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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Dragon’s Crown Pro is Headed West in 2018

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[Credits: Atlus]

Leaked last week for release in North America, Atlus and Vanillaware have confirmed that their 2013 smash-hit 2-d hack and slasher is headed to North America on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 pro in 2018.

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Shin Megami Tensei V is Heading to American Nintendo Switch’s

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Earlier this year during E3, Atlus teased that they had a new Shin Megami Tensei title in the works for the Nintendo Switch. Last month, it was also revealed that this upcoming title would be a core entry within the established series, Shin Megami Tensei V. Today, the team publisher and developer has announced the upcoming title is officially heading to the West.

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Review: Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder – Rockin’ and Rollin’ Through Time

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Pro’s
+Great Soundtrack
+Family Appropriate Game
+Easy to learn and play
+Entertaining level of Difficulty that doesn’t frustrate players
+Video clips are satirical pieces of humour based on history.
+ Offers Offline and Online Multiplayer

Con’s
+Levels, at times, can prove to be more difficult than necessary


It’s been nearly six years since we’d seen anything to do with Rock of Ages, but for our very own writer, Dustin, it was for him, an interesting take on mechanics normally seen in titles like Monkey Ball, a series we’ve come to know, and love over the years as gamers. The game was filled with the wacky weirdness of ACE Team, the minds behind games such as The Deadly Tower of MonstersZeno Clash, and Abyss Odyssey.

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Review: Utawarerumono: The Mask of Truth – Where No Lies Exist

Pros:
+Ends the current saga with a solid and great conclusion.
+Character development has been highly improved upon since the previous titles
+SRPG elements such as combat have been vastly improved upon and appear more frequently
+One of the most solid soundtracks and voice tracking to date

Cons:
-Quite a few scenes that serve almost no purpose to the game, but instead play out as filler content from the main story.
-Choices seem not to matter when asked to make them.
-Back story explanation to new players could have used a bit more detail and or a video recap that sums up the entirety of the past two games.


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Utawarerumono is a unique series. It’s one that has grown rather popular overseas due to the manga as well as anime adaptions the series has received in recent years, it was only time before this extremely niche title would get a release in the United States, and draw in the Japanese SRPG.

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Sit-Rep: Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir – Completing the Sphere of Magical Goodness


Pros:
+
Amazing graphics that have lived up from the game since the PS2 days
+Rich and enjoyable RPG mechanics
+Combat feels smooth and well paced on PS4 and Vita
+Frame rate doesn’t drop at all allowing for smooth combat and gameplay

Cons:
Literally zilch at this time.


Sit-Rep Summary:
When developer Vanillaware learned that Dragon’s Crown was a diamond in the rough
Ever wondered if a game could be a hit a second time around? Developer Vanillaware definitely decided to do so. You may remember the hidden gem on the PlayStation 2. With it back, bigger, better, and more beautiful than ever – the game is a must have for JRPG Side-Scrolling Platforming enthusiasts.


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When it come’s to Vanillaware developed games, you know their games are gold, they are also games that are built with a certain… Je ne sais quoi. Having been a long time fan of Vanillaware, I wasn’t one to hesitate picking up Odin Sphere after having played it back in 2008. For many of us we would be dumbfounded by the question of why this game was remade and if it was worth picking up. The answer? That’s why we’re here.

When looking at remakes, we’re critical on if a game can live up to its celebrated remake. With buttery-smooth 60-frames-per-second framerate of side-scrolling action that plays just as smooth as it sounds. With improvements upon the games combat and RPG mechanics, one would wonder if this game could be one of the best experiences possible. Truth is? This is one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. As one would expect, the game runs equally well on both platforms, graphics don’t even feel compromised in any form of matter. While many would expect it to run a bit chuggy on the PlayStation Vita, the game runs crisp, clean, and even looks as good as one would expect. For those of you who played Dragon’s Crown, expect this kind of performance without the touch-screen gimmicks that take away from the experience.

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Unlike the PlayStation 2 version. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir runs splendidly due to how the overall upgrades the game received. If you’ve played the PlayStation 2 version, you’re familiar that the game would come to a screeching halt as a brontide of groans came from fans during moments of high combat animations. With beautifully accentuated performances, the new one also offers up a new experience with a new combination of weapons, allowing for a unique blend of combat.  With new special attacks, and alchemic potions in the mix, everything works quite well with one another and offers up a unique twist in combat.

As pretty and uniquely made as the game was when it first released, the new one is much like Dragon’s Crown where players can find themselves distracted quite easily with each minute that passed while playing. Much like previous titles of them, the game made me run circles in order to keep playing through each place while candlelight’s, torches, sunbeams, and even vibrantly-colored plants sprawled across my screen. If there’s anything that I couldn’t stare at? It was the flashing blue light on the side of my PlayStation Vita when coming back from my loops of distraction and appreciation for the games artwork.

