Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Go West!, your weekly column about Japanese video games, and Idea Factory concoctions. While I'm sure you beautiful people noticed a lack of import love last week, fear not! I have returned from my deadly battle with the flu so that I can bring you joy and prosperity.
This week, I come bearing a smorgasbord of visual novels. Your mileage my vary.
New releases for the week of January 27 - February 2:
Accel World: Kasoku no Chouten
Bandai Namco Games
Online Price: 7,182 Yen ($79.90)
Anime games for everybody!
Kasoku no Chouten is the sequel to last year's Accel World game, continuing where the story left off. Very basic action RPG gameplay is the order of the day here, but that's not why fans would be buying this game anyway. With fanservice galore and a storyline that differs from the anime series and novels, I'm sure there are plenty of AW lovers who would get a kick out of this title.
I'm just not one of them.
Since Kasoku no Chouten is also available on the PSP, I wouldn't expect much in the way of visuals. Quite frankly, there are better games out there that you could be spending your hard earned money on. If you're a super hardcore Accel World fan though? Sure, go for it.
Love Tore: Bitter Version
Online Price: 7,002 Yen ($77.90)
I think this marks the third time that I've had to write about a Love Tore game, against all odds. Because one version wasn't enough, Bitter adds new girls for you to dance and romance with using Kinect's shoddy motion detection. Your goal? Take these potential love interests to the World Dance Championships and kick some booty.
If the above tsundere girl is any indication, fans of generic things are in for a real treat. Everybody else? Feel free to move on.
Sengoku Hime 3: Tenka wo Kirisaku Hikari to Kage
Online Price: 6,193 Yen ($68.90)
Oh hey, another tactical RPG in which all the historical figures from Japan's feudal era are actually moe girls and they do battle! Who's excited? Come on? Anybody?
No? Ok then. Moving on!
Kisou Ryouhei Gunhoud EX
Online Price: 3,497 Yen ($38.90)
Finally, something worth talking about!
Gunhoud EX is an oldschool 2D sidescrolling action game in the same vein as the kind of action games from the early 90s. Fast paced and full of crazy amounts of gunfire flying across the screen, EX is an enhanced version of a PC game, now with more weapons, bosses and the like. It's not a particularly high budget title (the price reflects that), but it makes up for it via its classic gameplay.
One look at a trailer is all it takes for me to jump on board. At times, the Gunhound EX resembles a bullet hell game. This doesn't come as much of a surprise considering G.Rev's pedigree (Kokuga, Under Defeat HD), but it's nonetheless awesome.
If you have a PSP or a Vita, I recommend giving the demo a download before importing. You can get a good idea of what to expect and whether or not this'll be up your alley.
Online Price: 6,193 Yen ($68.90)
Like the series or not, it doesn't change the fact that VitaminZ is a hilariously awful name.
With graduation looming closer and closer, there's no way the boys and girl of Seitei Gakuen would ever graduate from high school peacefully. In the three months before leaving school, witness their stories as they reveal sides of themselves that you've never seen before!
Yeah, not for me. If you're a fan of the series though, I'm sure you can't afford to miss out on Graduation. Import only if you have a high level of Japanese.
Tasogaredoki: Kaidan Romance
Online Price: 6,373 Yen ($70.90)
While Idea Factory might have abandoned Go West! this week, the always awesome QuinRose swoops in to save the day with another crazy otome game.
In the boundary beyond time is a magical academy capable of switching between a school for monsters and a school for humans. Our main character is a young woman with super strong monster powers but no way of controlling them. As spring approaches, a new semester begins and our protagonist finds herself thrust into crazy romance with the denizens of the high school. With the school festival fast approaching, will she be able to find love?
Tasogaredoki is actually a sequel of sorts, which explains why the premise is so generic by QuinRose standards. Still, I have it on good authority that they do good work in the otome game industry. It's probably a safe bet that if you like these sorts of visual novels, you'll be happy with your purchase. Just be prepared for lots and lots of Japanese text.
Renai 0 Kilometre Portable
Online Price: 6,193 Yen ($76.90)
Just look at those faces; clearly Renai 0 is a work of art.
Once upon a time, there was a house in which a single mother lived with her five daughters. Next door to them was a house in which a single father lived with his four sons. The mother had always wanted a son, while the father had always desired a daughter of his own. One day, they both came to a realization: why don't they swap kids?! Three months later, the plan is put into action, and our young hero finds himself surrounded by beautiful woman calling him big brother. His new life begins now!
Ok, regardless of whether this is based on a pornographic game or not, even I have to admit that this premise is ridiculous. If the above facial expressions are any indication, the whole thing looks to be pretty tongue in cheek. I won't be picking this up, but Renai 0 may very well be a fun ride. Non-Japanese speakers need not apply.
[That's all for this edition of Go West!. Next week seems to be thin on releases, save for one very big new one: Dragon Quest VII for the Nintendo 3DS. Expect impressions and the like next weekend! Until then folks, feel free to leave questions and such in the comments below. Ciao!]