I’ll end this by saying that I didn’t entirely hate my experience with Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly and am glad I made it through because experiencing the characters really was a treat. There are a lot of heart-warming moments and lessons in this title and I am happy I got to learn a few. I just wish there was more to do, especially because the game is not that long to begin with.
It’s a little bittersweet to think about the fact that I am now done with Tchia’s story. It’s been a while since I’ve played such an original game with so much culture. I actually feel compelled to commend it for how much it surprised me. Its storyline was dark but heartwarming, the cast was diverse and colorful (if not a little undeveloped), and the gameplay had me engaged for hours by letting me do something as simple as transforming into a fish. I would definitely recommend this title to anyone who is a fan of open-world adventure games and is looking for a fresh perspective. If anything, it’s a must-play just to experience the amount of love and detail the creators packed into it. There is also just so much to do that I feel it’s totally worth it for the price.
Sometimes you come across a game that is actively striving to evoke emotions within you, and as mentioned above I think Mojiken did an amazing job in driving their intended point home. I truly found myself contending with some dormant feelings as I experienced A Space for the Unbound, and while it does have some things that bog it down (mainly just the long and repetitive fetch quests), it is certainly much more than its flaws. It trades off all the running around with a culturally rich environment/cast of characters, a realistic view into adult issues like depression, anxiety, loss, and loneliness, and for the price also provides pretty good replayability and entertainment value.
Given how hard the last few years have been, I have to admit that it felt nice to play a game with low stakes. I had forgotten how great it is to just enjoy titles without worrying about putting in countless hours or gaining levels. I was truly just there to enjoy a visual novel that had all of the necessary components for success; a well-rounded cast, a short yet engaging story, and beautiful art.
Perhaps, if you’re a bit more easy-going than me and don’t mind the one-note characters and multiple plot points that never really go anywhere, you’ll have a much better time playing this than I did. It’s also worth mentioning that the game itself is rather short, so despite how frustrating it can feel, you aren’t exactly wasting a ton of time making your way through it. All in all, I wouldn’t completely label this game as not worth playing, but I do suggest tempering your expectations so that there is minimal disappointment as you progress through the story. That isn’t to say I regret playing it, but I don’t think I would’ve missed much if I hadn’t.
All in all, playing Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei was a real treat. It has its moments where the story can feel like it’s dragging, as well as a few grammatical errors here and there, but if like me you have aged out of cutesy, under-developed romance games and prefer more mature themes and realistic (albeit still animeish) characters, I recommend you pick this up.
While I do think that my teenage self would have been way more hyped about getting to experience a vampire-filled adventure of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong’s caliber, I can confidently say my adult self was also quite amused. I really liked what this game’s story had to offer, and to be honest it has been a while since I had to think so hard about the hows and whys of the choices I wanted to make in an RPG. I could have done without the tedious and buggy gameplay and the oftentimes janky visuals, but when the credits rolled, that wasn’t at the forefront of my mind at all. Instead, I thought about how I wanted to play the game again and go back and do things differently.
All in all, this was actually a very bittersweet review for me. I am a huge Rune Factory fan and have been excitedly waiting for this new entry in the series. Unfortunately, I can’t say that it met my expectations. The good news is Rune Factory 5 is a familiar experience for those who are used to the genre. The love interests are a bit cringy, and it has god-awful graphics, but if you have a bit of patience and don’t nitpick as much as I do, it will be a mostly enjoyable experience.
If this isn’t obvious by now, I was not a fan of Bustafellows. I have been playing otome games for a long time, so perhaps I have just aged out of the typical character tropes and bland dialogue that plague most of the modern releases. Still, I wanted to like it and admit that for fans of the genre, this game is definitely a diamond amongst the common rough that we get on a yearly (almost monthly if you count mobile games) basis.
Scarlet Nexus is an excellent way to get your JRPG fix. It’s stylish, has an evolving storyline, unique characters, and a wicked fun battle system. It does try to do a lot, and in doing so falls a little short at times, but this is something that will only bog you down if you let it. The game has a lot to offer and boredom is the last thing you’ll feel when you’re running around swinging buses at enemies. If you’ve ever wondered what can be done when truly using the power of the mind, this title offer you a fresh perspective.
It does have some minor flaws, among them its limited world and the nature of how some of the darker themes were handled, but for the low price-point and engaging experience, I wouldn’t let those things keep you from giving it a try. I am certainly glad I did, and look forward to future titles from GameTomo.
To say that Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town disappointed me is an understatement. I have been playing these games since I was young, and while I don’t expect all of them to be hits, I certainly didn’t expect this level of regression either.
Half Past Fate: Romancing Distance is not a boring game, but I do wonder if it was a necessary one. I use games as a form of escapism, so I’m not really sure if I want to actively play a game where I am also living through a global pandemic that won’t let me leave my house or see the people I love.
Gods Will Fall does a lot of things right, so if you’re looking for a game that has high replayability and offers success through personal growth rather than arbitrary difficulty, then look no further. The lead developer at Clever Beans mentioned that their inspiration when creating this game was Demon’s Souls and I’d say they did an excellent job creating an indie version of their muse.
Ocean’s Heart is a love letter to its genre, and I feel like it’s one that does it justice. I really enjoyed this game and all it had to offer. The main story, as well as the side-quests, keep you interested and immersed in the world you’re exploring, the visuals are full of color and charm, and the gameplay, while basic, is elevated by constant puzzle-solving and exploration, making it harder to get bored. If you have it in you to ignore the clunky controls (which I did) then you will find a lot to enjoy about this game.