Yakuza play photo
Yakuza play

Yakuza stage play heads to video

Hard looks included
Jun 24
// Hiroko Yamamura
Stage plays and live musicals aren't really my thing. However, seeing the footage of the Yakuza theatre run makes me think I might have been missing out on some serious fun. The show isn't running at this time, but they've c...
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 ...
Project Mirai DX photo
Project Mirai DX

Rejoice: Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX to release worldwide in May

Vocaloid fans are in for an amazing new year
Jan 14
// Salvador GRodiles
It's been known for a good while that the latest Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai title for the 3DS was heading West, However, Sega surprised us with some amazing news, as Project Mirai DX hits stores worldwide during the month of...
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...

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...
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...
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...
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...
Video Games photo
Video Games

New 5 minute Persona Q trailer is too hype

There's another gameplay trailer too
May 02
// Elliot Gay
The past few months of Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth trailers have been fairly brief. Character overviews, brief bits and pieces of battles; there hasn't been a beefy video exploring the entire game in quite some time. ...
Video Games photo
Video Games

New Persona Q key illustration, fusion details, and guest contributors emerge

One hell of a collaboration
Apr 26
// Elliot Gay
Each new week brings with it a host of new details about Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Atlus' Etrian Odyssey-like 3DS Persona game.  I'm completely okay with this. This week we have a new key illustration in the fo...
Video Games photo
Video Games

New Persona Q trailers explain boost and all-out attacks

Send help! I'm running out of things to say
Apr 18
// Elliot Gay
All right, Atlus. I get it. You're promoting your upcoming 3DS game, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. But jeezus guys and gals, I'm running out of ways to introduce your nonstop barrage of trailers. Whatever. Let's do thi...
Video Games photo
Video Games

New Persona Q key illustration and the return of team Velvet Room

This is too adorable
Apr 07
// Elliot Gay
It's impossible to go a week without new Persona Q information or at least a trailer.  I'm totally fine with that. This time around we have some new info from Famitsu magazine. As it turns out, the entire Velvet Room cas...
Persona Q photo
Persona Q

New trailer shows off Persona Q's robust battle system

Getting down to the nitty gritty
Apr 04
// Elliot Gay
After weeks of character trailers, Atlus is finally ready to start hitting the internet with full on gameplay trailers for their upcoming RPG, Persona Q. This first one shows off some of the game's Etrian Odyssey-like dungeo...
Atlus photo

Atlus/Index now officially separate companies

One side handles games, the other marketing
Apr 03
// Pedro Cortes
We've known for a couple of months that Atlus and Index were splitting up, and that day finally arrived. As of April 1, Sega has separated the companies, leaving game development in the capable hands of Atlus and giving Index...
Video Games photo
Video Games

Two more Persona Q trailers hit the net

Reaching for the truth with Kanji and
Mar 28
// Elliot Gay
Atlus has uploaded two more characters trailers for their upcoming 3DS dungeon crawler, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. The focus this time falls on the Persona-summoning dog, Koromaru, and the thug with a heart of gold,...
Hatsune Miku photo
Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku Diva Project F 2nd is heading to America and Europe

You better be excited!
Mar 27
// Amber Hunt
Are you disappointed because you can't play Hatsune Miku Diva Project F 2nd? Well worry not, my fellow Miku fans! It was recently announced that the beloved game is going to be making its way to North America and Europe. ...
Sonic: Lost World photo
Sonic: Lost World

The Legend of Zelda drops into Sonic: Lost World via free DLC

Ruppee joke
Mar 27
// Chris Walden
Nintendo certainly seems to at least be trying to step up their Wii U offering, and while Zelda DLC for a Sonic the Hedgehog game is hardly a system seller, it's the right kind of attitude to have. The game is already a 3DS ...
Video Games photo
Video Games

New Persona Q Trailers cast the spotlight on Ken and Naoto

One of my favorite characters, and... yeah
Mar 22
// Elliot Gay
The Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth hype train continues this week with another pair of trailers, this time featuring Naoto of Persona 4, and the young Ken of Persona 3. Can't say I'm much of a Ken fan, but hey, you can't...
Video games photo
Video games

New videos of Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax!

