Review: Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection – Takes more than two to tango

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The latest debut of a Persona spin-off series comes in the shape of the Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection. In the latest entries, fans will see Persona’s 3-5 get a nice little post-story expansion and a lot of beat rhythm fun. Find out why in our review for Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection for PlayStation 4.

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Review: Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux

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Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux is a  remastering of the 2009 DS classic Strange Journey, which sees new features such as story, enemies, and dungeons to explore. But the biggest question, did this Redux actually do a solid job at delivering or does it fall short in doing so? Find out with our review.

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Review: Alliance Alive – An Unlikely Alliance in an Unlikely World

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[Credits: ATLUS]


Pros:
+Combat and leveling systems are sound and quite enjoyable
+The games strong narrative allows for great character development
+Difficulty scaling is rather well implemented allowing players to explore freely

Cons:
-Can feel like a bit of a slog after 15-20 hours, but does redeem itself after a short bit
-Guild recruiting feels underutilized and without little cause and effect to the overall game.

It’s not often that I find myself in this odd position, my head on a pile of pillows, arms stretched before me holding a New Nintendo 3DS (check out our review here) and my charger cable hooked up to it. One of my few reasons behind it is rather odd in some ways, one’s because I’ve been sucked into Alliance Alive, but also, I still am struggling with the same boss I’ve been stuck on for nearly an hour.

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Demon’s Souls Gets a Newly Listed Rating by the ESRB

 

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[Credits: ATLUS USA]

 It’s a sad day when you realize the Demon’s Souls online servers have been shut down. Since the news broke, fans around the world have become an echoing chamber of pleas for a PlayStation 4 remake of the title. Oddly enough, something has happened that may make their hearts skip a beat, and many gamers alike begin to hold their breath for news regarding this matter: The ESRB has a new rating for the game, which went live on their website earlier today.

 

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Dragon’s Crown Pro Release Date Announced

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Have you missed out on Playing Dragon’s Crown when it originally launched on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, but have been sticking it out until a PlayStation 4 re-release? Then it’s time to prepare to rejoice. Atlus USA has announced that Dragon’s Crown Pro for the PlayStation 4 will be launching on May 15, 2018 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4  Pro.

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Review: The Caligula Effect – Where the Effect of Hope Comes True

Pros:
-Unique and well placed combat systems that do come with a bit of a learning curve
-Character story development seems critical through the course of the game, providing a need to know you party, and the story elements to the game
-Music and sound quality is on par with what one would expect from a PS Vita game
-Multiple approaches to combat ensures that not every encounter will play out the same

Cons:
The game offers a lot to learn in so little time.
-Social interactions can provide a bit of a hassle when wondering from location to location


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When I first caught wind that our friends over at Atlus USA would be localizing The Caligula Effect there was an instant shudder with excitement that rang through my body. Having played a bit of the Japanese version, I found myself exhilarated at the idea of being able to finally understand what I was doing, how I would go about doing, and what my abilities as well as talents did.

With a unique turn-based system, social interactions, and musical score – my Persona fan would finally be sated till the next installment would be announced. Much like many JRPG games these days, I was expecting for the game not to initiate a sense of contentment inside of me, but the fact the game could sate the need for another style of Persona game need.

With strong RPG’s being the Vita’s strong suit, it seemed only natural that team Aquaria would be placing their title on the PlayStation Vita as an exclusive game for the console.

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Review: Persona 5 – Stealing Our Heart Away

Pros:
+One of the most artistically stylish games for PlayStation 4 to Date
+Offers a quick push into the action compared to previous titles
+Character development is on key for the Persona franchise
+The Anime cut-scenes are a huge change and add a much needed change

Cons:
-Screenshots and footage capture is restricted
-Micro-managing at times can be overwhelming


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In a generation of games where traditional JRPG’s remain rare, ATLUS has decided to once more change the status quo, and offer up an adventure unlike any other. In their latest story life isn’t at all what it seems for these Japanese high school students Ryouji, Anne, and the protagonist Akira (if you go by the manga). The tale for these specific students is one about adventure, about righting wrongs, and most-of-all, changing hearts.

Much like any past Persona game, Persona 5 carries the weight of a rather familiar theme. It’s once more about a green of teens who want to shift away from the status quo, ones that want to change the world, and break its current state. This game tells that exact story over the case of almost two hundred hours for first timers. For many this could be a grueling task due to its length, the patience it requires, and the fact the game requires a great amount of time management. It’s a game that challenges players to make the most out of balancing out their busy schedules and beating the Hell out of demons while doing so. It makes you truly think of what your options are and how you will go about them.

