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By John Kinsella On 20 Jul, 2017 At 01:31 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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In the 90’s a new game style arose, a scary and brutal game style with games like Resident Evil coming out,showing a scary new world. Vaccine which came out on the Nintendo Switch on July 6th is trying to bring this back. In a world where graphics and beauty have become amazing, this game wants to bring back what was lost. It is really like a game from the past and while the idea is novel, it is also not really a good thing, as this style of game has aged horrendously. The characters look melty and it is hard to distinguish things. This of course is also because that is how the games in that era were, but still.

Though that isn’t to say that the game is actually bad. Vaccine tells the story of two people and one of them is always infected with a terrible virus, with you being given a half hour to save the victim before they die. The story isn’t all that important as it stays the same no matter which protagonist you choose. The whole mansion is always different after the first room where you will always find a knife. You might find a gun or other items but usually you just find the undead. You can’t just go and learn the mansion which makes the game all the more tense and strategic. One playthrough, you might even be lucky enough to instantly find the antidote.

This game is unlike other games like this though, because of an RPG like experience system. Your characters gain experience which will carry through if you win. This game also has one more twist up its sleeve. When you win, you can play again of course. But this time you will have less time and this continues to decrease with each victory. Not only does this game pose the challenge of changing up the mansion with each playthrough, but each win subtracts precious time.

Personally, I cannot for the life of me, see myself playing through this game enough times to see how many minutes get taken off, but it is an interesting idea. Certainly there will be people who play it until the clock will not drain anymore and I salute them for that drive.

While this game might have a lot going for it, it really shows how far we have come. To see a company decide to make a game in part for nostalgia shows that this is important in a way. But, honestly this style really has aged poorly. The game looks terrible blown up on a TV, but it does look good on the Switch in handheld mode. The music drives the tenseness as well, and makes it worth playing in handheld mode. CRT mode is also usable though, which brings on even more nostalgia. So turn on CRT mode and plug in some headphones and try not get to scared.

All in all, Vaccine is a game that is worth playing. If you want a cheap horror game and were a fan of 90’s horror games than this is for you. Younger gamers may not enjoy this game simply because of how it looks but it really is worth it. Really though this game could be the start of a younger gamer’s new fascination with older games and that really would be cool.

So, take your Switch, turn off the light and save your ally from the terrible virus. With only a will to succeed and a knife you will be in for a long fight.

Vaccine is out right now on the Nintendo Switch!

By John Kinsella On 19 Jul, 2017 At 05:56 PM | Categorized As Featured, Games To Watch, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Picture this if you will, a young boy on Christmas opening a package to find a Nintendo Gamecube. That in and of itself is exciting but when this console is accompanied by Super Smash Brothers Melee and Pikmin this young boy knows he is in for something new. Back in 2001 I remember opening up Pikmin and popping it into my Gamecube. I was so excited to play this game, little did I know I was going to regret this excitement. Pikmin is one of those games where everything you do is critical. As a young boy I had never come across a game like it before. I had never played a game where if you do something wrong, you risk even being able to complete the game. I was and still am not the best and these types of games. It can often take the fun out of it for me.

Hey Pikmin however, feels like a great introduction to this cute series. You meet all of the wonderful Pikmin and Olimar, and it is like a simpler game that could certainly bring in new fans to the series. I am sure my younger self would have enjoyed playing this game before being dropped into an alien world. Through ultimately playing Pikmin I learned something new about games, that this kind of challenge can be good for you.

Hey Pikmin starts off like all other Pikmin games with Olimar traveling through space. He soon crashes and is told he needs to collect. This time he has to collect Sparklium and 30000 pieces of it. This is done primarily by collecting shiny buds. The game itself is a platformer like anyone knew from Nintendo and their footage. It throws out the old style in favor of a platformer and it works surprisingly well. The demo itself only shows off two levels, and both contain red Pikmin , with additionally containing Rock Pikmin as well. The Red pikmin are light and the Rock Pikmin break whatever they hit if possible, and you lead them and use them like in any other Pikmin game. Of course, you collect items that Olimar nicknames., and there is one item in the demo that made me smile.