AKA, my 'Misaka v.s. Shana' simulator.
Mar 18
// Dae Lee
Arcade fighting game Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax has released in Japan, and we have a ton of videos to look at!  Developed by Ecole Software and French Bread, known for their work on the Melty Blood franchise, Dengeki...
Sega Humble Weekly Sale photo
Sega Humble Weekly Sale

Sega offering 19 games in the Humble Weekly Sale

Going in for 18 of them!
Mar 13
// Chris Walden
The team at are really good at pinching the pennies from your virtual wallet, even rivalling Steam's sales with its 'pay what you want' game bundles. This week is no exception, as Sega is stepping up and putt...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan news round-up; Phantasy Star, Sakura-Con and more

There's just no escaping it
Mar 07
// Tim Sheehy
This week has seen its fair share of Attack on Titan-related news. To start, the official soundtrack has been licensed by Anime Limited, and is now available digitally through iTunes, Amazon UK and Google play. The rele...
Project DIVA f  photo
Project DIVA f

Project DIVA f is now available in North America

Europe, sit down and wait your turn.
Mar 04
// Chris Walden
Did you hold off buying Project DIVA F to wait for the PS Vita version? If you're in North America then wait no longer, as you can now pick up the portable version with the smaller f for a very reasonable $29.99 via the Play...
Video Games photo
Video Games

New Project Diva F 2nd trailer shows off all 36 tracks

It's like music to my ears
Mar 01
// Elliot Gay
Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd hits Japanese Vita and PS3 consoles on March 27. If you're a fan of rhythm games, I have no doubt that you probably already have that date marked on your calender. This series is popul...

Persona 5 and others announced for NA

Feb 25 // Elliot Gay
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Atlus news photo
It's a Persona party
Atlus has gone and done it. In one fell swoop, they went and announced that Persona 5 (PS3), Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (3DS), Persona 4: Dancing all Night (Vita), and  Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (PS3/360) will all ...

Video Games photo
Video Games

New Persona Q trailer gets English subs

Thanks Pepsiman
Feb 21
// Elliot Gay
Ok Atlus. I'm as hyped for Persona Q as much as the next person, but this onslaught of new media needs to stop. By which I mean it needs to continue every week until the game's release. Ok? Thanks. New Persona Q trailers hit...
Video Games photo
Video Games

More glorious Persona Q details emerge

Multiple Personas for everybody!
Feb 21
// Elliot Gay
I'm riding the hype train for Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (3DS), and it doesn't look like I'll be getting off any time soon. New details have surfaced from this week's issue of Famitsu, revealing that all party members...

