PC

Tokyo School Life photo
Tokyo School Life

Enrol as a Virtual Exchange Student in Tokyo School Life


School Girls in seifuku 'nuff said
Feb 19
// Anthony Redgrave
Visual novels are nothing new in Japan but they're still incredibly niche in the west. I don't think we'll be seeing copies of Clannad or School Days on the shelves of Gamestop anytime soon, but they're gradually finding thei...
Neptunia Re;Birth1 photo
Neptunia Re;Birth1

[Update] Planeptune rules: Neptunia Re;Birth1 heads to Steam on Wednesday


Steam is ready to embrace Gamindustri
Jan 24
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: Idea Factory International revealed that Neptunia Re;Birth1's debut on Steam was slightly delayed, and the game's release date is now Jan. 29] It's been a good while since Idea Factory International announc...
Phantom Breaker photo
Phantom Breaker

PSA: Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds hits Steam today


You can't go wrong with 2D beat em' ups and magical girls
Jan 23
// Salvador GRodiles
If you've been itching to play a fun 2D beat em' game on the PC, then you'll be happy to know that MAGES' Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds game's now on Steam. Thanks to Degica's help in making this release possible, more...
Steam sale photo
Steam sale

PSA: Anime is the name of Steam's weekend game sale


Now with more amorous avians!
Jan 09
// Josh Tolentino
Of all the geeky trends people took note of in 2014, one of the least appreciated is the Japanese gaming industry's growing embrace of indie development and global digital distribution. Sure, it's been happening for the last ...
Americana Dawn photo
Americana Dawn

Despair: Americana Dawn's Kickstarter failed to reach its goal


Let's hope that this project isn't over
Dec 23
// Salvador GRodiles
Oh my. I never expected that it would come to this, but I'm afraid that Americana Dawn's Kickstarter couldn't achieve its $70,000 goal, since they were only able to rake in $28,239. While this means that Foster's jo...
Naruto: UNS4 photo
Naruto: UNS4

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4's first trailer gets straight to the end


More particles, more ninjas, more QTE madness
Dec 22
// Josh Tolentino
The Valley of the End, that is, which, if you're unfamiliar with Naruto history, is a big ol' waterfall created by the final battle between ninja historical figures Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju. The location f...
Kinoko Collection photo
Kinoko Collection

Sure, why not make game about Mushroom Girls?


Meet your new Shroom-mates!
Dec 16
// Josh Tolentino
Really, why not? The last few years have seen a Cambrian Explosion for weird games, and people are now taking notice of good ol' Japan, which has been doing weird for longer than just about anybody. Of course, I could just be...
Dragon Dating Sim photo
Dragon Dating Sim

Wait, what? It's a Dragon Dating Simulator


Literally
Dec 04
// Josh Tolentino
I'm conflicted about this. On the one hand, it's really cool that designers outside Japan are taking visual novels and relationship-centric games more seriously. More people making more types of games can only be a good thing. On the other hand...Dragon Dating Simulator.
Visual Novel photo
Visual Novel

Huzzah: J-List/JAST USA unleashes a series of new announcements


Just in time for the holidays
Nov 28
// Salvador GRodiles
The holidays are among us, which means that many outlets are having a bunch of sales as we speak. Speaking of which, J-list is having a sale until Dec. 2 where people can get up to 18% off any product (based on how much they ...
Contest Winners! photo
The lucky five!
Free stuff is great, isn't it? That's likely what you all were thinking when you signed on to our giveaway with Moenovel for free Steam copies of If My Heart Had Wings! Sadly, we only had five copies to give away, and we've j...

Americana Dawn photo
Americana Dawn

Journey through Colonial America in Americana Dawn


It's time to relive American history as an RPG game
Nov 24
// Salvador GRodiles
There's something amazing about seeing two great things come together to form a nice package. In this case, Max Lam and her team, Bit Bonton, have opened a Kickstarter for Americana Dawn, a JRPG-influenced game that lets the...

Contest: Win Steam copies of If My Heart Had Wings!

Nov 18 // Josh Tolentino
[embed]33274:4319:0[/embed] Here now is your contest question: What is the name of the school Aoi attends?
If My Heart Had Wings photo
Just answer one simple question!
[Update: Contest is over, everyone! The winners will be contacted by the email address they signed up for Japanator with!] We've got a treat for you story-game fans out there, and it comes to you courtesy of our buds at ...

Final Fantasy XIII-2 photo
Final Fantasy XIII-2

Final Fantasy XIII-2 time-warps to Steam soon


Time-tripping on the machine of the future
Nov 12
// Josh Tolentino
Ever since Final Fantasy XIII hit the PC way back in the halcyon days of last month, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that the rest of Square Enix's grand, ill-fated trilogy would eventually make it over as well...
Counter SAttatrike Titan photo
Counter SAttatrike Titan

Counter-Strike on Titan?


