PS Vita

Dengeki Bunko photo
Dengeki Bunko

Rejoice: Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax goes West

Didn't see that one coming
Jan 30
// Salvador GRodiles
Well, folks. I've said it a couple times, and I'll say it again: Hell has officially frozen over, people! This time around, Sega's smacked us with an unexpected announcement, as Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax heads West for ...
PSN games photo
PSN games

Japan's PSN users sure love them some western games

Downloads aplenty!
Jan 10
// Josh Tolentino
If there's one stereotype about the Japanese game industry that's more true than not, it's that Glorious Nippon hasn't gotten the hang of The Internet and its many facets quite as quickly or in the same way as the rest of the...
J-Stars Victory VS+ photo
J-Stars Victory VS+

Shonen Jump J-Stars Victory VS+ answers all the big questions

Everyone comes out to party
Dec 22
// Josh Tolentino
The biggest question of them all being "When the hell is Bandai Namco releasing Jump Stars Victory VS?" in English. The answer to that is "Next summer, on the PS3, PS4, PS Vita, and all under the somehow even more nonsensica...
NIS America photo
NIS America

Rejoice: NIS America reveals Fate Ultimatum's release date and more

Next year's looking good for Nippon Ichi
Dec 17
// Salvador GRodiles
As we're getting closer to the holidays, the folks at NIS America have announced that The Awakened Fate Ultimatum hits North America on March 17, 2015, with Europe getting their release on March 20, 2015. Since the game invol...
Steins;Gate photo

Tuturu: Steins;Gate's PS3 and PS Vita version go West

The Future Gadget Lab has expanded!
Dec 16
// Salvador GRodiles
Now this is what I call an unexpected turn of events, people. If you've been yearning to play more visual novel titles on your consoles, then you'll be happy to hear that Steins;Gate's PS3 and Vita release are heading to Nort...
3rd Super Robot Wars Z photo
3rd Super Robot Wars Z

3rd Super Robot Wars Z Part 2's trailer will heat up your blood

Groovin Magic!
Dec 13
// Salvador GRodiles
At long last, Bandai Namco has uploaded the first trailer for 3rd Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku Hen, and things are looking interesting for Super Robot Wars Z's finale. First and foremost, Diebuster is making its debut in the ...
Suikoden 1/2 photo
Suikoden 1/2

Oh man, Suikoden 2 is out, go get it now now now

Get HYPE for 16 years ago!
Dec 09
// Josh Tolentino
Oh, finally. It only took, like, sixteen years, but Suikoden II, one of my favorite games of all time and one of the greatest RPGs ever made, to come to downloadable platforms on this side of the pond. Konami's made the thing...
Neptunia photo

It's time for some Neptunia-related updates

2015 is looking good for Gamindustri
Nov 21
// Salvador GRodiles
For a good while, we already knew that 2015 was going to be a good year for the Neptunia series, as Idea Factory's shipping Neptunia Re;Birth 2 and Hyperdevotion Noire to Western shores. Speaking of which, Idea Factory h...
Daily Dose photo
Daily Dose

A Daily Dose of Music: Freedom Wars' Propaganda Idols

Let's Contribute!
Nov 03
// Josh Tolentino
Hey! Are you making a videogame or anime? Then you need idols! That's the hot stuff now, be it an idol character, an idol sequence, or a licensed song from some idols or done in idol style. Idols! And it doesn't matter if yo...
Neptunia Re;Birth 2 photo
Neptunia Re;Birth 2

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2's English screenshots dive into the character bios

Being a tsundere is a serious occupation
Oct 16
// Salvador GRodiles
I may not own a Vita, but I still look forward to the day when I get to experience the main Neptunia games on-the-go. As Idea Factory prepares for Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation English relea...
Hyperdevotion Noire photo
Hyperdevotion Noire

All hail Lastation: Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart goes West

Lastation is about to dominate Gamindustri
Oct 10
// Salvador GRodiles
The time to celebrate has arrived, Nept... er, I mean Noire fans, because Idea Factory's bringing Noire's spin-off strategy RPG game to North America and Europe in early 2015. In case you forgot about Black Heart's title...
Dengeki Bunko photo
Dengeki Bunko

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax's latest trailer shows off its new characters

If only they were playable
Oct 06
// Salvador GRodiles
As Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax prepares for its console debut in November, the game receives a new trailer that gives us the rundown on the title's content. This time around, we get to see Izaya, Accelerator, and Dokuro-c...
One Piece Pirate Warriors photo
One Piece Pirate Warriors

Of course there'd be a new One Piece: Pirate Warrriors game!