Impressions: Persona 3 The Movie #1: Spring of Birth

Feb 18 // Elliot Gay
Persona 3 The Movie #1: Spring of BirthStudio: AIC ASTADistributed by: AniplexRelease Date: 11/23/13 Persona 3 The Movie largely follows the same narrative beats as the game it's based off of, though it makes minor changes here and there to accommodate for the 90-minute run time. Without spoiling anything major, the film adapts material right up through Fuka's arc, which undoubtedly helps the whole thing feel much better paced than it potentially could have been. The biggest road block any sort of Persona adaptation can have is dealing with the fact that these games can take anywhere from 50 to 80 hours to clear, and there's simply no way to fit that all into a TV series, never mind feature films. The reality is that things need to be changed in order for the material to work, and I think Spring of Birth does an admirable job at tackling this. This will undoubtedly be a point of contention for many fans, but Spring of Birth completely axes the Social Link side stories. Unlike Persona 4 The Animation, this film chooses to forgo those characters entirely in favor of putting the spotlight on the main cast. The end result is that the main characters get way more time to shine and develop despite the brief length of the film. The downside is that much of the fan-favorite extra content is left on the cutting room floor. I don't know if future movies will go down the same path, but in this first entry I think it makes a whole lot of sense.  That isn't to say that Persona 3 The Movie doesn't have plenty of pacing problems. The Persona games follow a fairly rigid daily formula that includes grinding, raising stats, completing social links, and repeating. This is not a format that can be fit into a film's structure as is, but that also means the audience will be missing out on the long term development the games are able to afford. The introduction of Tartarus, a major location where most of the action takes place, feels rushed and somewhat under-explained. The main characters make multiple trips to the tower, but none of them are particularly substantial; they culminate in a few action sequences, but not a whole lot more.  Additionally, Spring of Birth suffers from not having a strong narrative through-line. There's no real overarching plot to speak of because the film ends at a point where nothing truly significant has taken place. The credits start to roll, but there's no sense of closure. Arguably this was an unavoidable side effect of adapting Persona 3 in the first place, but it's still aggravating. Fortunately, director Noriaki Akitaya and his team make up for these shortcomings in some key ways. With 90 minutes to play with and not a whole lot of story to tell, more time goes to fleshing out the key members of the cast and moving them forward. The main character, now named Makoto Yuki, is initially portrayed as an empty, aloof, and distant young man. He's not exactly hostile, but he lacks any kind of real determination to do anything. When he's invited to join S.E.E.S., he does so simply because he was asked to. His lack of a will is what drives most of the conflict in Spring of Birth. The film runs with the concept that Makoto is left broken after his parents died. He doesn't seem to care about anything, leading his teammates to eventually distrust his leadership. Junpei's frustration with Makoto being assigned the leader of the group, Yukari's concerns that he simply doesn't care about what happens to them; these are major beats that ultimately lead to him growing as a character. The subtitle of the film, Spring of Birth, undoubtedly refers to Makoto and the forward progress he makes as a person. With Persona 3 The Movie covering material up through Fuka's arc, it's reasonable to expect that some characters would get more time on screen than others. Junpei and Yukari, Makoto's classmates and closest friends early on, are given plenty of things to do, often helping to push the story forward through their conflicts. Akihiko and Mitsuru also get some love, though the latter doesn't really do a whole lot due to how far the film gets in the overall P3 narrative. Fuka's arc makes up the last quarter of Spring of Birth, and despite a few changes here and there to adjust to Makoto's character development, it's fairly faithful to the source material.  With animation handled by much of the same staff that worked on Persona 4 The Animation, I wasn't expecting much out of Spring of Birth. I'm happy to find my foot in my mouth on this one, as the film captures the darker atmosphere of the game admirably. Plenty of foreboding compositions, oppressive shots, and generally solid direction help to keep things interesting. There are still more than a few awkward cuts of animation, but the overall package makes up for much of it. On the audio side of things, Shoji Meguro unsurprisingly returns to score the film. There's not a ton in the way of new tracks, but the arrangements that pop up are quite good. I was especially fond of the version of Burn my Dread that plays over the opening sequence. Otherwise Spring of Birth is full of familiar tunes, most of which are used to great effect. Most of the voice actors from the game return to reprise their roles, making for an immediately familiar and nostalgic experience. Akira Ishida performs admirably as both Makoto and the mysterious boy Pharos, while-- rather than recasting the character of Igor-- the late Isamu Tanonaka's performance from Persona 3 is reused. I came into Persona 3 The Movie #1: Spring of Birth expecting very little out of the film. Anime adaptations of Atlus properties have done little to impress me over the past few years, and I had no reason to think this would be any different. I love when I'm wrong about these sorts of things. Spring of Birth struggles with the source material at times, but on the whole it delivers a nostalgic trip down memory lane for longtime fans, and an accessible entry point for folks curious about the franchise. There's plenty of room for AIC ASTA to stumble in the next film, but for now this is a solid start to the Persona 3 films.  
Review: Persona 3  photo
It's time for some Mass Destruction
To say that Persona 3 changed the RPG landscape in significant ways is no overstatement. Atlus' PS2 RPG arrived late in the life cycle of the console, yet miraculously managed to find dedicated audiences on both sides of the ...