AWP some kawaii titan
Oct 31
// Hiroko Yamamura
Now here's a collaboration I didn't see coming. Attack on Titan is teaming up with the Nexcon developed Counter-Strike Online game in Japan. It's an Asian market version of the popular Valve shooter, which I spent endless hou...
Valkyria Chronicles photo
Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles PC comes very soon, for pretty cheap


Defend Gallia on a budget
Oct 30
// Josh Tolentino
We already knew that Valkyria Chronicles was coming to the PC in an unexpected, but entirely pleasant surprise, but Sega wasn't forthcoming with the actual details. Until now, that is. The game's coming out on November 1...
Valkyria Chronicles photo
Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles finally rolls onto PCs


Only 6 years late to the game
Oct 28
// Hiroko Yamamura
One of the all time favorite games around the Japanator office is the 2008 PS3 strategy game, Valkyria Chronicles. It's unique mix of strategy, twisting story, amazing character design, and surprisingly deep character develop...
MangaGamer sale photo
MangaGamer sale

Celebrate Moe Day with MangaGamer!


Also, it's Moe Day!
Oct 10
// Josh Tolentino
October 10th is a special day for fans of moe and puns, because today is Moe Day! Why, you ask? Well, the Kanji characters for "October 10th" (十月十日) just so happen to line up just right to spell th...
Final Fantasy XIII photo
Final Fantasy XIII

TGS 2014: Final Fantasy XIII trilogy coming to Steam


All hail the PC Master Race
Sep 18
// Josh Tolentino
I think it's safe to say that I'm in the minority when I say I actually liked the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. They were flawed and the whole Fabula Nova Crystalis affair smacked of troubling hubris on the part ...
VA-11 HALL-A photo
VA-11 HALL-A

Get robots drunk in VA-11 HALL-A's cyberpunk bar


Future boozefest
Aug 20
// Josh Tolentino
OK, I'll admit it right now: The main reason I'm posting about VA-11 HALL-A, a indie bartending game, is because of its website, located at a domain called (and I'm not kidding) Waifubartending.com. These people know wh...
MangaGamer photo
MangaGamer

Otakon '14: MangaGamer grabs eden*, euphoria, and more


MangaGamer has a few new tricks up their sleeve
Aug 09
// Salvador GRodiles
As Otakon 2014 continues to invade Baltimore's region, MangaGamer's ready to reveals their latest acquisitions. This time around, the company's working on a goal that'll please many visual novel fans if everything goes accor...
The Legend of Heroes photo
The Legend of Heroes

Cheers! Trails in the Sky's PC version gets a release date


It's time to launch more trailers into the sky!
Jul 23
// Salvador GRodiles
As XSEED Games and Carpe Fulgur continue to work on The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC, the awesome folks at XSEED have announced that the first Trails in the Sky game's hitting Steam and GOG on July 29th (next Tuesda...
Chroma Squad photo
Chroma Squad

Report: Power Rangers co. Saban sues indie Sentai game


Teens with too much attitude
Jul 19
// Josh Tolentino
I love the story of Chroma Squad, a little indie game from Brazilian outfit Behold Studios. They took something they loved - tokusatsu and Super Sentai - and made it into a unique game concept - putting players in the shoes o...
Phantasy Star Online 2 photo
Phantasy Star Online 2

Vocaloid concert coming to Phantasy Star Online 2


Take a break from all that monster fighting
Jul 17
// Josh Totman
Sometimes when you're out killing hundreds of monsters for XP in a MMO you think to yourself, "Gee, I sure wish I could take my character to go see a show of some sort." Well fear not, my friends. Sega has just announced that...
MangaGamer photo
MangaGamer

AX '14: MangaGamer announces OZMAFIA, No, Thank You!!, and more


Otome and BL Game fans rejoice
Jul 04
// Salvador GRodiles
MangaGamer's ready to reveal their new titles, and team's ready to try something new. If you happen to be a fan of Otome and/or BL Games, then you'll be happy to know that MangaGamer's planning to localize OZMAFIA and No, Th...
Happy July 4th! photo
AMERICA
It's AMERICA day today, and you know what's pretty cool and American? The United States Navy! And you know what cool American thing is grossly underrepresented in Kantai Collection, everyone's favorite strategy game &nbs...

Hatoful Boyfriend photo
Hatoful Boyfriend

Pigeon-date sim Hatoful Boyfriend getting English remake


This is the world we live in now
Jun 10
// Josh Tolentino
Forget Danganronpa. Ignore Hakuoki. Trash Katawa Shoujo. If there was ever any proof that visual novels and their ilk are real, actual things that might just matter outside Japan, this is it. Hatoful Boyfriend, the Japan...
You're Winner! photo
Yeah, really!
Hey, remember when we announced that contest where we and MangaGamer gave away copies of Shuffle! sequel Really?Really! ? That happened, and we now have a handful of winners! Kageryu Yukari ctim Zakamutt AlteredOta...

Contest: Win Really? Really! from MangaGamer!