All in all this demo is in a way like a soft reboot. Now, obviously we won’t lose the original style games but this like a simpler game to entice younger players in. Again I really think my younger self would have enjoyed playing this instead of the original Pikmin games. But honestly, I realize that Pikmin might not have become what it is today if this was its start. It is a solid game but it does leave some to be desired, then again it really isn’t meant to be all that challenging.

 

Hey Pikimin launches July 28th for the 3DS Family of Systems, the same day as Miitopia.Feel free to try out the demo and find out for yourself what you think of this new entry in the loved Pikmin series! While it may not be the best game in the series the demo is at least worth giving a chance too!He

 

By Zoe Howard On 16 Jul, 2017 At 06:20 PM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIt can be challenging reviewing a game in a series you have not yet had the pleasure of playing. You may ask yourself, “will this game make any sense without playing any of the previous titles?” Knowing that this game was made in a different style compared to the previous ones, I figured it would be okay to miss the first games in the series. Ultra Despair Girls may deviate from its predecessors, but I think it offers a new audience a chance to enjoy a well-told story.

The story follows Komaru Naegi, a young girl who was kidnapped a year and a half before the beginning of the game. She is finally being released thanks to a battle between crazed robots called Monokuma and a team of fighters called the Future Foundation. One of the members gives her a hacking gun to protect herself from the crazed robot bears and tells her to escape. Upon her escape, she meets up with different people on her quest to flee Towa City and find her family.

To say that this is a very slim summary of the story is an understatement. There are twists and turns everywhere and there are more exposition and back story around every corner. If I was to try and write down the full plot, it would take up the entire review. Therefore, I am sticking to the main plot that serves as not only the central focus but where the main characters draw the most character development from. A good portion of this development happens between Komaru and a member of Future Foundation she meets by the name of Toko. Komaru and Toko travel through the city trying to escape while trying to understand what’s happening around them.

Through Komaru and Toko’s plotline, the player has an opportunity to learn what happens in previous games. It is really a great plot device that catches up those of us who missed the earlier entries. I never felt I was lost when a character showed up or back story was discussed. You are always given enough information to understand what is going on, at least as much as is needed for that point in the story. I can only recall one time that something happened that left me going “what?” and that was with a character that shows up in the last few shots of the game. It won’t take you long to realize that they had more to do with the old games, but it is clear the developers will be giving us more story in the games to come.

The controls for the game are surprisingly well thought out. Considering this game started out on PS Vita, I can see how they probably worked well there, too. This is probably one of the easiest to control games I have played in a while. If you are at all familiar with cover based third-person shooters then this game will probably be an easy pickup. The only difference is you don’t have to take cover during a fight. Sadly, there is one glaring issue with the controls and that is the right sticks camera controls. They are incredibly slow. To make matters worse, there is no option to tweak the settings and increase the speed. What you see is what you get. This is made infinitely worse when you must use the laser sight to target enemies. You can pick up power-ups that will increase your laser sight speed, but I never saw any improvement in performance.

There is a way around this with a quick lock power-up you can pick up, but it’s completely random as to which enemy it targets. This can be somewhat useful on some of the bosses, but there are some enemies with many points you must hit. I left the auto lock off during my play through and focused on giving myself time to aim properly. Persistence pays off on this one. I completed the game using the camera the way it is.

It’s hard to really comment on graphics that were designed for the PS Vita, so I will make this section quick. Ultra Despair Girls is a port, so it will not be as good of quality as a game made for the PlayStation 4. But the aesthetic of the game itself more than makes up for the low resolution. The switching between CG cut scenes to a graphic novel, still, image-cut scenes are used beautifully to express different things within the game. There are so many interesting and fun style choices that really make the game pleasant to see.