Persona Q photo
Persona Q

Aigis and Teddie get their own Persona Q trailers

Ready for action
Feb 14
// Elliot Gay
I'm unreasonably hyped for Atlus' upcoming Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth for the Nintendo 3DS. I love me some Etrian Odyssey, and I also adore the Persona games, so this seems like a pretty great marriage of concepts as...

Import Preview: Puyo Puyo Tetris

Feb 12 // Elliot Gay
Puyo Puyo Tetris (PS Vita, PS3, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U)Developer: SegaPublisher: SegaRelease date: February 6, 2014Price: $50.99 [PS3: $50.99] [Wii U: $51.99] [3DS: $50.99] I've been playing puzzle games for a very long time, despite having never been any good at them. Tetris got a whole lot of attention from me on the original Gameboy, but it was Puyo Puyo that made falling blocks truly amazing for me. Originally developed by Compile, the arcade version's big claim to fame at the time was its focus on two player competitive modes. While Tetris eventually ended up adding head-to-head to its repertoire, the basic game mechanics stayed mostly the same. In Compile's series however, players were constantly forced to think quickly about how to create combos and send useless garbage over to the other player's side. The competitive element was strong, and it felt good watching another player, be it your friend or the CPU, struggle under the weight of colorless puyo blobs. It was fast paced, exciting, and perhaps just as importantly, super cute thanks to the odd cast of characters taken from Compile's other series, Madou Monogatari. So here we are, 13 years after the initial release of Puyo Puyo for the MSX and Famicom systems. In what can only be described as one of the oddest crossover games I've ever seen, Sega has given birth to Puyo Puyo Tetris. It combines the two massive puzzlers into one package, bringing both styles of gameplay together for the first time. If this sounds crazy to you, that's because it probably is. It's so crazy that it actually works. Puyo Puyo Tetris is a a package of significant volume, featuring game modes for every type of possible player. This means that if you just want to play Puyo Puyo the traditional way, you can. Feel like taking on a game of Tetris? Go right ahead. It mostly definitely feels as though Sega designed this game to celebrate these two beloved puzzle franchises. New modes include PuyoTeto Mix, Swap, Party, Big Bang, and Tokoton. The first of the bunch combines Tetris blocks and puyos together on the game field, forcing you to think ahead for when the rules change without notice. It's frantic and incredibly demanding, but also quite exciting. Swap mode has you playing only Tetris or Puyo Puyo as a timer counts down. When that timer hits zero, the other game is swapped in. This creates a situation where you have a limited amount of time to push ahead of your opponent before you're forced to focus your attention elsewhere. Party allows players to pick whichever game style suits their needs. Big Bang is played entirely in Fever mode, making for high speed puzzle battles in which the goal is to do damage to your opponent's life bar. In my experience, these matches don't ever last very long, making it great for short bursts. Tokoton takes you through six different rule sets. Each of these modes are available in local and online multiplayer. Regardless of your play style, there's something here for everybody. The online tools are also extremely robust, allowing for ranked matches, non-ranked matches, watching replays, and a setup for an entire country-wide puzzle league. I've only played a few matches online, but the latency was fine. For the record, the PS3 and Vita versions are cross-play, and so are the Wii U and 3DS versions. The feature set is the same across the board, so feel free to pick the platform of your choosing. This wouldn't be a proper Puyo Puyo game without a ridiculous story mode. Fortunately, Puyo Puyo Tetris brings the heat. The Adventure mode is a sprawling quest that tells the story of what happens when the denizens of Puyo Puyo's world meet the new characters from the Tetris side. It's cute, it's genuinely funny, and it's a great way to learn the mechanics of both games. I know that for some folks, the idea of a story mode in a puzzle game seems odd, but the cast of Puyo Puyo has always made for lots of funny moments. Puyo Puyo Tetris continues using the art style first used  Puyo Puyo Fever, which means the it's bright and resembles pop art. The UI is friendly and easy to navigate, making for a stress-less experience. I purchased the game on the Vita, and have thus far encountered no slowdown or graphical issues. I'm fairly certain the game runs at native resolution as well. When Puyo Puyo Tetris was announced, I have to admit that I had a good laugh over the whole thing. Who in their right mind would really get that excited over a crossover between two puzzle games? The whole thing seemed ridiculous to me. I'm more than happy to admit that I put my foot in my mouth on this one, because Puyo Puyo Tetris is the most fun I've had with a falling block game in a very long time. The whole package has been refined and polished, with so many different ways to play and share your experience. If you've ever been a fan of either of these series, I can't recommend Puyo Puyo Tetris enough. This may very well be a game of the year contender come the end of the year.
Puyo Puyo Tetris photo
A fantastic celebration of two classic series
Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably read my tweets hyping up Sega's new crossover puzzle game, Puyo Puyo Tetris. A few folks have expressed confusion toward my excitement, going so far as to wonder if I'm...