A new dynasty is born
Sep 25
// Josh Tolentino
Like death, taxes, and the heat death of the universe, new Warriors games are a thing you can count on, and it looks like Koei Tecmo are readying a veritable fleet of new One Piece-themed mega-brawlers to go alongside t...

Review: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Sep 21 // Josh Tolentino
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (PS Vita) Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: NIS AmericaRelease: September 2, 2014MSRP: $39.99 For the uninitiated, the Danganronpa games are visual novels with a courtroom twist, their gameplay (such as it is) a fusion of Phoenix Wright with Battle Royale. As with the first game, Goodbye Despair stars a group of sixteen elite high school students, "Ultimates" among their peers, recently enrolled at the exclusive Hope's Peak Academy. Their first day at class sees them abducted, spirited away to the tropical Jabberwock Island by Monokuma, a murderous, two-tone teddy bear. Also as before, Monokuma presents the Ultimates with an ultimatum: Stay trapped on the island forever, or kill a schoolmate to earn the right to leave. The caveat: Once a murder happens, the whole cast gathers together to conduct a "Class Trial", debating the case and voting on the "blackened". The murderer needs to avoid getting fingered, or else suffer deadly consequences. [embed]32999:4157:0[/embed] Players are put into the shirt-and-tie ensemble of Hajime Hinata, the one member of the group who can't seem to remember just what his "Ultimate" talent is. Thankfully memory loss hasn't impacted his prowess at playing "getting to know you" with the world's most puissant (and unstable) studentry. Nor has it hindered his ability to argue way to the truth, something that will come in handy once the bodies start hitting the floor.  But, though Goodbye Despair is no mass murderer. The need for would-be players in Monokuma's "killing school trip" both make the kill and get away with it ensures that every new case, investigation, and subsequent class trial a roller-coaster ride of elaborate murder plans, red herrings, and last-second plot twists. In any rational setting the logical leaps required to make sense of each incident would drive one to despair, but the Danganronpa series sells the inherent absurdity of the scenario, setting, and characters so well that virtually anything is fair game. Goodbye Despair upholds that tradition, and in fact manages to surpass the original in some key ways, particularly where it comes to characterization. The sequel's cast of sixteen students is more dynamic and colorful than the original's, hard as that might be to believe for series fans. The archetypes employed are less obvious, and all but the earliest victims manage to grow out of their initial one-dimensional niches, becoming characters that one really doesn't want to see kick the bucket. As for the larger plot...well, "nuts" doesn't quite do Goodbye Despair justice. Somehow, it even tops Trigger Happy Havoc for off-the-wall happenings and genuinely surprising twists. Even more than the first game, Goodbye Despair glories in its inherent pulpiness, rather than striving to "elevate" itself. This gives it the freedom to play with expectations, fulfilling them at first glance right before pulling the rug out from under the player. All the while, the goofy, screwball tone of it all prevents the premise from ever becoming too bleak. Players will be sad that so-and-so character kicked the bucket, but they'll never fear being overwhelmed by the seriousness of an island trip where young high-schoolers are forced to murder each other for survival. And that's exactly the point.  NIS America's localization manages to capture the slightly unhinged tone of the game perfectly, despite a few typos and some questionable decisions to "westernize" certain references. It's one thing to find familiar cultural touchstones to ensure the jokes get across, but converting Yen figures to US dollars seems an out-of-place thing to do when most everyone in the story is quite obviously Japanese. But these are minor quibbles overall. The voice performances are serviceable in English, though dub purists will miss out on an all-star Japanese voice cast, including standout jobs from the likes of Kana Hanazawa and Evangelion alumnus Megumi Ogata. When it comes