The sound design is good for this game and matches the style very well. It is somewhat your typical anime style fanfare but when something isn’t broke, you don’t need to fix it. The music is probably the weakest part of the game. You will hear the same songs so many times during the game you will be sick of them by the end. Some of the voices can be quite repetitive as well. If this game was shorter, then I could see it is serviceable, but the game was quite long and I admit I was begging for it to be over so I didn’t have to hear them say, “Oh look another arcade machine.”

Overall, this game is glitch free. The frame rate was fantastic and never slowed down for a second. Which was even more puzzling to know how well it ran (considering that it had issues that have been pretty much erased from modern games). This issue was at its worst on the PlayStation 2 and has since then been pretty much resolved during the last two generations. There are a lot of wall corners you can get caught on without being close to them. As annoying as this can be, you will learn how to maneuver around them and progress with very little hang up. It just takes some time to get used to it.

One of the more nagging issues in this game is probably also the smallest. One simple option would fix this; there is A LOT of dialogue which is written out on the screen. The in-game cut scenes do not progress unless you press a button to continue after a character finishes talking. You will be pressing this button a lot. This game really needs an option to allow the scenes to continuously play with an option of stopping it as you wish.

I’ve been saving a certain topic related to this game for the very end, and that is the rather adult nature of much of its story. This game is in no way marketed to children, but I feel it is worth saying that this game has a lot of dark topics. What’s darker than the villains being murderous children seeking to spill the blood of the adults? There are jokes about the main character’s infatuation with her older brother. One of the villains in the game experiences traumatic memories and has flashbacks about what can only be interpreted as a form of sexual assault. Toko has odd fetish dreams about her “master” between the levels as well. None of this affects my choice in the score for the game. I just feel this is worth mentioning for anyone who might have younger kids interested in anime based games.

If I was to name one thing about this game that really got to me, it would have to be the sheer amount of information thrown at the player throughout the game. The game oozes plot and back-story. By about halfway through the game, I gave up on reading or listening to what the characters had to say about the bonus pick up items. I would just get the items and move on. As it is, the end of the game reminds me of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. They could have ended it at any of about six different moments and it would have worked just fine. I cheered when the credits began rolling; there is a lot to take in about this game. This is one instance where I will say that maybe there was too much.

Ultra Despair Girls is pretty much a visual novel with levels you play to reach the next chapter. I really liked this idea. Even if it goes on far longer than it should. I can also see this concept being cleaned up and made better with later iterations. I do need to say: that you as the potential gamer will be watching and reading a lot more than playing. It’s especially story -heavy in the first and third acts of the game. The second act houses a good portion of the action; there is a decent amount of gameplay here but it could be much more.

I played this game on the default medium difficulty. Sadly, there wasn’t a lot of challenge till about the fourth chapter of the game. Even then it died down in chapter 6 (the last chapter). If you are looking for a challenge I suggest a harder difficulty level. Easy difficulty isn’t really needed considering how basic medium played out.  Most of the difficulty was in controlling the camera anyway.

Ultra Despair Girls was a fun game, all-in-all. It was also a fun introduction to a series I had not yet played before. It has me interested in what the rest of the games say about the events that happen.  I wish I could say whether previous fans of the series would like it or not; I know this one is drastically different in its game mechanics compared to 1 and 2. What I will say is this: the game has a few pitfalls, but it is also fun and will keep you interested in the characters and story. This third-person adventure game will give you your money’s worth with its creativity and well-told story.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 14 Jul, 2017 At 06:58 PM | Categorized As Featured, Games You Slept On, Old School Otaku, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I am a big fan of The Elder Scrolls series and have been for years. It is one of the premiere RPG series and one of the premiere open world game series. People rave about how amazing Oblivion and Morrowind were, and Skyrim is considered one of the best games of the last few years, but many don’t realize just how important the first games were.

I will concede that the first game, Arena, is rather generic. It came off as more of a Wizardry clone, as well as containing many basic fantasy elements that didn’t make it stand out. later games would take the ideas and make them great but Arena is not the best the series has to offer. That said, too many people write off the second game in the series, Daggerfall. I am of the opinion that Daggerfall was one of the most important games ever made, and was a turning point for the RPG genre and open world games.

