europe

Pokemon Bank photo
Pokemon Bank

Pokmon Bank has appeared in Europe


And about time, too.
Feb 04
// Chris Walden
You know, after months of watching fans of Pokémon X&Y eagerly awaiting the release of Pokémon Bank, it seems extremely odd that it would end up on the European eShop without any kind of grand anno...
Video Games photo
Video Games

Ys: Memories of Celceta bound for Europe in early 2014


Feast on some new art in the meantime
Nov 02
// Karen Mead
Gamers in the United States will be able to play the latest installment in the long-running Ys series before the holidays, with Ys: Memories of Celceta set to drop on November 26th. However, Europeans needn't feel too left ou...
London MCM Licenses photo
London MCM Licenses

Anime Licenses from London MCM Comic Con


Prepare your wallet.
Oct 26
// Chris Walden
After a typically blustery day at the London MCM Comic Con, the event begins to wind down as it enters its final day. Saturday brought more than pesky gales, as we have some fresh anime acquisitions from both MVM Entertainmen...

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Sony launches Animax VOD service in the UK this Fall


Launches with big-name Viz titles
Oct 17
// Brad Rice
With Animax already present in 17 countries, it's about time Sony launched a version in the UK. Sony is launching the video on demand service in Fall 2013 at www.animaxtv.co.uk, with other platforms and devices to follow. Tha...
Studio WIT at MCM London photo
Studio WIT at MCM London

Studio WIT to ravage London this October


You might say that this is a colossal announcement...
Oct 01
// Chris Walden
The London MCM Expo is without a doubt the largest convention in the UK that caters to those with a taste for anime, and while it frequently attracts some big names in the English dub world, it's not all that often that we ge...
Devil Survivor 2  photo
Devil Survivor 2

Bid Achieved! Devil Survivor 2 is coming to Europe


Ghostlight's fusion was successful!
Sep 02
// Salvador GRodiles
In an impressive manner, the folks at Ghostlight have achieved the right amount of pre-orders to complete their bid on releasing Devil Survivor 2 in Europe! Actually, there wasn't an auction house involved, but I thought thei...
Devil Survivor 2 EU photo
Devil Survivor 2 EU

Devil Survivor 2 clocks 627 orders in two weeks


Just 1,173 to go!
Aug 17
// Chris Walden
Ghostlight's efforts to bring Devil Survivor 2 to Europe is an admirable one, and you really can't help but want them to succeed. They've opted for the safe route, having customers pre-order the game ahead of time, but guaran...
Etrian Odyssey IV demo  photo
Etrian Odyssey IV demo

FOE eliminated: Etrian Odyssey IV's demo hits EU tomorrow


The FOEs are now approaching your territory.
Aug 14
// Salvador GRodiles
Right as I was getting farther into Etrian Odyssey IV's realms, NISA has revealed that the demo for Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan will be available in the Nintendo eShop on August 15th, which happens to be tomo...
Daily Dose photo
Daily Dose

A Daily Dose of Music: May'n


Now featuring a special gallery!
Jul 19
// Salvador GRodiles
Due to Hiroko being trapped in a mountain of work, I have been appointed with watching over Daily Dose once again. Preparing for her newest album release on July 24th, a preview of her May'n song known as ViViD as went ...
Tales of Xillia 2  photo
Tales of Xillia 2

Japan Expo '13: Tales of Xillia 2 to go west in 2014


The time to celebrate has arrived!
Jul 09
// Salvador GRodiles
Congratulations, Tales of fans; Namco Bandai Europe has revealed at Japan Expo 2013 that the sequel to Tales of Xillia is going to go west next year, which will make 2014 the year of the Tales of, aka Tales of the Year. On a ...
Devil Survivor Patch photo
Devil Survivor Patch

European patch for Devil Survivor Overclocked inbound


At_least I_think_so
Apr 25
// Chris Walden
It was mentioned in the review that went up a short while back, but the EU version of Devil Survivor Overclocked has some unfortunate bugs straight out of the box. One minor bug involves particular enemies having underscores ...

