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April 5, 2016

Reviews: Criminal Girls (Vita)

So all I wanted was some old school RPG action. Honest. What I got was Criminal Girls: Invite Only on the Vita which was a fantastic, 100% solid, old-school, 90’s RPG experience if you don’t count the bizarre, pervy mini-games that unlock your team member attacks. No seriously, I could have really done without the mini-games and those alone make this game almost un-recommendable to pretty much anyone who… hmm… yeah, I got nothing. I almost regret playing this game. For comparison this was way worse than Conception II which reaalllllly bothered me as well. 🙁

The game… you are in hell and you are escorting a group of “teen” lolly girls (they really make a point to age them as all high-school graduates… yeah) out of hell by directing them to fight monsters. The pervy mini-games for boosting their skills consists of one-on-one sessions where you drive out their temptations by spanking, tickling, etc… Just typing this out is making me uncomfortable again. Look, I know there are people that like this stuff but frankly I can’t imagine how this got released outside of Japan. Worse yet, they made a lame-assed attempt at censorship of the mini-games for the Western market that really didn’t make the mini-games any less pervy to the point where they probably shouldn’t have even bothered since all it did was get everyone online bitching about the censorship. Why am I playing this again???

Criminal Girls

Mini-games aside though the RPG part of the game was great fun, the music was fantastic, very much a solid 90’s style RPG experience. Hat tip on grind management as well. At one point you can get a spell that allows you ward off monsters (not bosses) while you wonder dungeons, and a second spell to summon a monster encounter at will. This allows you to perform grinding on top of the save marker. Fight a few battles, rest, save, repeat until you’re ready to continue the game. I never really felt like grinding was a chore, or atleast I never felt like the task of grinding was going to risk me getting killed where I would have to repeat level building for the sake of not being able to save. Dungeons were pretty linear with minimal back-tracking that was fairly straight forward when it did happen.

Now I have to debate whether I leave this review up and admit to playing the game. I need a shower and some eye-bleach.

Why!?!

Next up we’ll cover Steins;Gate.

 

March 30, 2016

Reviews: Project Diva F2 (Vita), Persona 4DAN (Vita)

Over the last many months I’ve bounced between StreetPass mini games on my 3DS and playing Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F2, followed by Persona 4: Dancing All Night on my Vita.

As far as rhythm gaming goes on the PlayStation Vita, these two are the top choice. They both are fun to play on Easy difficulty, nicely challenging on Normal and time to move on to something else on anything harder (lol). Both of them have excellent music with a soundtracks that will stick in your head and make you want to jump back into the game at the first chance you have. They both also have nice clean interfaces and in the case of Project Diva you have a tuning option in the config to help with tuning your button reaction time to the beats.

Project Diva was so much fun that I tracked down copies of the original PSP import games as well (which you can get translation patches for) to play through. They’re pretty much the same game mechanic minus the touch screen. Great stuff. Also, if you don’t have a Vita and you’re not looking to import (or download) Japanese PSP games you can get pretty much all of the best songs and then some on the two U.S. PS3 releases. Although I think F2 is probably the definitive version right now (I haven’t played the 3DS release though, so I can’t compare) until Diva X comes out.

Hatsune Miku

P4DAN was an odd one. I really enjoyed playing Persona 4 Golden and simply couldn’t imaging how the hell that could be translated into a rhythm game but wow, once I played it I was instantly sold. They actually tie the whole thing together with a sequel story of sorts that follows after Persona 4. While I would say it’s a very strange story, it’s pretty much in line with the Persona series. They brought back all of the original voice actors as well, so it was fun hearing all of familiar characters working through the story.

Rise Kujikawa

February 6, 2014

Handheld gaming, mini reviews.

For the last few years, the majority of my gaming has been happening on handhelds. Between the Nintendo 3DS and Sony’s PSP and Vita systems, this really has been a phenomenal era for hand held gaming. Due to the length of this list though I’m going to break it into more than one post.

Highlights in no particular order:

Patapon 1 and 2 for the PSP/Vita (Patapon 3 was a real disappointment and the first of the series I didn’t bother solving)
I played this series so much that I regularly would joke that PSP actually stood for “Play Some Patapon”. It’s a brilliantly stylized game that combines the genres of Beat and Action Platform with RPG style elements. The music is catchy and the game play is intense to say the least.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss for Vita
A full blown, console quality Uncharted game for hand held. The story is fun, the graphics are top notch. Some of the mini-game elements were annoying but fortunately not required to progress the game. Play control was solid. The story is pretty stand alone and does not require you to have played the other games to follow, but it does add some extra dynamic between Drake and Sully. The game really sets the bar for hand held and I’m disappointed there have been so few games of this caliber for the platform.
Gravity Rush: for Vita
A visually stunning game to say the least. Even with it being free via the PS+ program for a good year, it’s still worth buying just to show some love to the developers. This is the first game in my opinion that truly pulls off frenetic 3-D air based hand-to-hand combat (don’t get me wrong, Zone of the Enders (PS2/PS3) and Omega Boost (PS1) still hold a fond place in my heart and certainly set the bar for their platforms… hmm… all Sony platform games… trend?). Play control took a little bit to wrap my head around but once I was into the game it became second nature. The manga/comic style approach to cinema/story segments was phenomenally executed. Seriously, it’s just an all around great game and a must have for any Vita owner.

(cont…)