Category Archives: Articles

All the non-Cover Game articles and features in one place.

Senran Kagura Reflexions: Shinobi Intimacy

Here in the West, we’re all thoroughly familiar with the idea of furthering your enjoyment of a game by purchasing additional merchandise to celebrate your love of it.

Depending on the game, we might get action figures, posters, comics, books, soundtrack CDs… but rarely something “extra” in the original medium, unless a sequel comes along, or perhaps some DLC.

One thing that Japanese developers and publishers like to do — and which we’re seeing increasing numbers of localised for English-speaking audiences — is produce a “fandisc” for a popular work. And while the idea may seem self-explanatory, I’ve seen plenty of examples of people who don’t quite “get” it.

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Reflections on PlayStation Vita

At the time of writing, Sony has just announced that production of the PlayStation Vita will be ending in 2019, with no plans for a successor.

This follows news from earlier this year that we’re counting down the days until the last Western physical Vita release, with many of the last releases coming in limited form from boutique publishers such as Limited Run Games and Special Reserve.

With all that in mind, I think it’s about time we looked back over this remarkable and vastly underappreciated system’s life… and celebrated the things it did really, really well.

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Waifu Wednesday: Ramius Dreissen

With Evenicle literally being an RPG about marrying several people, I should probably devote some time to at least one of said spouses, shouldn’t I?

Today we look at Ramius Dreissen, better known to many around the world of Evenicle as the “Loner Knight”. She’s one of the first characters you encounter in the game, and the first wife protagonist Aster marries as part of the story.

She also looks a tiny bit like Miyabi from Senran Kagura thanks to Nan Yaegashi’s distinctive art style,but rest assured — she’s very much her own character in her own right.

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Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle: It’s The Belt For You, Lad

Those of you who read my coverage on Senran Kagura: Estival Versus will know how much I enjoy the beat ’em up genre… and how much I appreciate its history.

With that in mind, Capcom’s announcement that it would be releasing a new product simply called Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle made me kiss £15.99 goodbye even before the package was released. Doubly so because it was also coming to Switch… and who doesn’t want to bust some heads on the go?

Today we’ll take a high-level look at the package as a whole, then over the course of a series of Capcom Essentials articles in the coming weeks, we’ll explore the individual games in the collection in more detail. Suffice to say for now that £15.99 is a very fair price for this bundle, and I highly recommend it to all fans of the genre.

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Lily’s Night Off: The Visual Novel, Condensed, Polished to a Fine Sheen

It’s always a genuine pleasure to see a developer refine and improve their craft — particularly when it’s obvious how much time, effort and passion they put into their work.

Anyone who follows Lily series developer Kyuppin on Twitter — or indeed, anyone who read my previous coverage of Lily’s Day Off — will know he is a great example of a creator who is absolutely brimming with enthusiasm for his craft. The road to release for Lily’s Night Off was paved with earnest solicitations for feedback, assurances that fans interested in the strictly limited physical merchandise would get their hands on some quality products… and what came across an honest to goodness love for the art of writing, game development and design.

So… how did Lily’s Night Off end up, then? Was all that passion and enthusiasm worth it?

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Waifu Wednesday: Mai Shiranui

Sometimes it can be a challenge to find detailed information and fanart for Waifu Wednesday articles. I have not had that problem today.

Yes, after discovering the fun that is SNK HeroinesI thought I’d devote today to probably SNK’s most widely recognised heroine, Mai Shiranui.

It turned out that despite her being a very familiar figure to me in terms of visual design, I didn’t know a whole lot about her. So let’s take a little journey together!

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SNK Heroines: Fighting is Fun

I’ve tried numerous times to “get into” fighting games over the years with varying amounts of success.

Back in the SNES era, I had a good time with the original Street Fighter II and managed to beat it with most of the characters — but my skills have gotten severely rusty since then. Beyond that, my main contact with the genre has primarily been the Dead or Alive series, which I enjoyed for a combination of its cast of beautiful people and its enjoyably fluid, reasonably accessible action.

But I’d always find myself hitting a wall. I’d never be able to pull off impressive combos, I’d struggle to reliably trigger special moves and I’d have difficulty understanding the underlying strategy that is fundamental to the fighting game experience as a whole. Oh, what to do, what to do?

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