Import Preview: Utakumi 575

Jan 26 // Elliot Gay
Utakumi 575SegaOnline Price: $67.99 I have to hand it to Sega for having the guts to launch a brand new rhythm game IP only a few months before Project Diva F2nd. No, they're not directly competing with themselves, but it still seems like a risky move. This is especially the case with Utakumi 575, as it uses the same Vocaloid technology and even some musicians for its track list.  Fortunately, 575 is a very different experience as far as rhythm games go. The story follows Matcha and Azuki, two high school freshmen who decide to start singing and dancing on the internet. The twist? They construct songs in a 5-7-5 structure (haikus) in order to convey their message. The game followers their online journey for a whopping year, singing and dancing ensuing every step of the way. The rhythm gameplay seems fairly typical at first; using the front and back touchscreens of the Vita, you tap along to the beats presented in-game. Where things start to differ are the blank spaces that will appear within a song as you tap along. Haiku options pop up onscreen and players will have to select each verse/phrase in the right order. Fail to insert any words or insert the wrong amount and you become unable to "play" those beats within the song, screwing up the combo you had going. If you insert the lyrics in the incorrect order but they still fit, you're allowed to continue the combo, though it's impossible to get a five star rank. It's a fascinating experience that tests both your sense of rhythm and your Japanese skills, something I find quite appealing. 575 is a great looking game, with a very clean UI and easy to understand menus. Macha and Azuki both look fantastic, and I'm fairly certain the whole thing runs at 60fps at native resolution. The downside is that the music videos aren't anywhere as elaborate as Project Diva's (it's like they're dancing in front of a camera for Nico Nico), but the choreography is solid. Add in customization options for clothes and even dance locations, and you'd have a pretty good package. That's not where things end however. Sega has included tools within the game that allow you to purchase haiku phrases and craft lyrics to pre-made songs. Since 575 uses the Vocaloid software, it's able to render music on the fly, meaning there's hours upon hours of content here to play with. Couple that with the iOS app that allows you to make songs from scratch, and you have a neat concept that could be something really fantastic with the right community. I suppose time will tell. The track list thus far has been very good, with familiar names from the Vocaloid community making repeat appearances. Interestingly enough, each track is split into short, medium, and long versions. I imagine this is a replacement for difficulty, as the length, amount of beats, and even the haikus themselves change based on which version you're playing. Clear each song with a good enough ranking and you unlock dozens of extra edits of each track, made by fans who used the iOS app last year when it first launched. It remains to be seen if Sega can turn Utakumi 575 into a viable franchise, but regardless of what its fate is, the game is unique and worth trying out. Normally I'd be quick to recommend this one to folks, but due to the heavy focus on haiku building, non-Japanese speakers will be missing out on a significant portion of the game's appeal. If that doesn't bother you though, feel free to jump on in. That Utakumi. It is pretty good you know. So give it a try.
Import Preview: Utakumi 5 photo
It's haiku time
I quite enjoy the rhythm action genre.  By no means am I great at them, but there's something undeniably appealing about putting a comfy pair of headphones on and getting in the zone. I've always been big on the genre wh...

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