To begin, Daggerfall was a true 3D game unlike Arena’s 2.5D engine, and took full advantage of that to create a explorable world. In fact, the world in Daggerfall is one of the biggest ever in a video game, albeit with the drawback of having a lot of dead space. Still, it is this open world 3D development that directly led to more innovation in open world games and also taught developers what the limits should be. Thanks to this, we have gotten great games including not only Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim, but also the Witcher games and Breath of the Wild.

Another point to mention is that Daggerfall allowed for true roleplaying rather than just getting experience. You had to mold your character and develop them by choices. Choices were a big part of the game, including the very ending, which had multiple possible outcomes. It had a lot more of a unique feeling than anything else at the time and part of the reason was that unlike Arena, the developers did not take many influences from other games.

Daggerfall had some very important lore aspects as well for the series, as it was this game that introduced the Daedra, as well as started several long running storylines such as the Dwemer, Mannimarco and so on. the events of this game’s story had a major impact on all the later games, yet that isn’t realized by many players who came late to the series. Yes, Daggerfall seems dates by today’s standards, but it is this game that laid the foundation for so many greats, including one can argue, Baldur’s Gate. Through both storytelling and game design, Daggerfall helped make RPG gaming what it is today, and we all owe a debt to it for that.

If you haven’t played the game, you really should. it is a true classic and indeed it is one of the most important games ever made. Even if many people simply do not realize that this is the case, it needed to be said.

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of Real otaku Gamer or its staff.

By John Kinsella On 13 Jul, 2017 At 02:21 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Ever since I first set eyes on this Oasis I knew I wanted to play this game. After seeing game play and then trying out the demo I knew I had found another game to enjoy. Ever Oasis really is such a great game, and is is a game that just shimmers. It has cute characters and even some of it’s villains are cute too. The interactions between the hero and Esna are such a big part of the game., and you feel when your seedling gets hurt and are overjoyed when he is.

Ever Oasis is half Dungeon Crawler and Half Oasis Builder. You need to be working on both parts or your Oasis will decline. As you get deeper into the game you really need to keep working on your Oasis. The dungeon crawling is fun and can be quick paced. You need to fight monsters and change your team on the fly. With different races and weapons you will work to figure things out. You will also learn skills which may or may not help out depending on the situation.

The Oasis is your home and you need to make it great. By working on it you not only gain money but you help out people living in the desert. It is a nice diversion from all the fighting. You can complete quests and get closer to your villagers even if its brief. These characters will offer more quests and soon will sell even more goods. Of course with more goods, you will gain more money.

This game might seem like a lot sometimes, but it is totally worth it. As you travel through dungeons you will gain many items, which will be necessary to sell. It really can seem tedious as you travel back and forth between dungeons and the Oasis. But the developers have made it easy with the inclusion of the Aqua Gates. Using Aqua Gates makes traveling back and forth quite instantaneous. Plus, it makes it easier to save when you need to.

The story really plays into the characters and you can play the game quite easily by simply learning which monsters are weak to which weapons. If you want a game that has both exploration and a little town building then this game really is for you. It might not be the longest game but there is something about this game that makes replaying it an appealing thought. It is simple enough that newbies can get into it but also robust enough to sate true RPG Fan’s and their appetites. You can pick up Ever Oasis at stores or on the Nintendo EShop. The Oasis needs you and your seedling to save the day, don’t let Esna down!

By John Kinsella On 12 Jul, 2017 At 07:11 PM | Categorized As Games You Slept On, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I have always been a fan of RPG’s and have wanted to at least attempt to make an RPG for awhile. With RPG Maker FES for 3DS which came out on June 27th, I now have that chance. RPG Maker FES is actually quite the robust game. With this maker you can make any sort of RPG you can think of. Although you need to use in game assets it still is quite the treat. Playing this game, I cannot help but think of a myriad of games to make. I just want to delve deep into this maker and show off my worlds that appear in my mind. I feel like I could make countless games, and even honor some of my closest friends with games. This game could certainly take hours of time if played in earnest as it is really quite robust.

