video games amounts to what is essentially a mix of first person POV narrative and a choose your own adventure game. Hell some of them have no choices, which makes some gamers dismiss the genre as a whole, dubbing it as casual games without ever delving into one of the many Visual Novels out there. So if you’re trying to get someone started with Visual Novels or want to try it out for yourself, my advice is don’t play Magical Diary.

I got this ungodly spawn on a Humble Bundle sale, excited that there was finally a visual novel included in a bundle I want them to have again: the Celebrating Open Source bundle. After paying my small tribute I immediately got my Steam key to fire that baby up and, after I see the menu appear the screen turns black. I started the game again and again wondering if it was broken until I pressed a bunch of random keys and had a normal full screen. Later I figured out the problem was the game didn’t work so well with the Steam user interface that lets you chat and access other community information while you’re playing and every time it got a notification the screen inexplicably turned black, which made the game malfunction at first due to the access notification you get every time you start a game. All you have to do to fix the problem is wait for the notification to vanish and press “F” which is used to get in and out of full screen. Having to minimize and maximize the window every time a friend decided to play something or message you was really bothersome, but that was only the beginning of everything wrong with this game.

You play as a girl (no other option) who finds out she has magical powers and decides to attend a magic school. But before you go on your magical adventures you create an abominable monstrosity; seriously, it’s the worst customization options I’ve ever seen in a game. The Caucasian colors are deadly white or piggy pink, the face is all deformed and pointy so that most eye options look too big to even fit on your character’s face. Either way my first playthough I created the lovely Miss Master Destroyer.

She looks better in the thumbnail I swear!

She looks better in the thumbnail I swear!

Not always.

Not always a good thing.

This game is just, bad on so many levels. To begin there is something outside of the visual novel’s narrative, which have worked very well for games like Cherry Tree High Comedy Club but just seems like a pathetic effort at content creation on the part of this game. You have five different colors of magic. What does it really contribute to the game? Nothing at all. I’m dead serious on this, you have a few “tests” throughout the year that even if you fail miserably don’t really contribute anything to the narrative and just give you demerits you can easily earn back if you’re on good terms with a character named Donald and aren’t a complete doofus. The fact you use magic so rarely makes the act of even going through the effort of planning out your classes seem utterly pointless because the way the game is designed makes it easy to pass tests with low level magic. Not to mention sometimes the spells you use make no sense (“breeze” to locate the exit of a dungeon) and a few annoyances here and there (like when you push items).

Now on to my main issue with this game, the narrative. I don’t like make your own character games as much for a reason, it’s hard to create a story with a consistent narrative voice when the character can be anyone. My point is, it’s great for multiplayer and open world games, but not so much for single player games heavily narration based. When it comes to its characters, Magical Diary leaves much to be desired. You never learn enough about them, and some of them are pretty boring. Only character I really liked was a pretty boy called Damian. However his path is not enough to save the game from being utterly terrible. In fact, I think it leads to one of the dumbest conclusions this story can reach.

Damian Magical Diary

If you want a taste of what type of dialogue a masterpiece like Magical Diary will have these screenshot will speak for themselves.

OH GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR FACE

OH GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR FACE

Magical Diary trouble

Oops, I cast a bad spell, I wonder what kind of shenanigans will occur.

Oops, I cast a bad spell, I wonder what kind of shenanigans will occur.

The worst part is the choices the game gives you sometimes don’t seem to be rational or important at all. There are obvious turning points of course, but there are also subplots like another student’s relationship with another student you constantly help out but get nothing out of in the grand scheme of the story. I’ve explored almost all the romantic outcomes, even the ones with girls, and I can tell you this game isn’t entertaining in the slightest. Also did I mention the dialogue gets extremely repetitive? For example you get this one liner from your character every time a teacher mentions anything out of the ordinary.

Magical Diary and sex ed

I would label it “My First Visual Novel” perhaps for preteen girls, but then I feel this would be an insult to the intelligence of preteen girls. My advice is, don’t pay for Magical Diary. The official site flatters themselves by making this game worth $19.95 (at the point in time I’m writing this review) so if you must have it or your curiosity at seeing how bad this game can get is that strong, just wait for a sale or Humble Bundle, because in my opinion this game isn’t even worth $1.

