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Japanator Live

Japanator Live: There's no escape from Danganronpa 2's despair


Just in time for Memorial Day weekend
May 29
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] Well, folks. I'm finally back from MegaCon '16, the largest convention in Florida that's in Orlando, Fla., which means that it's time for me to continue with Danganronp...
Senran Kagura  photo
Senran Kagura

Aw, yeah: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus hits PC next month


It's about to get steamy around here
May 25
// Salvador GRodiles
To this day, the Senran Kagura series remains on my list of games to play, since the franchise's over-the-top beat 'em up combat system (both 2.5 and 3D) and fun cast have caught my interest. Speaking of which, XSEED has...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Tune in for more thrills, chills and kills with Danganronpa 2


It's time to figure out whodunnit
May 21
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] It was unfortunate that I had to cut the stream when I reached the third chapter's trial, but I didn't want things to drag on too much since Danganronpa 2's cases are l...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Have a miserable summer with Danganronpa 2


Aren't vacations meant to be fun?
May 14
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] For a second, I thought that Danganronpa 2's second trial was going to repeat a scenario from the first game, but the team managed to change things up again. Even thoug...

Review: Corpse Party (PC)

May 09 // Salvador GRodiles
Corpse Party (PC)Developer: Team GrisGrisPublisher: XSEED GamesRelease Date: March 8, 2008 (JP), April 25, 2016 (NA)MSRP: $14.99 From the beginning, Corpse Party sets the scene for an amusing horror story as it separates the main cast after they were transported to a spiritual plane when they failed to properly recite the charm known as “Sachiko Ever After.” This places the player in an intense situation while they try to escape from Heavenly Host Elementary school, a place that was thought to have been demolished; thus emulating that feeling that comes from being in a scary situation without any means to overcome spirits that are after your life. For the most part, Corpse Party’s scary moments aren’t the type of scenes that’ll make people jump out of their seats or scream loudly. Instead, they’re the kind of segments that are meant to shock players through the use of creepy descriptions and sound effects that complement the segments where someone gets killed in a messed up way, such as seeing a girl turn into nothing but blood and guts after being slammed into a wall at full force by two ghost kids. [embed]35006:5594:0[/embed] Even though most of these segments are shown through sprite animations or text on a completely black screen, the impact from watching your character or one of their friends suffer badly remains intact. To an extent, they give off a similar feeling to seeing one of When They Cry: Higurashi’s violent moments, which was the vibe that I was getting through each of the game’s five chapters. With each stage being around 20 minutes to an hour long during one's first playthrough, people won't have to worry about the scary moments overstaying their welcome. One thing the elevates these scenes, it’s the voice cast’s performances, as each person brings out the true potential of the characters that are experiencing fear or going insane from being in a place that’s hard to escape from. This stood out more during the game’s Wrong Ends, since they act as the “Game Over” sequences for the game and a good majority of them involve various members of the cast suffering an unfortunate fate. In some cases, it made up for the lack of visuals in the scenes with black screens. While Corpse Party’s spirits and messed up situations makes it sound like a really intense title, the game mostly has the players searching for ways to progress through the school without having to worry about facing death, such as finding special items or activating switches scattered across the school. However, this doesn’t mean that thing are safe, as the game has a few segments where players run from ghosts and have to avoid certain traps that could result in absolute death. Since none of the students have any items to defend themselves with, Corpse Party ensures that its players are in a state of vulnerability throughout the entire game. The only thing that can help folks overcome each challenge is to for them to be aware of their surroundings while they search for the items and clues to progress further, as it’s a requirement to overcome each chapter. In some situations, one wrong move could cause specific characters to go mad and do something foolish. Overall, this setup works nicely in making the players feel insecure at times, which captures the essence of many horror films— especially with the fact that the game is riddled with a ton of different Wrong Ends. Aside from school’s intense atmosphere, Corpse Party also involves the players trying to figure out the mystery behind the place they’re trapped in. This was one of the most intriguing parts of the title, as it delves into the twisted tales that lead to the Heavenly Host Elementary School being torn down, along with learning about the deceased students who were sent to the spiritual plane before you. Sure, some of the events were messed up, but they’re all still rewarding since they play a big role in giving the surviving students the ammunition to overcome the source of the hauntings. Despite the game’s creepy nature, the title’s characters are depicted in a simplistic style that gives them a cute look. All in all, Corpse Party’s designs shine well when the cast is placed in various dire situations, as certain characters look extremely menacing when they snap or appear emotionally broken when they watch someone die. While the PSP version’s character designs have a nicer updated look, the 2008 PC release’s portraits still have a special charm to them since their expressions still complement the game’s horror themes. In terms of the title’s presentation, the overhead view format with 2D sprites worked well as a callback to the original Corpse Party being a game that was made in RPG Maker. Other than the game’s five main chapters, the 2008 PC version of Corpse Party features a few extra chapters that expand on a few elements present in the game. While the game’s PSP release has more segments than its predecessor, the main thing that sets the latter apart is the last chapter, which is a retelling of the “Tooth” story from Corpse Party: Book of Shadows. While I didn’t play Book of Shadows, the scenario is still friendly to newcomers, as it expanded on a supporting character that was insane in the main story, along with a specific character that the player can only encounter in one of the game’s Wrong Ends. Compare to the other three bonus stages, "Tooth's" length was close to the game’s first chapter; thus making it a neat addition to this release. On the music side of things, Corpse Party's soundtrack sets the mood for its scary tone, as players are listening to songs that give off an eerie and unsettling vibe. A few of the tunes go well with the Halloween season and some of them play off on that feeling that someone dangerous is about to sneak up on you. With each chapter featuring different types of creepy tracks, players are treated to some variety while they try to survive. If anything, this feature's appearance is likely thanks to game launching as an episodic release in Japan. Corpse Party’s 2008 PC release may sport less extra content that its PSP version, but the game makes it up to people with its ability to let them fast forward the title's text, along with its array of extra Wrong Ends and other goodies, such as its take on the “Tooth” chapter and the title having different voice actors. Thanks to these features, this makes Corpse Party worth it for those who want to uncover Heavenly Host Elementary’s darkest secrets on their computer; thus teaching them the important lesson of not messing with charms that are connected to the supernatural. [This review is based on a Steam copy of the game provided by the publisher.]
Corpse Party photo
Sachiko we beg of you!
For the longest time, I never got the chance to get into the horror genre of video games. It’s not that I’m afraid of playing a scary title; it’s that most of the major ones came out on the original Playstat...

Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Feel the music of Danganronpa 2


Hope is the only tune we're listening to
May 07
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] With Danganronpa 2's first trial out of the way, I can say that I was satisfied with the whole thing. The punishment scene pleased my expectations for ridiculous death ...
Lynn photo
Lynn

Lynn and the Spirits of Inao gives off a nice Spirited Away and Castlevania vibe


Ghiblivania anyone?
May 04
// Salvador GRodiles
I'm going to be honest with everyone on here: I'm a really huge sucker for games that look like a beautiful illustration. From Vanillaware's titles to stuff like Indivisible, I can't help to want these things insid...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Have fun in the sun with Danganronpa 2


This heat can't be beaten
Apr 30
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] I'm still on Danganronppa 2's first chapter and the game placed me in a weird corner, as my reaction to the first person getting murdered threw me into a state of ...
Steam Anime Sale photo
Steam Anime Sale

Steam's Anime Weekend sale reveals the depths of our infiltration


'Send the rest', he said
Apr 29
// Josh Tolentino
Sony isn't the only place putting the deals out for Golden Week. Steam, that hive of all other things Japanese when it comes to gaming, has just pulled the trigger on its Anime Weekend Sale. Running through Monday May 2nd, th...
Corpse Party photo
Corpse Party

Let's bring out the punch: Corpse Party is out on PC


Watch out for those Wrong Ends
Apr 26
// Salvador GRodiles
It's time for us to have a scary celebration as the original PC version of Corpse Party has crept its way to Steam, GOG and the Humble Store on Monday. In this case, it might not be a good idea to drink the punch. Of cou...
God Eater 2 Rage Burst photo
God Eater 2 Rage Burst