Even though you can’t upload your own images you can make any characters you want. Plus, you can really fiddle with the strength of the monsters and make them into whatever you want. You can even set them up into groups and unleash them on your unsuspecting heroes. Making weapons, armor and items is also part of the fun. You can make them godly or weak or anywhere in between. Plus, you can even make your own magic spells. Simply fiddling with these aspects certainly could take awhile as there is so much to twist to your will.

Now, you can always take it easy with samples but it really is the best working things out yourself. This game wants you to succeed and by showing you a sample you figure things out. There aren’t any tutorials so this game really just wants you to work to learn for yourself. Not only can you make maps of various sizes, but you can really do what you want. You really have free reign and that is what makes this game so appealing. You can make as many games as you want and really make them as you wish.

I might not be the biggest fan of maker type games, but there is something about making your own RPG. Having played so many RPG’s it feels good to have my own crack at it. This game is something I feel like I can play when I want and try things out. Just a fun diversion that could lead to fantastic things in the future. Plus, the greatest thing about it is that if you want you can share your games and let others play them. Plus, if they don’t own the game they can still play the games through a small download.

RPG Maker FES is a game that is certainly worth playing for anyone who likes RPG’s. While it might be tedious at times it is certainly something that when you finish it, you will feel good about it.

By otakuman5000 On 11 Jul, 2017 At 10:21 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Previews, Videos | With 0 Comments

No GravatarSplatoon 2, released later this month is the sequel to 2015’s mega hit on the Wii U. The first released received critical acclaim and praise from gamers all over the world. 2 years later we are remunerated for our patience by the release of Splatoon 2. 

The first game was an online multiplayer experience only with couch co-op available.  Now, Nintendo has listened to the masses on every iteration of social media and forums. The new single player modes in Splatoon 2 are a sight to behold. These levels are extremely well constructed and are a blast to play. 

The story of the single player campaign is Callie from the Squid Sisters in missing and you follow Marie to help defeat the Octarians. In the mode, you can try out different weapons and truly get a sense of the game mechanics. There is a ton of platforming this game mode as well. It is a mashup of traditional Splatoon and a Mario game per se’. This is a very fun mode and a refreshing change of pace for the franchise. 

The gameplay in the single player mode is some of the best yet. The variety of the levels and the way you progress through the levels are such a joy and also a challenge. The developers went all out with capabilities of Nintendo Switch hardware. This is fast paced, well designed with new gameplay elements at every corner. It is an absolute blast to play.

Get ready for Splatoon 2, check out our full review of the game coming soon.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 8 Jul, 2017 At 10:39 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Fighting games are in a bit of a renaissance right now. We have A new (somewhat controversial) Marvel vs Capcom coming, a new Injustice game, A DBZ fighter from Arc System Works is coming and Nintendo is bringing multiple fighters to the Switch. One of the titles that stand out the most though is Bandai Namco’s Tekken 7.

Tekken 7 is a mechanically beautiful and visually stunning game, and a well-designed fighter great for a variety of players.  I have been a Tekken fan for years and was extremely excited for the game, as I couldn’t wait to play my favorite characters again in new ways. What I found in this experience was fun but at times frustrating, though not to the extent of a certain other fighting game that may or may not now is in continuity with the Tekken series. 

As I stated, Tekken 7 is gorgeous visually. The art style was a perfect choice and I didn’t have any framerate issues, so playing it just felt awesome. Visuals are not the most important thing in a fighting game, true, but I can appreciate good visual design in them. The game also made great use of the soundtrack, especially on PS4. Accessing the classic music was a real treat and made the game feel like a great throwback to the old days. The new music composed for the game is excellent as well, and all of it fits the characters.

Speaking of the characters, the new additions are a mix of hit and miss with me. I loved characters like Katarina and Claudio as they felt fun to use, while a character like Josie and Master Raven were okay but I did have some issues with. With Master Raven it is more due to the teleporting nature of the character, which is just not something I like, and I admit it is a personal thing, although the character could be fun. With Josie, the character just didn’t click with me, but I can see why she is popular ( plus her fighting style is great).