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When adventuring on through each scene, it was nice to be able to find myself lost in the game that you’d have been sure was crafted carefully by hyperactive adults who needed a way to become focused on the goal at hand. With five characters at the helm for players to enjoy, players will find themselves wanting more and more when they step away from the game. With each map carefully crafted, characters feel alive, enjoyable, and even immersed by the world around them. With action being constant and unrelenting, players will be able to find themselves entranced while swapping between their basic attacks before using their spell abilities known as “Phozon Skills” that alow magic to be used in order to assault their enemies. Thank to this, players can go from freezing enemies in front of them before tossing out a fiery bomb in front of them from their inventory thanks to their alchemy.

As one would expect, combo’s come in hand while maneuvering between aerial attacks, spells, and potions. Doing so makes higher combat rankings come in at an easier pacing while moving forth through the game. With the end of each battle easily approaching, victory loot becomes essential in order to take out harder to defeat enemies from giants, to dragon’s to elves, to fairies and even more. Some enemies will test your ability to platform due to attacks that come in forms of ranged barrages, long-reaching spider like legs, and even spells that could knock a player around like a rag doll.

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Much as one would expect, the game lives up to its genre tag rather well as an action RPG with rich elements of both. With a large array of diverse weapon skills from characters such as Gwendolyn’s capabilities as a caster, Oswald’s abilities as a bone-crushing warrior, and even characters such as Pooka Prince Cornelius who bring the game to life with brooding-comical. With skills being upgradeable by collecting Phozon Prisms, players will find themselves immersing in the RPG like elements in order to make their characters more powerful.

Thanks to carefully designed maps and pieces of artwork, Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is an enjoyable game where players will find themselves using food in order to boost stats, and conveniently move between warp points to remove the use of tedious backtracking. Anyone that’s played any side-scroller knows this can become a rather troublesome ordeal thanks to worlds growing rather large. Players that explore, however, will find themselves digging through rather large nooks and crannies for improved gear, items. Even large stashes of hidden treasures become available for those that take time and effort to do so.

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir – PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), PlayStation Vita (Reviewed), PS3
Developer: Vanillaware
Publisher: ATLUS
Price: $59.99/$49.99/$39.99 (PS4/PS3/PSV)
Release Date: Available Now

While each story shares a similar theme, each one is unique. Such as Oswald, Gwendolyn, Velvet, and even Mercedes who bring this very world to life. While each character, as stated, has their own story arc that is creatively incredible, I’d have to say each comes with a nice twist of fates as they intertwine into one large story arc that will leave players jaw dropped. With how well it’s crafted, one could easily call it Vanillaware’s very own Odysseus as it will definitely be a game that’s around for years to come. With musical tracks such as Ringford Forest’s where players will find themselves humming a long at some point with the games percussion’s that come to life. With talented voicing from actress Karen Strassman, players will find themselves hooked for hours to come thanks to the amazing talents across the board. If you’re one for original Japanese dubbing, you’re in for a treat as it can be found within the games option menus.

Overall, Vanillaware’s Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is here to stay and runs without a hitch. With such an artistically creative masterpiece that takes art, music, and voice dubbing to a whole new place – consumers won’t be disappointed from the moment they boot up their game and move save files across both PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.


Our review is based on a copy provided to us by the games publisher.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 10 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

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.

The Deadly Tower of Monsters Now Available

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Ever wondered what it would be like to see a 1970’s late night science fiction B-movie as a video game? As a loving homage, hamage… Ha-mage? (Yes we know the spelling!) to the genre, Atlus and ACE Team have teamed up to bring this ludicrously fun game to a local dvd player.. I mean.. Uh… Game machine near you on PlayStation 4 and PC. With the game just having launched it will have a 33% discount on it for the first two weeks! Can’t go swinging your fancy VHS tapes at that now can you? Well you can as long as you go hide this game in the deep confines of Netflix’s streaming library, but that’s not what we are talking about!

If you are one for enjoying low budget cinema at its finest, dialogue written by someone who has never heard a single person talk in their life or even just wanted to listen to someone discuss how they “borrowed” their costumes from a local colleges theater department, here’s your game! It’s hysterical, its quirky, and even has a few little puns towards other sci-fi flicks in it. The game is just what it sounds like, a cheesy 1970’s sci-fi flick that didn’t do good, but became an enjoyable entity for people to watch, we mean play!

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So who doesn’t want to go into outer space in this game as the dashing lead man and his not-so-human lady only to overthrow the malevolent lead villain that dares to wear the title emperor? Well here’s your chance starting today!

The Deadly Tower of Monsters is now available in the Americas and Europe! For a 2-week period, the game will be on sale for ~33% off on Steam and PlayStation Network! Steam users will also receive a bonus digital calendar featuring Stacy Sharp!


 

About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

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.