Tag Archives: first impressions

Phantasy Star Online 2: Day 1 As an ARKS Operative

Well, after an inordinately long wait — about eight years, to be exact — Phantasy Star Online 2 has finally arrived, for both Xbox One and PC players… and possibly with other platforms to follow.

To say that English speakers have been eagerly awaiting this game is something of an understatement. The Dreamcast original, being one of the original breakout successes in online gaming — and many players’ first experience with cooperative, social online gaming — is a widely beloved game, so in the eight years since Phantasy Star Online 2 released in Japan, people have been finding increasingly creative ways to get their fix, with particularly dedicated fans even going so far as to provide translation patches.

Now, none of those workarounds and fiddly tweaks are needed; everyone can just play Phantasy Star Online 2 as they please. So I thought it would probably be a good idea to jump in on the PC launch day and have a go. Read on to find out how that all went.

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Bluemoonpark: The Most Precious Wings

It’s always a pleasure when a developer, publisher or localiser reaches out to me and asks if I’ll take a look at their project, because it tends to expose me to things that I might otherwise have been unaware of.

In turn, I can then share those things with you, and you can check them out as well! Everyone wins.

The latest title I’ve encountered in this manner is Bluemoonpark, an upcoming Kickstarter-funded visual novel by LA-based startup Amateras Inc and Korean developers Archive Factory Creative Group and Project Team Heimdallr. Let’s take a first look!

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Our World is Ended: First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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A common theme explored throughout the visual novel medium in general is the idea of people not being quite what they appear at first glance.

The reason for this is mostly a practical one: the very nature of the visual novel medium makes deep dives into multifaceted, layered characters a viable thing for creators to explore. Enthusiasts of visual novels are already accustomed to the medium’s slow pace and relatively limited interactivity compared to games with a stronger emphasis on their mechanical components, so writers and developers are more than happy to allow us the opportunity to get to know the main cast extremely intimately.

That doesn’t mean those first impressions the characters set don’t matter, mind you. On the contrary, they are extremely important for setting expectations as to how those characters will behave and interact — and then, in some cases, subverting rather than confirming those expectations. Let’s take a look at how Our World is Ended’s cast presents itself in the early hours of the game as the narrative is getting underway.

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Evenicle: Introduction and First Impressions

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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Alicesoft was a developer that wasn’t really on my radar before I played the English releases of Rance 5D and Rance VI, and chances are if you haven’t explored eroge in any great detail you may not be overly familiar with them either.

However, between the Rance games and my experiences with Evenicle so far, I’m very comfortable with saying that they are an excellent developer that any fans of high-quality enjoyable RPGs with interesting mechanics, solid narratives and extremely memorable characters would do well to check out. Particularly if you’re keen for your games to actually treat you like an adult — and I’m not just talking about sexual content here.

So what is Evenicle? Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Evenicle: Introduction and First Impressions