Satisfy your hunger with God Eater 2 Rage Burst's tasty bundles


Tastes like sweet heaven
Apr 24
// Salvador GRodiles
With two God Eater titles heading West within the same timeframe, the gang at Bandai Namco have prepared a banquet that'll please those who want to feast on roasted Aragami. For the folks in North America, anyone who gets th...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Drown yourself in more despair with Danganronpa 2


Farewell, sweet joy
Apr 23
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] So I finally took down Danganronpa's mastermind, and boy was the big reveal a phenomenal moment during the game's final case. Even though the ending left me with some s...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: It's time to finally escape from Danganronpa's despair


The end is actually near
Apr 16
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here and here.] I may have said that I was going to put an end to Danganronpa's despair last week, but I didn't expect for the last trial to end up the way it did. Honestly, I...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Let's put an end to Danganronpa's despair


You're going down, mysterious mastermind
Apr 09
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here and here.] Right when I thought that Danganronpa's punishment scenes wouldn't have any affect on me anymore, the game pulled a ridiculous move that broke my mind and body...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Are we close to solving Danganronpa's real mystery?


It's time to take down despair
Apr 02
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here and here.] If last week's segment was anything to go by, I think that I'm about to figure out the truth behind the incidents that are driving the folks of Hope Academy to...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: We're heading to Danganronpa space


Stand tall, Galactic Hero
Mar 26
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] I may have been really sick during this past week, but I'm now well enough to get back into Danganronpa. Based on the theme of the game's chapter that I'm on, it looks ...
Danganronpa 2 photo
Danganronpa 2

Hello, Goodbye Despair: Danganronpa 2 gets a PC port


Catch the murder fever!
Mar 14
// Josh Tolentino
The Danganronpa games are fantastic. Stylish, tense, and utterly engrossing, they're easily among my favorite visual novels, and I recommend that everyone play them. Thankfully, that just got a lot easier, as people won't hav...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Can Sal overcome Danganronpa's next obstacles?


The shackles are now coming off
Mar 12
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] Well, folks. There's a good chance that I'm an insane person for finding Danganronpa's first punishment scene to be hilarious. I mean, I didn't expect for the firs...
Trails in the Sky photo
Trails in the Sky

Rejoice: Trails in the Sky the 3rd crosses the pond


Our prayers have been answered
Mar 11
// Salvador GRodiles
For a second, I wasn't sure if XSEED's tweet about a priest and a nun was important since they might've been in the mood to tell a great joke. Lo and behold, this statement had a higher purpose as the company announced t...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Let's survive private school with Danganronpa


Who is going to die first?
Mar 06
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] When the odds are stacked against us, we tend to act differently from how we usually do in our everyday lives. Depending on the situation, we might be willing to d...
Square Enix sale photo
Square Enix sale

Square Enix's Steam sale chops chunks off Final Fantasy and more


Lightning Returns....for fat bargains!
Mar 04
// Josh Tolentino
It's no surprise that here at Japanator we're into Japanese games, but we're also into saving a bit of money while getting them, which makes Square Enix's Publisher Weekend sale on Steam quite relevant to both of those intere...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: How to run a business the Recettear way


Capitalism, Ho!
Feb 20
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] No matter how well I do in managing my item shop in Recettear, the game throws in many factors that players have to take into account. One of these elements is the pric...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Learn how to overcome debts with Recettear


Those payments are going down
Feb 13
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] If there's one thing that can cripple many video game heroes, it's having them miss out on paying a huge bill. The debt's damage is worse than any major boss' ultimate ...
Naruto x Steam photo
Naruto x Steam

Now you can get your Naruto anime fix on Steam


Jouki no Jutsu!
Feb 07
// Josh Tolentino
Rejoice, ninja fans, because Naruto has come to Steam! And no, I'm not referring to the bountiful slate of Ultimate Ninja Storm releases, but instead to a raftload of honest-to-goodness anime, courtesy of ...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: La-Mulana's eighth boss is about to taste defeat


The sweet taste of victory!
Nov 28
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here and here.] Get ready, people! After weeks upon weeks of exploration and getting killed by traps, I'm finally close to uncovering La-Mulana's final mystery. Sure, I s...

