All fired up
Booting up Little Dragons Café for the first time, the first thing that strikes is how damn cute the whole thing is. From the adorable twins you choose between to play as to the quaint café itself complete with delightful miniature vegetable patch and impossibly sweet chickens running around, everything is designed to immediately tug...
It was a dark and stormy Under Night In-Birth
The PS4 is well served with 2D fighting games, but that didn’t stop this latest incarnation of the weird and somewhat wonderful Under Night In-Birth universe getting spruced up a little and expanded a lot to make the jump to current-gen hardware. Here, then, is the most complete edition of the deep...
Total eclipse of the heart
Protagonist Kou Tokisaka stumbles into a parallel world, The Eclipse, while trying to rescue fellow classmate Asuka Hiiragi. From there, he joins Asuka’s quest to eliminate the evil lurking in The Eclipse, while working several part-time jobs at once and attending school. Kou seems to have an overwhelming need to help...
Zombie-kun, that's embarrassing
You should never judge a game by its title, but in the case of School Girl/Zombie Hunter, you'd be absolutely right to expect cheap Japanese schlock, complete with last-gen graphics, wonky gameplay, and panty shots. Similar to the Earth Defence Force series, this is a low budget release that's undeniably rough around...
A wild twosome
In the past ten or so years, the visual novel genre has found success in the West thanks to attempts to localise games you'd usually only find in the Japanese market. But one series that has never really had its time to truly shine is the set of Zero Escape games, which have been spread across multiple consoles. Fortunately, efforts...
Dying has been a part of playing video games since the early days of the arcade, but few games in that time have killed you off right at the beginning of the story. By the time the opening credits for Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky finish rolling, our avatar – a teenage boy named Kanata – has been caught in a...
Cometh the hour
Those that played Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (Sign from here on in) uncovered a fighter with depth, fun, and personality; one that introduced real rewards for aggressive play while also boasting defensive options beyond the genre norm. This bodes well, then, for the Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- (Revelator, from here on in) - a newly...
Extended for your pleasure
With BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend, Arc System Works' much admired 2D fighting series has arrived on the PlayStation 4, bringing its 28 characters to duke it out on Sony's newest console. Is this a good thing? In short, yes, it is. BlazBlue games are crafted with care and attention, and this pays rich dividends for...
A visual novel prequel to the BlazBlue fighting games, XBlaze Code: Embryo has been available on the PlayStation Vita in Japan since July 2013, and North America since June 2014. Having finally reached European players, has it been worth the wait? The premise of the game is relatively simple. The main character, Touya, is faced with a...
Scooby Doo, my waifu
One of the really great things about visual novels as a format is the utter lack of effort that you have to exert in order to make the most of them. While games packed full of stressful situations and an immersive, highly tactile experience are brilliant, sometimes that's just a little too much. You want to relax,...
Better late than never
You'd be forgiven for being under the impression that Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late – the clear forerunner for 2015's most pointlessly long video game title – is nothing more than another uninspired 2D anime fighting game. It certainly gives off an initial "I should probably be playing BlazBlue instead" vibe. Developer...
Nothing but a fantasy
If there's one thing that the PlayStation Vita seems to be in abundance of, it's JRPGs. Not all of these are great, of course, but some of the more popular ones will keep you occupied for hundreds of hours or more – particularly the sensational Persona 4 Golden. Sadly, time is a rude mistress that waits for no one, so if...
When a game title has five exclamation points, there should be no doubt that it will attempt to blow your mind with a furious amount of explosions and wow moments. Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! is certainly in your face, focusing on large full screen specials that will blind you with brash colours, while still maintaining classic 2D...
The goal of Magical Beat is simple to learn, but incredibly difficult to master. It’s a bit of a mix between Lumines and Tetris, where you have to drop blocks known as beatons to the beat of the music. There’s a Beat Sync Gauge which provides a metronome and information on the current tempo of the track, but it’s much easier to...
Never mind this one
Without a doubt, Mind Zero appears to be a genuinely high quality JRPG. It has an enticingly sleek art direction, an atypical twist on its familiar gameplay, a diverse cast of characters, and a promising story premise, so we were naturally impressed by the brainpower that must have gone into the game. But as we delved a little...
A novel idea
Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi is one of those rare video games that aren’t really video games at all. Actually, it’s a novel, cunningly disguised as something that you need a controller for. Occasionally the story will be interrupted with a choice for you to make, but largely the main goal is to keep on reading. It may be...
While most widely known as the family-friendly home console featuring a myriad collection of party games and fitness titles, the Nintendo Wii was also home to some of last generation’s better adult-oriented forays. Many of these titles got swept under the rug due to poor sales and a missing target audience, but some received much...
Burn bright, burn blue
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is the latest game by Japanese developer Arc System Works. It’s the third title in the 2D fighting series BlazBlue, and takes place after the events of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. The release was originally conceived as an arcade game, which deployed in late 2012. It then received a PlayStation 3...
For God's sake
A downloadable and retail title for the PlayStation 3 that’s currently only available in North America, Magus is a premium priced role-playing game that sees you step into the shoes of the aforementioned titular hero in his quest to become an all-powerful God. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. The release adopts a rather...
Keep calm and curry on
What would you do if a big chain curry restaurant opened up in town threatening to take over your family owned curry business? You’d pursue the legendary magical curry recipe, of course – which is exactly what protagonist Pupuru and her fuzzy sidekick Kuu get up to in Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God. In order to...
Nine is a magic number
Taking place in the not-so-distant future, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward puts you in the role of Sigma, a young man who’s removed from his normal life and forced to take part in the ‘Nonary Game’ – a sick and twisted creation that ponders whether you're willing to betray in order to survive. Virtue’s Last...
The deep end of the pool
After the original BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger wowed fighting game fans with its amazing depth and character variety, developer Arc System Works took things a step or two further with its follow-up, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. Not only did the follow-up continue the in-depth fighting experience of the first release, it also...