the individual cases themselves, they're more difficult to predict, with much of the crime-solving done during the actual Class Trial, rather than during the investigation. The characters themselves also tend to play bigger roles in each trial, so there's less of a feeling that events are contrived to allow Hajime to solve every aspect of the murder. The changes, however, cut both ways, as the more unpredictable stories and involved characters tend to lessen the feeling that the player is genuinely involved in the proceedings, rather than simply pushing buttons to advance. Put plain, Goodbye Despair trades away a key component of a good "whodunnit"- the sense of audience participation - in exchange for deeper characterization and plotting. The trade has paid off, though players looking to get their detective itch scratched may come away slightly disappointed. If this all sounds rather familiar to series veterans, that's because it is. In straight mechanical terms, Goodbye Despair is virtually identical to Trigger Happy Havoc. Every major gameplay element from the original has been carried over, either as-is or with slight tweaks. Map navigation is less time-consuming, with the first-person exploration swapped for looping two-dimensional plane. A leveling system has been put into play, based on the amount of steps Hajime takes. Skills - the perks that make class trials easier - are now purchased using "Hope Fragments" awarded for progressing classmate relationships. The minigames do their job, though, using mechanics to make literal the idea of debate-as-combat. As before, players shoot down contradictions with ammunition made of evidence, with a new twist that allows Hajime to agree with a classmate's statement. Stubborn comrades can be convinced in the new "Rebuttal Showdown" that swaps Truth Bullets for blades and marksmanship for Fruit Ninja-esque screen-slashing. The Logic Dive challenges players to solve key dilemmas by surfing their way through a Tron-like landscape of multiple-choice questions. It could be said that the minigames, and particularly their emphasis on getting things right or risk "failing" the trial, ultimately distract from the story, but they're simple enough to get by (especially if one sets the difficulty to "Gentle", with no consequences), and help preserve the manic tension of the arguments going on. If real-life jury deliberations worked that way, one would bet that jury duty would be a thing to look forward to. Not to mention that they make up the bulk of gameplay, and a not-insignificant portion of its stylistic flair. There's no doubting that it's all arbitrary and unecessary, but there's also no doubting that Danganronpa 2 would be a poorer experience without it. There's no shortage of worthwhile extras as well. Once the main game is rounded off, "Island Mode" is unlocked, allowing players to explore Jabberwock Island risk-free in the kind of dating sim-like scenario Goodbye Despair parodies in its own opening movie, and a throwaway minigame starring Monokuma's sister Monomi allows one to earn more Monocoins (used to unlock extras and buy relationship-boosting presents). Most interesting, though, is Danganronpa If, a full light novel containing an alternate scenario for Trigger Happy Havoc, telling the story from the perspective of a new character. The latter is worth reading through, if only because its viewpoint is much less milquetoast than the game's "canonical" hero. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is the perfect sequel. It preserves everything that was good about its predecessor, while building on its foundation a worthy story that not only helps draw in newcomers but excites and satisfies fans of the original. If there's anything to be held against it, it's that it accomplishes all this by barely deviating from the path gone before, but that's hardly a complaint when the result is a solid, thoroughly entertaining coda. Anyone who won't accept those terms, though...well, they can go feel some despair.   9 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)
Danganronpa 2 photo
Double Jeopardy
I almost don't want to be writing this review. That's because Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is quite a lot like its predecessor, Trigger Happy Havoc. That means it's one of the few games where "spoilers" really matter, and t...