Review: Devil Survivor Overclocked

Apr 19 // Chris Walden
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked (3DS)Developer: AtlusPublisher: Atlus/GhostlightRelease date: August 23, 2011 (NA), September 1, 2011 (JP), March 29, 2013 (EU)MSRP: $39.99 Devil Survivor Overclocked begins with the protagonist, along with his two friends Atsuro and Yuzu, obtaining strange devices known as COMPs from another friend. While they are trying to work out just why they've been given the devices, they discover that they possess the power to summon demons, predict the future and all sorts of other weird things. Most notably, the protagonist notices that everyone has a death clock, meaning he can see how many days they have left to live. After they become trapped within a quarantine zone, they end up having to fight with demons just to stay alive. While the biggest draw for this game is more than likely coming from its series history and publisher, fans of the tactical RPG genre will certainly have their interest piqued. There have been a few tactics games on the 3DS so far, but games like Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars just didn't satisfy the desire for a good Nintendo outing on the new handheld. What is most interesting is not that it’s a competent tactical RPG, but rather that it shakes up the existing formula in such a way to make battles very intense. Playable characters are allowed to take up to two demons into battle, each of which will have their own stats, strengths, weaknesses and skills to offer to the user. These two demons and their human leader form a three-member squad, and you can eventually bring four of these into battle with you. While you'll likely be using duplicates of some demons early on in the game, you'll soon be hunting out the rare ones for their abilities. As there are so many abilities available, having access to as many as possible across different squads will only help your chances. There are some abilities, like the very useful Demon Speed, that effect only the human that possesses the demon that knows the ability. Others, such as the healing spell Charm, can be used on other individuals or whole squads, providing they are within a certain range of the demon using it. You'll likely end up with each squad having access to abilities like Demon Speed, but you can start being more selective with what abilities you choose to bring in to battles if they can affect other squads. Being able to use these abilities regardless of whether you have entered battle or not with that party means that it's always going to be something worth perfecting. You can also learn abilities by defeating certain enemies using the Crack Skill option in battles, so you'll seen have a large catalogue of these to choose from. Demons won't just join your party, rather you must attend an auction and buy them for use in battle. They don't seem to mind fighting other demons for you so long as you give them that initial payment, but always feel kind of mean when I buy the services of a demon just to fuse it with another. I'm sure that there's a morality issue here, but as long as you end up with a kickass monster that outclasses all the enemy monsters, who cares! Outside of battles you'll find yourself hopping between different locations in Tokyo to initiate conversations or to find another battle to fight in. It's very similar to a visual novel in this respect, as you're given plenty of dialogue between art of participating characters, as well as the odd decision to make here and there. The game does a great job of pointing you in the right direction if you just want to race through the story, but you may find yourself struggling if you don't participate in non-story battles every so often. These won't expire either, so you can continue to rack up experience for as long as you feel it is necessary. Repeating the same battles isn't ideal, however, as the monsters won't change until you do some of the story missions. If the monsters don't change, you won't have any new skills to learn via Skill Crack. If you just want pure experience, then sure, why not? The music is certainly an interesting point to comment on, as while some music is fun and catchy, there are also some really terrible tracks that sound like they've been ripped from a MIDI website. It also sounds incredibly compressed, something I believe is a remnant of the original DS version of this game. You would think that the quality could be upped a little with all that space on the 3DS version, but there you go. The battle theme is a really good tune to get you nicely pumped up, but it's probably the worst offender of sounding like a bad quality audio clip. The English dubbing is certainly inoffensive, with characters like Atsuro and Haru having good, believable voices. However, I do find that Yuzu, who is a main character, has a really irritating voice that is typical of most English-voiced female anime characters. It's pretty uninspiring, which is a shame when Atsuro's voice works pretty well. Weirdly, the audio seems a little out of balance. The voicing seems to be of a decent volume, but most of the music, especially during battles, seems way too quiet. One of the most disappointing areas of Devil Survivor Overclocked is with its art, as the absolute mismatch in demon designs really brings the game down. The human characters, clearly designed by Suzuhito Yasuda of Durarara!! and Yozakura Quartet fame, look really good, having had plenty of time dedicated to being perfected and refined. Some of the demons look pretty cool, but it's very obvious that their art was done by several different people. Some are very 3D looking, some are cartoony, and some are just plain confusing to understand. Sure, it won't affect actual gameplay, but you would certainly expect a higher bar of quality for a game in such a popular series. What baffles me about the 3DS re-release is that there is barely any usage of 3DS technology. I've found only a handful of screens will give you 3D when you turn up the slider, meaning it both looks and feels like a regular DS game. Overclocked boasts more demons than the original game, as well as an eighth day (compared to the seven in the original games), so there certainly is some new content locked away in the game cart, but reading that it also has higher resolution art just makes me wonder how it looked originally.  Of course, it wouldn't be a complete review without mentioning some of the unfortunate EU bugs and issues. Some are very minor, in particular that some of the demons still contain underscores between both parts of their names (for example Moh_Shuvuu), where there has been an error pulling the names from the game code. One game breaking bug is completely unavoidable, as it only occurs in the auction and there is no way to see it coming as it involves hidden stats. One of the most irritating involves the Summon skill, which allows you to swap one of your knocked out demons during battle for one in your reserves. Imagine having a 3v3 Pokémon battle with a friend, but you had an ability that let you swap one of your knocked out Pokémon for one in your box, without having to give up your attack. It's an extremely useful ability, and unfortunately the game will freeze up if you try and use it. Luckily it will eventually unfreeze itself, just be prepared for about five minutes of waiting around while resisting the temptation to switch your game off. If you're playing the EU version, be sure to save frequently. There is so much to be desired from the art, the voicing and the music, not to mention getting a patch for all these bugs. Saying the game was rough around the edges earlier on is certainly a nice way of putting it, but don't worry all that much about the negatives if you enjoy this particular genre of games. Hidden beneath these nasties is a really fun and genuinely exciting tactical RPG, just be fully prepared for what is in store. 7.0 -- Good (This game could have been destined for greatness, but it was held back by some unfortunate flaws. While some may not enjoy it, fans of the genre will definitely have a blast.)
Review: Devil Survivor photo
Baka survivor.
Devil Survivor Overclocked has certainly seen a rocky release here in Europe, finally landing in the laps of desperate Atlus fans well over a year after the rest of the world. What's more, the eventual launch was hampered wit...