Just as you’d expect from a Shin Megami Tensei title, this one follows a familiar path of how it tells it story, and drives its narrative home. It’s a game that uses an anime approach to many of its themes and elements. It’s one that does not shy away from these aspects through out its entire campaign. It takes those elements in order to drive the themes of rebellion, politics, and the ability to enact upon social change. It’s a game that is not afraid to approach these themes nor is it one that is brash or outspoken about them. It’s one that stylizes this in a minimalist way without cramming it down the players throat.

What also differentiates this game from past titles is how it manages to thrust players straight into the games core gameplay elements. Within the opening minutes, players are welcomed to Persona 5’s subtle changes. It’s a game that has added in stealth, ambushing mechanics, and the identity that these characters truly are the games “Phantom Thieves”. Much to the dismay of some, the games opening seconds are also the games close-to-end moments where “Joker” has been captured, and his story is told via an interrogation.

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As the game rewinds players are greeted with Joker’s current situation. He’s been sent away from his home town after getting in trouble with the law for a rather questionable offense. Due to the predicament he’s been sent out to live with family friend Sakura Sōjirō. Within a few days of being at Shujin High School, Joker has already assembled a ragtag group of persona users, and is well on his way to telling us an enlightening story.

However, not is all as it seems at his new school, and chaos seems to ensue. Much like Persona 4‘s Shadow World, Persona 5 throws people into the games “Metaverse” where things are rather similar between the two. For Joker, a disgraced ex-track star known as Ryouji, a troubled teen model by the name of Anne, and the student council president who is caught between two worlds, their adventure is no joke. Especially when they all learn they can control Personas.

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It doesn’t take long before Joker gathers a ragtag group of friends, including a disgraced ex-track star, a troubled teen model named Anne, and a human turned cat named Morgana. In true anime fashion, these friends each discover that they have a strange power: the ability to enter a bizarre shadow world known as the “Metaverse”. Because of this they are pressed to help right the wrongs of the world and help those around them. To do so is a bit trickier for them than they anticipated.

Aside from this, the game follows the core plot elements of the franchise rather closely. It doesn’t deviate from this at all except in one way. Unlike previous games, however, this new rag tag group of friends decide not to hide their abilities from the world, and take on a moniker to allow so by dubbing themselves “Phantom Thieves”. They also aren’t afraid that they can use the Metaverse to “steal” the hearts of their targets. Doing so allows them to turn those in the real world that are vile people on a new path. This new one turns them into nicer people, which causes them to change and repent for their wrongs.

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Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse Gets a New Little Trailer Showing Combat Mechanics

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The world has begun to end as the Angels and Demon’s waged war within Tokyo. Doing so brought forth the apocalypse that the Samurai from Shin Megami Tensei IV tried to end with his valiant team. For those within this games world death is something that comes easy, one that forces survivors (the players team) to formulate strategies, to plan for combat, and to fight for survival. With demon’s now crawling through Tokyo in mass numbers, it’s time for players to fight back using the games “Strike First” mechanic, which allows players to land a preemptive strike in order to initiate combat. This strike? Can lean the game in the players favor.

If landing a first strike isn’t the first thing you do, exploiting a enemies weakness just might be the most important thing while on an offense. With attacks ranging from physical, gun, fire, ice, electric, force, light, and dark – you’ll need to be prepared to shut down enemies with their weakness. This opens up the chance to deal massive amounts of damage in a single blow, but for those that think a good defense is a great offense, you’re in the right spot.

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Buffs are highly important in the SMT world, this means a sure way to the “Victory Screen” is by using the proper buffs in order to boost damage, boost defense, and even debuff the enemy so that they are weaker; they’ll also be more susceptible to damage because of those debuffs. Another important factor comes in two steps. Don’t panic. This means take a step back, watch what demon’s do, but also prepare to use the right partners so that you can pack a punch with powerful characters such as Gaston. If you need a bit of firepower? Nozomi might be your partner of choice to pack an extra ranged ammunition.

You can see all this in action in the games trailer below:

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is set to launch exclusively on the  Nintendo 3DS on September 20th, 2016. The title will cost $49.99 USD on launch day. Stay tuned for our review.


About the Writer:

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Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.