Tag Archives: PlayStation Vita

Senran Kagura: An Almost-Comprehensive Look at Gessen’s Use of Classical Music

The Gessen girls, introduced in Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus on PlayStation Vita and pretty much a fixture ever since, are certainly a distinctive lot.

Taking a rather different approach to being “good” shinobi than Asuka and friends at Hanzou National Academy, the students of Gessen Girls’ Academy learned everything they know about the world from their adoptive “grandfather” Kurokage.

And that includes their musical tastes, which is reflected in the games’ soundtracks; Gessen girls’ themes make extensive use of Western art music. So I thought that might be interesting to take a closer look at.

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New Game Plus: The Essence of Alchemy

We’re nearly there! Rorona just has one final assignment to do: demonstrate what she has learned over the course of the preceding three years.

On this New Game Plus run, said demonstration is perhaps not what was originally intended by the assignment, but hey, whatever works, works!

Just one more episode to go after this and our run is complete… hopefully with at least one ending I haven’t seen before!

Our World is Ended: The Harmony of Chaos

Doubtless many of us have thought at one point or another what it would be like to lead a “perfect” life, with nothing to worry about, nothing to fear or perhaps even nothing to think about.

Chances are these thoughts were followed up in fairly short order by the conclusion that such an existence would actually be rather tedious and boring, as desirable as it might seem when contemplated from afar. Human beings are at their best when confronted with some sort of adversity, after all, whether said adversity is something that is about to kill you or a particularly tricky error in a piece of JavaScript.

A core message at the heart of Our World is Ended is one of true diversity: the acceptance of others, regardless of how unfathomably different they might seem to you and how much of a problem it might seem to bring such disparate elements together — and how those differences, when assembled into something greater than their individual parts, can actually create something incredibly strong.

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Waifu Wednesday: Natsumi Yuki

It’s fair to say that “insecurity” is a pretty core theme to Our World is Ended, and the different characters all express this trait in one way or another to varying degrees.

To date, we’ve seen how Tatiana is a walking contradiction in terms of the clash between her naturally childish nature and her genius-level intellect, and how Asano’s past trauma haunts her sufficiently to affect the person she is today.

Today, it’s time to take a look at Natsumi Yuki, seemingly one of the most approachable members of the main cast, but one who undergoes some of the most significant changes as the narrative progresses.

Some spoilers for Our World is Ended ahead!

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Atelier Rorona: Arland’s New Beginning

As we’ve previously explored, the Atelier series is no stranger to rereleases and remakes — and at the time of writing, Arland trilogy debut Atelier Rorona has had more than most.

Initially releasing in Japan in 2009 as Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland before being localised by NIS America for North America, Europe and Australasia in 2010, the game was subsequently completely rebuilt in 2013 under its new worldwide publisher Koei Tecmo as Atelier Rorona Plus in an attempt to bring it more in line with the subsequent releases in the series. In 2015, Japan got a unique 3DS version of the game. And in 2018, Gust and Koei Tecmo brought Atelier Rorona DX — pretty much a port of Atelier Rorona Plus — to Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Windows PC.

Keeping one game relevant for nine full years and counting is no mean feat. So let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons this game might have stuck around for quite as long as it has!

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Xenon Valkyrie+: 16-Bit Procedural Platforming

You might think the “roguelike” subgenre is oversaturated (it is). You might think the term “roguelike” is widely misused (it is). But that’s not to say there aren’t still good examples of games with roguelike elements being released.

One such example is Xenon Valkyrie+, a game originally developed by Spanish coder Daniel Fernandez Chavez (aka “Diabolical Mind”) and enhanced for its PlayStation 4 and Vita release by solo French developer Fabrice Breton of Cowcat Games. If that pairing sounds familiar, you may recall we looked at their previous collaboration Riddled Corpses EX a while back.

Riddled Corpses EX impressed me a great deal, so when Limited Run Games offered a physical release of Xenon Valkyrie+ a few months ago, I thought I’d jump on it and see what else this dream team could come up with.

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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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