If you wanna know, my impressions of this game can be seen from my loading screen.

Magical Diary load page

Mandatory video preview to close this review.

No GravatarSine Mora is a game developed by Hungarian and Japanese game developers Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture. They have been well received and have been made available on PC, many consoles including the OUYA, as well as receiving mobile game releases. I can’t speak on the merit of the mobile adaptations of the game because I played the game on PC, so consider this a review of how the game plays on PC and consoles.

The game itself is a horizontal shooter where the gameplay involves controlling airplanes through a barrage of projectiles while attacking your opponents. In terms of bullet hell it isn’t as hellish as some other games I’ve played but challenging nonetheless. The challenge largely comes from the bosses, whom can be frustrating if your weapons aren’t leveled up enough. The game doesn’t involve skills as much as it involves strategy due to two factors: capsules and special attacks. Different capsules have different effect, which can save your life when dodging especially difficult bullet patterns or a barrage. Special attacks depend on the character you’re playing. Special attacks tremendously help when you’re trying to finish off bosses when used wisely. The game can be played either in story or arcade mode, with only arcade mode having the most difficult settings, hard and insane.

sine mora gameplay

I would highly recommend this game if it wasn’t for the life system and the game’s pace. You’re “alive” (your plane doesn’t randomly blow up) as long as your timer doesn’t run out. This would be perfect if the game was more rapid, or the landscape progressed along with the player, but no. The screen drags along to an almost unbearable snail pace. Your time gauge only get replenished if you get the appropriate powerups and kill enemies. This is extremely inconvenient when you’re in the hard or expert mode with less time in a part of the game with barely any enemies. In story mode they were obviously designed as exercises in control with cramped spaces and few enemies in the way, but they’re needless and frustrating when you’re praying the next giant slug comes out so you can replenish your time gauge seconds away from instant death when you haven’t even been hit by one thing! Even the great capsules you can’t use in story mode don’t make up for this major flaw.

Even in story mode this was frustrating.

Even in story mode this was frustrating.

Not only does it make it inconvenient to play in arcade mode, but the game itself feels dragged out when playing in story mode. The cut scenes even have a fast forward option if you don’t want to spend 5 minutes looking at footage of planes flying. Hell even when you play the game there are “cut scenes” with the plane flying by itself, but there are no different camera angles, transitions, or anything else that would prohibit the player from flying normally or continuing to play.

When you’re buying this game consider you’re only getting it for the story mode. The story itself is pretty good, although a bit confusing with anthro animals and planets and races and whatnot. This however did not keep me from enjoying the characters whom had good dialogue and made me more interested in the story. When story mode is finished you unlock an encyclopedia with all the info on the world of Sine Mora, which I’m halfway through and found pretty well done. A lot of thought went into this game; if it weren’t for its fatal flaws it would’ve been another memorable shooter, and what a shame. This is definitely a game made with love, considering how much planing went into a story where you only see the characters on the side of a dialogue box.

Durak

I love Durak, she’s a badass!

Sine Mora is a good game, but you should only expect to kill a few hours with it since it has low replay value. Try it if you want to but, just don’t pay full price for it.

No GravatarThe light novel series better known by its anime, Sword Art Online, has already spawned a console game and it looks like its second console game is getting a great treatment. The first game has only been available on the Japanese market to the chagrin of many fans. The second game has been announced for release in Taiwan with a great perk. The game will be released in traditional Chinese and English. Which means the fanbase of English speaking countries around the world may cheer to this Asian release.

I can’t play them because of DRM you say? No worries! The game will be released on the PS Vita, a completely region free console (thank you Sony). So pre-order a copy at your local importer today, today is a great day for English speaking anime fans everywhere.

Hollow_Area

Set in an alternate storyline this game will probably surprise and please you in ways the anime couldn’t.

This new game will be released April 24 of this year.