There are certain characters that I just did not like, however, like Eliza and surprisingly enough Akuma. The reason for this is that, while Akuma is cool to have in Tekken, the more I played him, the more he felt so out of place and awkward. it just broke up the flow of gameplay to me and that obviously is not what was supposed to happen. Eliza also felt like a character that should be in a different game and not  Tekken. She feels more like a Street Fighter character than a Tekken character and again breaks the immersion of the gameplay for me.

Speaking of gameplay, the fighting is the best its ever been for the most part and the story mode is excellent, although the changes to arcade mode are not for the better in my opinion. I get what they did, but I like traditional arcade modes with proper endings. I am glad there is still an arcade mode but the way endings were done, is something that will make some people upset. In terms of online, I had many issues for a long time and couldn’t even connect at first. When this was finally resolved, however, I had a blast playing online and the connection ran well.There are other single player modes that offer variety as well, and that is something I can appreciate a great deal. There is enough here for players who want to play casually and not be concerned with online.

Tekken 7 overall, is one of the better fighters. It lacks some features but makes up for it with what it has.  With good music and visuals, fun online and offline content, and mostly good characters, I feel that Tekken 7 is a real standout game this year. If you like fighting games at all, then you owe it to yourself to check out Tekken 7!

 

By Cataclysmic Knight On 7 Jul, 2017 At 03:57 PM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Playstation Vita, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarUtawarerumono: Mask of Deception was my introduction to visual novels, and I have a minimal amount of experience with anime, but I dove in to the game with some excitement due to the SRPG battle elements. However, as the hours ticked by I learned that I had been deceived myself.


Title:
Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception
Developed/Published By: ATLUS, AQUAPLUS
Available For: PS4 (reviewed), PS Vita

Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception is a stylish 2D game that had a lot of promise and fell terribly short. As a huge fan of Telltale Games and other titles like Life is Strange I really had high hopes for an epic story and an intriguing strategy-RPG battle system. The game began with a protagonist who doesn’t remember who he is or how he ended up where he is. Kuon, a young girl, had helped him out and he soon finds himself in grave danger and saved by her once again. From there the two of them end up working to find out what Haku (the name Kuon has given him since he can’t remember it himself) can do to earn a living, fight wild battles and get wrapped up in all sorts of intrigue.

The first major challenge I came across with Utawarerumono was the fact that the game isn’t dubbed. Every word of dialogue required reading subtitles, which wouldn’t be such a big deal if it wasn’t a 40-50 hour game. The game is also primarily an illustrated book, with static or minimally-animated scenes that change every so often as different characters come in and out of conversations or as scenes change. I was also surprised that, in my time with the game, I only made a handful of decisions. Unfortunately, every single one of those decisions was presented in a hub (within a hotel or camp) and merely let me choose which scene I wanted to see next. These decisions made no difference whatsoever and sometimes even made things worse. At one point Haku told a man named Ukon that he was too tired to do any work and Ukon told him that was fine, they were just going to relax; when I chose the next scene Ukon came to ask Haku to do work! This all occurred in the same night and the flow of these scenes knocked me entirely out of the moment.

The story is also horribly drawn out. I’m okay with a story that doesn’t move at a quick pace, and as someone who has binge watched dozens of entire shows on Netflix it’s something I’m used to. However, Utawarerumono frequently had scenes that should’ve lasted 2-3 minutes and ended up being 20-30 instead. That’s the equivalence of an entire television episode given to Kuon and Haku eating breakfast, with Haku wondering how Kuon can eat so much food and Kuon explaining what the food was and how to eat it! This is done with only a few different static screens showing Kuon sitting there, so it’s not like I was even presented with what the food looked like or shown what Kuon was showing Haku. It also isn’t an occasional thing, it’s the norm; when I stopped playing the game 25 hours in (theoretically half way or more through the 40-50 hour game) I could have summed up the main plot in a few paragraphs, and it certainly hadn’t gotten interesting enough yet to hook my interest. There were teases at a really interesting story, but it was akin to sifting for flakes of gold in mountains of dirt.