UK Conventions photo
UK Conventions

Guests galore in upcoming UK conventions


Mr Director at his computer
Apr 17
// Chris Walden
It's not often we get notable Japanese guests at our Japan-related get-togethers (as much as you'd think we would), so it's pretty exciting to hear that we've successfully lured some famous folk onto our collection of dinky i...
#rdg is a big deal, guys photo
#rdg is a big deal, guys

Reading Data Girl? Someone cares about hashtags


Damn hackers. I bet it was Anonymous.
Apr 05
// Chris Walden
Seen the first episode of Red Data Girl yet? If you don't know what it's about, how about checking out the first part of our seasonal preview guide? Oh yeah, I was here to talk about drama. Internet drama, no less! Prepare yo...
Ghibli Season! photo
Ghibli Season!

Film4 at it again: 18 Ghibli films in three weeks


That's a lot of Ghibli.
Mar 25
// Chris Walden
[Just a reminder that this starts tomorrow! I've also amended the dates and times after Film4 had some changes, so make sure you readjust your schedules. You can also see if a film is dubbed or subtitled, too. Neato...
Persona 4 Arena release photo
Persona 4 Arena release

About dang time: Persona 4 Arena gets a Euro release date


The wait's been too long
Mar 18
// Josh Tolentino
European gamer's aren't entirely unfamiliar with getting shafted when it comes to releasing certain games, but the case of Persona 4 Arena was always a tiny bit unique. Atlus and Arc System Works' lovely 2D fighter ...
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Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 DLC proves monarchies rule


Yes, that is the takeaway from all this
Jan 28
// Josh Tolentino
This March 5th, Americans will be getting the totally bitchin'-looking Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 first, whereas the rest of the world gets theirs on March 8th. That's a clear advantage, one might say....
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PSA: Persona and other Atlus titles on sale for Euro PSN


Persona, troll boulders, a funny way to say 'droplets', and the holy Trine-ity
Jan 16
// Josh Tolentino
Are you a fan of deals? Sure you are! That's why Atlus is offering those of you European deal-lovers that also happen to be game-lovers a deal...on games. Atlus-published ones. On the PlayStation Network.  From now until...
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Two Ghibli films to air on Film4 over Christmas


P-p-p pick up a Ponyo.
Dec 23
// Chris Walden
Did you tune into Film4 last Christmas? They held their Ghibli season over the holiday period, showing almost all of the available Ghibli films, one per day. I'd seen plenty of the big titles, like Howl's Moving Castle, Spiri...

