Tag Archives: PlayStation Vita

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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Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God – A Mysterious and Fragrant Dungeon

Japan’s most commonly seen take on the popular roguelike RPG subgenre — typically referred to as “Mystery Dungeon” games after the Chunsoft series that cemented the formula — is a little different from how we tackle our dungeon-delving here in the West.

Mystery Dungeon-style games have been developed by a wide variety of companies over the years, and the formula is straightforward and versatile enough that it’s been applied to all manner of franchises ranging from Pokemon to Etrian Odyssey as well as a number of original creations.

Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God from Compile Heart and Idea Factory takes Compile’s venerable Madou Monogatari series — that which ultimately begat the much more well known Puyo Puyo puzzle empire — and reimagines it for the Mystery Dungeon age. The result is an accessible and enjoyable game that is a great introduction to this style of RPG.

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Shmup Essentials: Riddled Corpses EX

You know sometimes you just see a game and think “I’m going to enjoy this?” That was very much me and Riddled Corpses EX.

There was something about the game’s excellent use of convincing 16-bit style pixel art and the suggestion that it would incorporate two of my favourite shmup subgenres — bullet hell and twin-stick — that made me pretty sure I was going to have a good time with it. And I most certainly did.

If you’re yet to check out this enjoyable blastathon, either in its original PC incarnation on Steam or its all-new “EX” version on PlayStation 4/Vita cross-buy and Xbox One, then grab yourself a sturdy controller, strap yourself in and get ready to perforate some cadavers.

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The MoeGamer Awards: The Second Chance Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of made-up prizes that give me an excuse to celebrate games, concepts and communities I’ve particularly appreciated over the course of 2017. Find out more and suggest some categories here!

Today’s award is pretty simple: it reflects a game I gave a second chance to, and ended up being extremely glad that I did.

It’s often worth revisiting things that you bounced off some time ago, as you may well find that changes in your outlook and tolerance for certain things may change over time. Of course, in this digital age, there’s also the possibility that games might be patched and improved over time, too — and, as in the case of today’s game, there may also be superior ports down the road to improve the overall experience, too.

And the winner is…

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Waifu Wednesday: Ist

Dungeon Travelers 2 is one of the best dungeon-crawlers of all time — I’d even go so far as to say it’s one of my favourite RPGs I’ve ever played.

A significant part of the reason for why I regard it so fondly is its large cast of memorable female characters, each of whom offer something unique both in mechanical terms and in how they contribute to the overall “party dynamic” with their characterisation.

It’s hard to pick a favourite from such a consistently loveable cast, but somewhere near the top of the list for me is Ist.

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