Dengeki Bunko photo
Dengeki Bunko

TGS 2014: Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax's console release gets two Valkyria Chronicles characters

It's time to go to war!
Sep 19
// Salvador GRodiles
For a second, it seemed that Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax's Sega characters for the title's PS3 and Vita release were limited to Virtua Fighter. Lo and behold, Selvaria and Alicia are now joining the game's roster. While I...
Sony @ TGS photo
Sony @ TGS

Here's everything you wanted from Sony's TGS presser

And I mean everything!
Sep 02
// Josh Tolentino
It wasn't all about a fifth Persona game, y'know! Quite a bit happened when Sony took the stage just before the Tokyo Game Show opened this year, to barrage our faces with sweet trailers for games known and new, as...
Freedom Wars photo
Freedom Wars

Freedom Wars finally getting its freedom soon

No concerns about recidivism!
Aug 19
// Josh Tolentino
Ah, Freedom Wars. Sony have been teasing this Monster Hunter-alike from the developers of God Eater for what feels like forever, and despite the game coming out in Japan to warm regard, we never got a solid release date....
Natural Doctrine photo
Natural Doctrine

Natural Doctrine prides itself on killing you, apparently

Darwin would be proud?
Aug 12
// Josh Tolentino
It looks like Natural Doctrine is really attempting to introduce strategy players to the cruelty of natural selection, if the latest trailer for NIS America's new PS4, PS3, and Vita game is to be believed.  Though ...
Super Hero Generation photo
Super Hero Generation

Super Hero Generation's first trailer is dynamically delicious

It's Space Jumping Time!
Aug 08
// Salvador GRodiles
It looks like Bandai Namco has uploaded Super Hero Generation's first trailer. Overall, it looks amazing! I mean, what more can I say? The video gives us a nice sample of what to expect from our favorite Gundams, Riders, and...
Akiba's Trip photo
Akiba's Trip

Akiba's Trip gets a release date, PS4 version crossing pond

XSEED going for XS!
Jul 24
// Josh Tolentino
XSEED games are really going all-out with their upcoming release of Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed. Not only have they ported the Acquire's open-world Akihabara cosplay vampire-stripping game to the English language, t...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Sony invokes dongs to sell the new PS Vita

More like PENIStation, am I right?!
Jul 22
// Josh Tolentino
Remember that time in middle school you and your friends would get naked in the locker room and compare genitals? Me neither, but Sony does. This Japanese ad for the PS Vita calls up youthful PS-envy as young boys remark on ...
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...
Super Hero Generation photo
Super Hero Generation

Gundams, Riders, and Ultra Warriors join forces in Super Hero Generation

Shabadoobie, touch to team up!
Jul 09
// Salvador GRodiles
It's been a year since Bandai Namco's released a Compatible Hero game, as Heroes VS came out in 2013. Lo and behold, the team's ready to have the heroes from the Kamen Rider, Gundam, and Ultra series reunite in a new adv...
NIS America photo
NIS America

AX '14: NIS America to localize three new games

Fireflies, Gods, and fugitives are heading our way
Jul 04
// Salvador GRodiles
Anime Expo 2014 is among us, and NIS America has revealed three new titles that they're planning to localize in the west. If you happen to be a Vita owner, then you'll enjoy the first game on the list, since htoL#NiQ: The Fir...
Freedom Wars photo
Freedom Wars

New Freedom Wars story trailer looks mighty good

Want to get a Vita...rising
Jul 02
// Josh Totman
So the rock that I currently live under doesn't seem to have any connection to what is going on in the video game world. If it did, then I wouldn't just be now finding out about the futuristic co-op action game Freedom Wars ...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Get ready to make great manga on your PS Vita

For the mangaka on the go!
Jul 01
// Hiroko Yamamura
Japanese game publisher Granzella announced intentions to bring out their manga making app for the Playstation Vita, Manga Ka Keru sometime this year. While there doesn't seem to be many details about the app, the Vita's mult...
Akiba Strip 2 photo
Akiba Strip 2

Akiba Strip 2 has new PS4 sharing gameplay features

You're going to be typing "panty" a lot...
Jun 24
// Josh Totman
If Akiba Trip 2 couldn't get any crazier, along comes it's new 'share & chat' feature. It's bad enough that the game requires you to save Akihabara from the undead by striping them of clothes so that that the sun can des...
Hatsune Miku photo
Hatsune Miku

E3 2014: Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd gets sweet PVs

Maji tenshi!
Jun 11
// Josh Tolentino
I never thought this would happen, but the west is finally at parity when it comes to mainline Hatsune Miku games. Sega's released the E3 trailer for Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd, the latest installment of the Vocaloid-t...
Akiba's Trip 2 photo
Akiba's Trip 2

XSEED adding English audio, gender equality to Akiba's Trip 2

Anglophones and androphiles rejoice
May 13
// Josh Tolentino
Do you own a PS Vita or PS3? Do you happen do be an anglophile, or an androphile (or both)? Are you looking forward to XSEED's upcoming localization of Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed? If you answered "yes" to at...

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