2012: The Year I Rediscovered My Love For JRPGs

Dec 17 // AdzPearson
Simply put, my old Xbox 360 died. As the 360 is pretty much my primary system for games, a huge chunk of my library was suddenly unavailable for me to play. While I also own a PS3, I only really buy exclusives for it, so there wasn't a great deal of choice for me from there. What I didn't have any shortage of was PS1 and PS2 games. Luckily for me, my PS3 is a launch unit, so both sets of games were available to me. Seeing as time was no longer an issue and I had nothing else to play, I decided to take the plunge and dive into...  I decided on FFV due to my past experience with Final Fantasy games. It's also one I didn't play a great deal of when I first bought it back in 2002 (as part of the EU edition of the FF Anthology). It proved to be the perfect choice, as the fun job system made it very easy to get into the idea of grinding. While I was going into primarily to learn new skills from a job, my characters were also levelling, which was very satisfying. I feel that my grinding ethic has improved a lot since I played through it. When I completed it, I also hit a personal milestone. It was the first Final Fantasy game I had ever completed. Yep, I hadn't even completed FFVII, which is one of my favourite games. Never expected my first completed FF to be 5, but I guess life surprises you like that sometimes. From that point on, I wanted to play more RPGs. Next up was Radiant Historia. Anything that combines time travel with a JRPG sounds like a good idea to me. While it was initially the time travel aspect that grabbed my interest (I love the concept of time travel), I also ended up liking the battle system. It's a system that rewards those who knock enemies into the same space, as you have the opportunity to cause damage to all of them in one turn. It even encourages chaining attacks together, as it builds up your special abilities. Much to my delight, I managed to complete it. It was already my joint most-successful year with RPGs (the other being 2006, when I completed both Suikoden and Chrono Cross). Hot on the success from FFV and Radiant Historia, I decided to go back another game from back in the day... Shadow Hearts really stood out for me because of the unique 'Judgement Ring' system. Basically, you must stop the spinning hand in the lit up areas to perform an action. You can also aim for the edge of these areas to make your attacks or spells more powerful. It really encourages a 'risk and reward' style of play. It can result in victory from the jaws of defeat or vice versa. Another thing I like about Shadow Hearts is the dark setting it has. Its visuals are akin to a survival-horror game. It also doesn't shy away from gore, which is always welcome in my book. I kind of wish the voice acting was better, though (especially due to their accents not matching their nationalities). The next RPG I tackled was Wild Arms 3, another PS2 game I bought a while back. Going into it, I was expecting much...but what I got was when one the best games I've played this year. The story went into directions I didn't expect and all the characters complimented each other very well. It felt like a bounty hunter anime in parts (such as Outlaw Star or Cowboy Bebop). The characters didn't always agree with each other, but they worked together regardless. It wasn't without its problems. The style of the dungeon crawling system meant that it was pretty tiring, so I only played it around 1-2 hours each day. It took me a while to complete. Overall, it was definitely worth it. If you're looking for something a bit different, it might be worth giving it a shot. Grandia was my next port of call. I had played a good chunk of it in the early 00s, but I didn't quite finish it off. This time, I was determined to finish it. It didn't take long to remind myself why I enjoyed so much the first time around. The whole game felt like an epic journey. I also found the battle system satisfying, as it allows for a lot of strategy. For example, there were moments where I had to decide whether to go for a powerful attack or block an incoming move from the enemies. It could be really tense at times. Sure enough, I managed to complete it. All in all, it was a great game. The voice acting was very unfortunate (pretty sure they just went out onto the street and found some random people), but it doesn't really mar it too much. My final completed RPG of the year was FFIV. Much like FFV, I hadn't played a lot of it before. I'd certainly heard it was regarded as one of the best FFs. Is it deserving of such praise? I'd say so. For a game of that era, the characters shined through very well (better than FFV did, which was a bit odd). The story, while clichéd, was also very interesting. The gameplay wasn't anything special, but it was certainly a lot easier without any additional levelling systems going on. Despite all my successes, it wasn't all good news. I had the unfortunate experience of playing... Yep. Dark Cloud. Never again. If the horrible taste of Lemsip became physical and could be played in a games console, it would result in that game. I gave it a fair crack (it actually had some things going for it), but it still turned around and bit me. Would I recommend the game? Sure...for masochists and a way of torturing your worst enemies. Otherwise, stay away from that game. Stay away. STAY AWAY, HEAR ME?! JUST STAY THE HELL AWAY! STAYYYYYYY AWAYYYYYYYYYYYYY! STAAAAAAA... *Many apologies, but it appears that we're having some technical difficulties. For now, here is the test card and some music...* ...ahem, sorry about that. It's still a very raw subject for me. I'm all better now... That brings my blog entry to a close. I've actually just started Persona 3 Portable, but it's pretty obvious I'm not going to complete it before the end of the year (unless I have some kind of crazy caffeine-fuelled marathon...hmmm...*ponders*). It's been a very successful year as far as RPGs are concerned. I'll definitely be playing more JRPGs next year. There's still so many I want to play...oh, so many... ...oh, and feel free to ask if you want more details about what I liked in the games I've mentioned. You can even ask about the infernal piece of crap I mentioned, but...just be gentle, okay? Thanks for reading. :D
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A promoted article from AdzPearson!
[A wild Bloggers Wanted promotion has appeared! Fellow Britannian AdzPearson shows us that we have nothing on his ability to KO a JRPG without relying on back attacks! Hit the jump to see if the games he felled this year are ...