Review: Mugen Souls (PC)

Nov 16 // Christian Chiok
Mugen Souls (PC [reviewed], PS3)Developer: Compile HeartPublisher: Ghostlight LTDMSRP: $19.99Released: October 22, 2015 [Note: This is a review of the PC version of Mugen Souls. Chris Walden reviewed the PS3 original back in 2013.] Mugen Souls follows the story of Chou-Chou, “The Undisputed God” who plans to conquer the universe by subjugating the seven worlds it comprises, as she thinks the planets look pretty. Traveling from world to world with her trusty companion Altis, and loyal peon Ryuto, Chou-Chou’s goal is to turn the heroes and demon lords of each world into her 'peons' (servants), saving the world from conflict in the process. If you’re looking for a serious story, Mugen Souls is definitely far from that option. While the characters are funny, the game's story revolves around moe and vague sexual themes that are never handled with any kind of maturity. It will keep you entertained for the first couple of hours but it will get old fast. Although the game features a lot of complicated systems, the gameplay is relatively simple. In Mugen Souls, players will explore areas on each planet, traveling to event points marked on the map that continue the story, fighting enemies, and finding occasional treasures. While the areas have a lot of detail and are very colorful, but unlike your average open-world JRPG, there isn’t much to explore, unfortunately. Most of the areas are empty as it doesn’t feature any optional dungeons or towns, so there's little point to exploring beyond finding the odd treasure chest or two. Unfortunately, the camera in the game is quite awful, especially when hitting a dead-end. It just goes all over the place and you have to constantly adjust it to normal. This can definitely affect your experience playing the game as it can sometimes leave you vulnerable to enemies, causing them to attack you first. Like your typical JRPGs, players can press a button to swing at an on-screen enemy to begin combat and get the first attack, while getting hit by the enemy first does the opposite. While the player usually gets the first hit during normal encounters, it is recommended that they attempt to make the first hit. The gameplay mechanics in Mugen Souls are similar to your typical strategy JRPG, like Disgaea or Agarest: Generations of War, minus the grid stages and the characters you control being limited to four. The battle system is based on wait time determined by the turn meter on the top of the screen. Once it’s your character’s turn, you will be able to move them to different parts of the field, with the distance varying per character. Depending on the attack, you will be able to attack enemies from far away or close-range as well. Mugen Souls’ strategic gameplay was unique, but I’m more fun of the traditional style featured in Disgaea, Fire Emblem and such. Even though the game features a lot of gameplay mechanics, a lot of those gameplay mechanics feel useless as the game is extremely easy during the beginning of the game, until you reach the massive difficulty spike. I feel like it really lacks a real strategic feel when choosing where to place your characters, something that is imperative in strategy games. I found myself carelessly placing characters without consequences. Not to mention that you will be able to execute most attacks as long as you’re really close. When two or more characters are placed together, you will be able to perform Link attacks. When executed, you will perform various special attacks which are strong enough to knock out strong enemies with one hit. Naturally, the more characters take part of the Linked attack, the stronger it will be. To navigate through these different planets, Chou-Chou her gang must travel using her spaceship the G-Castle. During these travels, you will encounter spaceship battles that play similarly to rock-paper-scissor type affairs where the player can choose between various kinds of attacks and defenses. What really annoyed me about G-Castle battles was that most of them were luck-based. While you’re given a hint of what could possibly be their next move, sometimes that certain hint could mean multiple things and you end up guessing. The fact that I had to resort to spamming once I leveled up makes matter worse. Aside from making each planet’s hero and demon lord into her Peon, Chou-Chou must also make the planet her Peon it truly conquer it. In order to completely conquer a planet, the player must first conquer its continents. There are three methods to do so —paying in gold, having a certain overall kill count, or utilizing Moe Kills. Using Moe Kill is the same as in battle, except the player is given a hint indicating which of Chou-Chou's forms is most effective. The gold points simply give the name of an item in the game's store, which the player then has to give gold equal to or greater than the cost of the item. Luckily, accomplishing these isn’t so bad. However, the last task, which requires the player to meet a certain amount of defeated enemies, which can get quite tedious. One of the reasons being is that regular battles for the vast majority of the game are incredibly easy and quickly become repetitive, thus  players will start skipping battles and then find they have to grind through a bunch of them to capture these points. Aside from the game’s main quests, you will be able to go through easy battles and events via the Mugen Field. While it shares similarities to Disgaea's random dungeons, unfortunately, this mode doesn't provide nearly the same level of entertainment. The point of this mode is to help the player gain new skills, level up old skills, or add defense item slots among other things. Due to the levels being easy, it mostly serves as a place to grind for levels, and with the game's massive endgame difficulty spike, the player will be spending a lot of time there. While in the game’s main lobby (which is inside the G-Castle), players will be able to create their own characters. Unfortunately, creating a battle-worthy character is so much time consuming that it isn’t worth it. I would just recommend sticking to the original characters and focusing on leveling them up. With the game being on PC, it definitely feels superior compared to its PS3 counterpart. The game is definitely colorful and vivid, making it pleasant to the eyes, especially during battle when performing Link attacks. However, what really seems inconsistent was that during the 3D cutscenes, when the character’s’ mouth didn’t move when speaking. As for the soundtrack, while a lot of it is filled with Disgaea-esque tunes, it is easily forgettable. While I’m usually a fan of the soundtrack when it comes to Compile Heart games, I really didn’t enjoy the tracks found in Mugen Souls. However, what I really liked was that the game offered Japanese voice acting as I found the English dub kind of awful. While I would recommend playing the game with a gamepad, the game certainly allows players to use keyboard and mouse. However, it feels kind of awkward, especially when moving the controlling the camera when moving. Being a PC title, it will accept a variety of gamepads as long as your PC can detect them. Heck, I was able to play with my Injustice Fightstick (although definitely nyo recommendable, but it’s still a good thing that it was able to read it.) If you really enjoyed playing Mugen Souls when it released on PS3, I would definitely recommend the PC version as it performs better. However, for those looking to add to their JRPG library, it’s hard to recommend this game. The story feels forced and gets old fast, the exploration is lacking, and the G-Castle battles makes the game a bit hard to enjoy. While the gameplay can be enjoyable, it is easily forgettable.  [This review is based on a digital retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.] Mugen Souls (PC)Developer: Compile HeartPublisher: Ghostlight LTDMSRP: $19.99Released: October 22, 2015
Mugen Souls photo
Conquer the Seven Worlds!!
Since last year, Ghostlight, the UK-based publisher, has been bringing various console-exclusive titles such as the Agarest: Generations of War series and Way of the Samurai 4 to the PC platform. This time around, the publish...

