Atelier what, it's pretty good
The Atelier series is something of an acquired taste. The games tend to be a mix of super-relaxed storylines with anxiety-inducing time limit systems. The juxtaposition can be a bit off-putting to some, but once you realise that the time limits aren’t as harsh as they first appear then you can start to appreciate...
Warriors Orochi 4 feels like it was developed on a shoestring budget. It cuts corners everywhere, from the removal of several game modes that were in previous titles, to the the fact that 95 per cent of the game's story is told through static character portraits and text boxes. However, after the dismal open world structure of Dynasty...
Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is the third and final game in the Atelier “Mysterious” trilogy. If we take a quick look back at the previous two games then you’ll see that there have been some pretty big changes between them. Atelier Sophie was praised by many for getting rid of the time...
For those who have been living under a rock, Attack on Titan is one of the biggest anime and manga properties of recent years, and tells the story of humanity's struggle against a group of man-eating Titans who are threatening to destroy their world. The first Attack on Titan game came out in 2016, and now Koei Tecmo is back with a...
Big trouble in big China
Dynasty Warriors as a series hasn't changed much over the years. Sure it's had its playable character roster expanded significantly, and it's had the odd combat system overhaul here and there, but the core concept has always remained the same: it's one super overpowered Chinese warrior (you) versus entire armies that flood...
Let’s get jiggly with it
Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon is an action role-playing title set an unspecified number of years after the first game. Foul fiends, tainted by the blue blood of the Nightlord, still roam the land and there are rumours that a dreaded Moon Queen has appeared as the new ruler of the demons. If she isn’t sealed...
Reflections of sadness
Blue Reflection is the latest offering from Gust, the developer who previously brought us the Atelier series. A brand new IP, Blue Reflection focuses on the story of Hinako, a former child ballet star who starts a new high school. She discovers that she's a Reflector, the game’s version of a magical girl, along with her new...
A crazy crossover title that features characters from a bunch of different Koei Tecmo properties, Warriors All-Stars certainly feels like an attempt at celebrating the publisher's many years of success. Unfortunately, as a traditional hack and slash Warriors title, the game just isn't that great. The PlayStation 4 has been blessed with...
To date, Samurai Warriors 4 has given way to three spin-off titles on PlayStation 4: Samurai Warriors 4-II, Samurai Warriors 4: Empires, and now, Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada. Of the three, this latest release is the most original - at least in terms of structure and design. Spirit of Sanada takes numerous role-playing game...
Oni you can save mankind
Toukiden 2 begins with a huge battle in Yokohama. Monsters known as Oni have wreaked havoc across the world of man and are advancing down from the North. There is a plan to stop their advance in Yokohama by leading a force of Demon Slayers against them. However, things aren't looking good as the Oni are on the rampage and...
The Fast and the Firis
The Atelier series is one of the longest running and most prolific Japanese role-playing game franchises, with Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey being the 18th instalment in the series' 20 year history. Atelier Firis is also, in many ways, the biggest leap forward the series has ever taken, implementing a...
A crafty plus size treat
Just as Nintendo look to Switch up the handheld market, Sony give gamers a reason to dig out the trusty old PlayStation Vita in the shape of another fun and accessible Japanese role-playing game. Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea is an enhanced port of the PlayStation 3 game packing all the downloadable...
No Guts, no glory
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is easily the bloodiest action game that Omega Force has ever squeezed out. True to the often gruesome source material, the game doesn't skimp on the red stuff, soaking the screen as you forcefully cleave your way through hundreds of enemies. Indeed, if there's one thing that Band of the Hawk gets...
The search continues
The Dynasty Warriors series is no stranger to spin-offs, what with its library of Empires titles and its catalogue of somewhat lacking offshoots like Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce. The property has a spotty record when it comes to swapping out its tried and tested hack and slash formula for something different, so it's safe to...
Maybe necks time
While it's a common story, Attack on Titan managed to pull this particular scribe into the anime world a couple years ago. How could it not? It has a striking art style with bold lining and subdued colour, a European setting with an intricate culture and inventions, and an irresistible world that draws you in with its mysteries and...
Romance is not dead
Strategy used to have a comfortable home on PlayStation: ports of Westwood's Command & Conquer series, Bullfrog's Theme games and the likes of Populous and The Bitmap Brothers' excellent Z, can often evoke fond memories in many a 'Station stalwart. But the genre fell by the wayside in later generations, with a slim selection...
Cooking up a disappointment
The premise of Gust's Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is simple. You play as Sophie, who wants to become the best alchemist that she can following the passing of her grandmother, who was also a creator of magical bits and pieces. After discovering that her predecessor's reference book, Plachta, can speak,...
Take back the night
Nights of Azure is a Japanese role-playing game set in a world where demons are taking over the night. As with any JRPG, there's a lot of lore to get your head around – so buckle in. The game is set after the defeat of the Ruler of the Night, who, once beaten, showered the world in his blue blood. Those who came into contact...
For clan and country
In recent years, Warriors games have been criticised for being a little too prolific. To those who don't care for musou titles, it must seem like there's a new Warriors release every other month, but fans have always stuck by Omega Force and its seemingly timeless hack and slash formula. However, even for the Omega Force...
Legends in the making
Hiromu Arakawa's re-imagining of Japanese novel series The Heroic Legend of Arslan is a great fit for a Warriors title: it's packed full of huge battles between warring nations and peppered with memorable characters. We've got a promising base for an Omega Force developed hack and slasher, then, but does Arslan: The Warriors of...
Too much like hard work
After a successful release on the PlayStation 3 back in 2013, Atelier Escha & Logy Plus is the latest in the hit Atelier series to be ported to the Vita, and features all of the downloadable content from the original version. Speaking of which, be sure to read our PS3 review if you're looking for more a detailed take on...
A real strata-gem
Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires is the first Empires spin-off game to make it West on the Vita, and it's actually a bit of a revelation. The Empires formula fits so well on Sony's handheld that we'd go as far as to recommend this version over its home console counterpart – even if the graphics have been toned down considerably in...
Stuck in a strange realm somewhere between a sequel and an expansion, Samurai Warriors 4-II is, in many ways, a follow up to last year's superb Samurai Warriors 4 – but it's certainly not the inevitable Samurai Warriors 5. It borrows characters, stages, music, mechanics, voice acting, and even artwork from 2015's historical hack and...
Fit for a demon king
Sometimes it feels like there are two types of video game enthusiasts: those who adore strategy titles and those who can't stand them. It's a divisive genre that often demands patience, planning, and a lot of practice, but all of the best strategy games reward you appropriately for the amount of time and effort that you sink...
Dreaming of you
So, it turns out that the Devil has another daughter. Shocker, but it seems he has a penchant for sleeping around. The second girl, Velgyrie, haunts our nightmares with traps and death – but who can blame her with a name like Velgyrie? Thankfully, a handy robotic companion is on hand to teach her how to most efficiently murder...