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Help Kickstart extra Princess Mononoke performances


You've got me curious, Whole Hog
Nov 21
// Chris Walden
If you live in the UK, you may have already heard mumblings of Whole Hog Theatre's adaptation of Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke. However, unless you jumped at the chance to purchase tickets, you may have ended up disappoin...
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Reminder: Hyper Japan 2012 Christmas starts this Friday


GET HYPER
Nov 20
// Chris Walden
Stumped for something to do this weekend and can get to London? Well, perhaps you should go book your ticket to Christmas Hyper Japan 2012, because it looks like it's going to be a real treat. There are many interesting event...
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Remember, London MCM Expo begins on the 26th


I think I'll be original and go as myself.
Oct 13
// Chris Walden
Get that cosplay ready, as there are only two weeks between now and the next London MCM Expo. As per usual there will be plenty to get up to, but let's take a look at the video games and guests that'll be turning up! Namco Ba...
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The Wolf Children will be coming to UK cinemas


Sep 06
// Chris Walden
You may remember a while back that Elliot mentioned just how good The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki is, so this news might not come as too much of a surprise to some. Still, it is quite the rarity for anime to be shown in UK cin...
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Film 4 will be showing animated films this week in the UK


Jul 31
// Chris Walden
Those folk over on Channel 4 certainly like their Japanese films, don't they? Back in December last year they held an impressive Ghibli marathon, showing fifteen different films from the legendary animators. From tomorrow til...
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Oops: Problems with the UK Panty & Stocking DVD


Jul 28
// Chris Walden
The UK is gearing up for the release of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt on the 30th, though it seems that a select few have received their copies early. Business as usual when it comes to ordering online, but it has beco...
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Ghibli to do Princess Mononoke play in London


Jul 18
// Brad Rice
One of Studio Ghibli's twitter accounts announced yesterday that they will be putting on a stage version of Princess Mononoke at London's New Diorama Theatre. The show will be a short one, running from April 2 - 6 in 2013. Ti...
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While at Japan Expo, one of the interesting events that happened was during the Awards Ceremony. Kaze, now a division of Viz, was accepting an award for the best shojo manga published that year: Dengeki Daisy. During his acce...

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Many new UK anime licenses revealed at MCM Expo


May 27
// Chris Walden
The London MCM Expo certainly doesn't get the level of news we have come to expect from the big American conventions, but Manga Entertainment and MVM Entertainment have decided to try and break that trend by announcing some o...
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Live in London? Rock out with ShiftyLook and Tim Sheehy


May 19
// Brad Rice
Londonites! Intrepid Europeans! Are you going to MCM next weekend? If so, we've got a bit of a surprise for you: The one and only Tim Sheehy will be there. That's right. Tim Sheehy. The one and only slurper. He's a part...

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