Clannad on Steam photo
Clannad on Steam

Clannad gets its first official English release next week


Sad Girls on Steam
Nov 15
// Josh Tolentino
If you told me even three or four years ago that visual novels would be one of the fastest-growing game genres in 2015, I'd have laughed in your face. But you'd have been right: Ever since it came out that people would be wil...
Muv-Luv photo
Muv-Luv

Mission Complete: Muv-Luv Kickstarter comes to a triumphant close


The Earth is now saved!
Nov 05
// Salvador GRodiles
Ladies and gentlemen. It looks like we've successfully vanquished the BETA, as the Muv-Luv Kickstarter ended a total of $1,255,444 on Nov. 3. Not only did they managed to achieve every stretch goal possible (such as...
The Legend of Heroes photo
The Legend of Heroes

Love is eternal: Trails in the Sky SC launches next week


Pigs have finally learned to fly
Oct 23
// Salvador GRodiles
Well, folks: I'm happy to announce that we now live in a world where pigs have wings, and hell has frozen over. In other words, XSEED has revealed that The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC hits the PC and the PSN ...
Muv-Luv photo
Muv-Luv

Humanity Wins: Muv-Luv's Kickstarter is off to an amazing start


This calls for a celebration
Sep 27
// Salvador GRodiles
After an amazing great start on Thursday, the Kickstarter for Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative has reached its goal to be localized in the West. In other words, the BETA might as well pack their bags and leave Earth...

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