Jun 01 // Josh Tolentino
Contest Entry: All you have to do is email our community address with your MangaGamer account ID (your username) and email address (the ones you used to sign up to MangaGamer!) between now and June 6th, and we'll randomly pick 5 winners to receive copies of the game! The winners will be announced here on June 10th, and contacted by MangaGamer.
Win free games! photo
Really!!!
[Update: Contest's over! Thanks to everyone who joined up!] Have you had enough of Navel's visual novel sensation, Shuffle!? That's a silly question. Of course you haven't! But what isn't silly at all is the fact that we're h...

Review: World End Economica Episode 1

May 27 // Brittany Vincent
World End Economica Episode 1 (PC)Developer: Spicy TailsPublisher: Sekai ProjectRelease: May 5, 2014MRSP: $12.99 The tale of pipsqueak stock broker Yoshiharu (nicknamed "Hal") is one that piqued my interest right away, as it didn't include your average (and faceless) high school student seeking a girlfriend or sifting through a boring harem. Its sci-fi lilt brought with it an air of freedom from the chains that traditionally bind VN protagonists, and thus I was all in from the beginning. World End Economica follows the completion of mankind's greatest accomplishment: colonization of the moon. Humanity is migrating to space, though this advancement creates as many new problems as it does opportunities. There's a growing rift between those born on the moon and those born on Earth, and it's clear through Yoshiharu's journeys that "moon children" aren't exactly welcomed on our blue planet. As the teenage son of the very first two colonists on the moon, Hal decides he's had it with working-class life and wants to strike it rich through stock trading. He drifts from net cafe to net cafe, a vagabond narrowly avoiding scrapes with the police, until he runs into Lisa, a friendly church owner who gives him room and board. [embed]32623:3921:0[/embed] Unfortunately, there's another teenage runaway who's also taken up residence with Lisa, and she's as tsundere as they come. She's a mathematical genius, but a loner through and through. In case you couldn't guess that simply by looking at her (her character design is typical of the archetype), the novel finds plenty of ways to remind you here and there of how "cold" she truly is. Hal and Hagana simply can't get along, and right about where they begin their ceaseless bickering is when I decided World End Economica just wasn't doing it for me. There's something to be said about new and gripping ideas when it comes to visual novels, and with a story that appears to be heavily focused on elements so far outside the norm for the genre, seeing cookie-cutter tsundere girls and a protagonist who's little more than a selfish brat is more than a little disappointing. It's especially disconcerting when you factor in the main focus of this episode, which happens to be a virtual stock trading competition that Hal will be competing in. There's so much fluff masquerading as character development from the beginning up until the big reveal that it's difficult to maintain even a passing interest in what the characters are actually doing. Given that I didn't connect with any of the cast at all in the first place other than with Hal and his love of money, it was a difficult read. While both Hal and Hagana do tend to soften considerably and both become more personable near the end of the episode, I didn't feel moved to investigate the next one -- especially if it all it's going to deliver is a heavy dose of exposition with characters I'm not even interested in learning more about. And then there's the stock trading itself. For a game wholly based on the idea of virtual stock trading, there's little to no visual representation of said activity or any attempt to involve readers in the economical side of things beyond technical jargon and straightforward descriptions of how playing the stock trade actually works. I was hoping there would be at least a few interesting attempts at making the trading accessible for any type of audience, but it just didn't work out, and with bland visuals and sometimes black screens accompanying simple text, I found myself bored to tears more often than not. When reading is already your primary interaction with a VN, the story has to keep you entertained, and this one failed to on several occasions. Luckily, the CG scenes were quite aesthetically pleasing, even if the character models themselves had an amateurish feel to them overall. Poses don't always seem natural, and there's a strange look to the shading in some areas, particularly the necks on both male and female characters. It's hard to ignore, especially considering the fact that it gives young girls the appearance of having wrinkled skin where there should be a youthful complexion. And the music's nice when it's around, but wholly forgettable. World End Economica has so much going for it: an interesting premise, a protagonist with an actual design and personality (even if it is a little rotten) and the opportunity to capitalize on a business rarely (if ever) explored in video games: stock trading. Unfortunately, it squanders the opportunity to capitalize on these great bullet points and winds up a generic, muddled mess of pacing issues, bland dialogue, and characters too difficult to connect with. There are plenty of other more meaty and fulfilling visual novels out there that may be a little more expensive than this budget indie release, but you'll come out of those feeling much better about your purchase than you would about World End Economica. 4 -- Below Average (4s have some high points, but they soon give way to glaring faults. Not the worst games, but are difficult to recommend.)
World End Economica photo
Don't fly me to the moon
[Originally posted at Destructoid.] Visual novels are a finicky medium. It's difficult enough to drum up interest because of their exotic origins, and harder still to find an audience due to their nature -- it's a bunch of re...

Ero-ge photo
Ero-ge

MangaGamer announces Lapis Gunner and more


Tentacles abound in these two new licenses
Apr 27
// Brad Rice
MangaGamer has two new wriggly titles to please its fans: Lapis Gunner and Milles, Knight of Anal Tyranny. Lapis Gunner is the sequel to Ruby Striker, where the title character goes back to save her friend from tentacle ...

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