Perhaps worst of all, some of the men in the story (Haku especially) are quick to comment on things sexually. While some humorous innuendo or funny situations can really liven moments up, even if they’re sexual in nature, I sometimes felt dirty playing Utawarerumono. This includes commenting sexually to girls who appear very underage, rape comments and blatant crudeness. It went there so often that it became a game for my gal and I to guess when it would happen next, and it almost always went even further than I’d have expected.

The game does have some strategy-RPG battles, but in the 25 hours I played I came across less than a dozen of them. The first didn’t occur until an hour and fifteen minutes passed, and by five and a half hours in I’d only fought three battles. To make matters worse, the tutorial was nearly nonexistent and despite some game history with SRPGs I still didn’t really grasp the deeper elements of the system. Luckily this really didn’t matter as the battles were all so easy that it would’ve been a challenge to lose, and I only had one character knocked out over the course of my time with the game. The game does offer two difficulties, and I went with the standard (easier) one, so it’s worth noting that if you want any kind of challenge and you’re at all familiar with SRPGs you should absolutely go with the harder difficulty mode.

On the upside, I was incredibly surprised by just how polished the game was. The dialogue system is brilliant and allows for automatic or manual progression, rewinding and pausing (including optionally replaying audio). The voice acting sounded excellent although, as I don’t speak the language, it’s hard to be certain. The art, while typically static, is very stylish and detailed. The music is rather fantastic, even to someone who isn’t typically a fan of anime music, and you can listen to music as you unlock it in the game from the title screen. As you progress you can also customize the title screen’s art and look at different art from the game. In the battle system, you can easily go back and replay old battles as well. For a game that’s mostly a book, it’s clear a lot of work went into polishing and perfecting the systems.

I have no doubt Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception will have plenty of fans. The series already has a solid fan base and I’ve heard from numerous people how excited they are to play both games. However, it absolutely wasn’t for me – it dragged on, it required reading subtitles and it barely had any actual gameplay to it. My primary job for years now has been as a book reviewer, so I have absolutely nothing against reading for hours at a time, but a story has to be interesting to be worth experiencing.

Finally, as I previously mentioned I didn’t complete the game. After putting in approximately 25 hours and learning that the game is basically just one-half of the overall story (with the upcoming Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth finishing it) I decided I didn’t need or want to complete it. Some of the information presented in this review – the lack of any genuine choices throughout the rest of the game and the fact that the game is 40-50 hours long, for example – was gathered from other reviews from reputable sources or from information from ATLUS/AQUAPLUS.

Note: I was given a free code for the game (and DLC) in exchange for my honest opinion.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Jul, 2017 At 01:25 AM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Multiplayer games are awesome, we all know that. But sometimes the lack of local multiplayer focused games can be annoying. That’s why when a game like Rocket Wars comes along, it provides something special. In this case, we get a mashup of genres that just feels right, and a local multiplayer game that will be a hit for groups.

 

Rocket Wars is a fast paced multiplayer shoot em up. The goal isn’t to destroy enemies together, but rather to destroy each other. It seems like its been done before, but not like this. The gameplay is tighter than other shoot em ups, its far faster and yet requires more attention than ever.  In many ways, it is a contradiction as it shouldn’t be fun, but it is. There are a large variety of ships and power-ups/abilities to use, which helps keep things fresh as well.

Rocket Wars is both a party game and a game for intense players. It has modes like death match and 2 v 2 that will keep competitive players happy and engaged, while also providing for those who just want a casual experience. It has somewhat simplistic visuals and the audio will not be to everyone’s tastes, but it has that magic something that just makes it work right. As a disclaimer, I love shoot em ups, so this was a blast to play in local multiplayer. For those who do not have 4 players available, there are bots to use for play as well.

Rocket Wars is just a well put together package. It is up-front about what it has and what it has is worth playing. I would definitely check this one out if you are looking for a new party game or a game to play competitively with your friends. It is truly worth taking a good look at.