Even among the already niche-interest community of Japanese video games, visual novels tend not to get a ton of hype about them… at least here in the West.
That’s why when a new one comes along and its localisers are confident enough to refer to it as “a new masterpiece of narrative visual novel storytelling”, it’s probably worth taking notice. Of course, it’s pure marketing-speak, but it also demonstrates a certain amount of faith in the product — and perhaps a track record of the game being well-received back in its native territory.
Is Red Entertainment’s Our World is Ended, also known as 俺達の世界わ終っている (Ore-tachi no Sekai wa Owatteiru) worthy of the descriptor “masterpiece”? Only one way to find out!
Continue reading Our World is Ended: Introduction
Death end re;Quest, in keeping with the rest of Compile Heart’s Galapagos RPG project, is an ambitious and rather unusual affair from a narrative perspective.
The setup for the game is pure isekai, but almost immediately after actually starting the game for the first time, you’ll come to realise that there’s much more going on here — a really interesting blend of genres and styles that makes good use of its medium to tell a story and raise some intriguing questions.
Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Death end re;Quest: Down the Rabbit Hole
I never thought I’d be here contemplating my feelings about the story in a Dynasty Warriors game… but, well, here we are.
Last week, I noted I’d been battling my way through the Wu campaign, but hadn’t yet reached the “split point” between the historical and the hypothetical routes. This week, I’ve finished both routes of the Wu campaign, their Xtreme Legends missions and also the historical route of the Shu campaign.
So let’s talk a bit more about how Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition handles story, because it’s a whole lot more interesting than I think a lot of people out there will give it credit for.
Continue reading Delving into Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition – #3
Yes, yes, yes, I know it’s also on Xbox and Gamecube, but I’ve always thought of TimeSplitters as a PlayStation thing, so that’s where it’s getting categorised today.
Ahem. Anyway. TimeSplitters 2 is, unsurprisingly, the follow-up to the excellent TimeSplitters, a game developed by ex-Rare folks who previously worked on GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64.
The original TimeSplitters has aged very well. Its sequel is even better. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading PS2 Essentials: TimeSplitters 2
The Ace Combat series is a jewel in Namco’s crown that people sadly seem to forget about quite often — though hopefully the seventh installment due early in 2019 will rectify that to an extent.
The series mostly stretches across the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 eras, with a less well-received (but still enjoyable) spinoff installment in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 era. For most, the series’ peak was with its PS2 installments; opinion varies as to which one of these is really “the best”, but they’re all very much worth your time.
At the time of writing, we’ve already talked about fourth installment Distant Thunder (aka Shattered Skies), so today let’s take a look at the fifth game, known as Squadron Leader in Europe, and The Unsung War elsewhere. It’s a good ‘un.
Continue reading PS2 Essentials: Ace Combat: Squadron Leader
One of the things I’ve found most interesting about Evenicle is its treatment of polygamy.
I’ll level with you, dear reader, I figured this was going to be the aspect of the game’s narrative I had the toughest time with. Despite knowing (and accepting, I might add) at least one person in my circle of online acquaintances who lives an openly and happily polygamous lifestyle, I’ve always been something of a traditionalist at heart. “When two people love each other very much” and all that.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Evenicle handles the situation… if not exactly “delicately”, then at least positively and with a mind to contemplating what people might get out of such an arrangement. Besides ready access to multiple sexual partners, obviously.
Continue reading Evenicle: Family Affairs
The Zelda series timeline is… complicated. Whether or not it was originally intended to be that way is a matter of opinion, but the fact remains: Zelda is complicated.
Hyrule Warriors is regarded as a non-canonical installment in the series as a whole. But to be honest, with the way it’s set up, it actually slots quite nicely into the convoluted timeline, albeit mostly unfolding in its own separate little corner, largely (but not completely) divorced from the main paths down which the series’ narratives progress.
Let’s take a look at how Hyrule Warriors fits in with Zelda lore as a whole… as well as how the series got to the state it’s in today.
Continue reading Hyrule Warriors: Fun with Timelines