Bundles and Black Friday Deals Make Christmas Bright for Girl Gamers

This is just a collection of things I’ve come across this week that other gamer girls out there may find interesting. It’s the biggest shopping weekend in the USA, and many digital retailers are also offering deals as well as deals in store for many electronics.

Both Kohls and Walmart will have the PS4 for $299 on Black Friday. – I’m hoping to maybe be lucky enough to pick one up but I did just get an Iphone so I don’t know if I’ll have the $$$$ for a PS4 right now, which is fine anyways since the game I really want (Persona 5) got delayed til summer 2016 anyways. And I also really need a new PC – mine is finally starting to lose it’s ability to play some nextgen games (such as Fallout 4). Which I realize isn’t even the most graphically intensive game out there; but I only have a middle of the line Acer that’s 2+ years old now (only cost me about 600 originally, compared to my previous rig, an Alien ware which cost me like 1300 (But last me for 2-3 times longer). So The PS4 $$$ could be half the payment of a new PC too. Still do want PS4 though — and a Wii U :) I don’t normally play graphically intensive games, but ocassionally I do such as the new fallout So I need to get a better PC at some point.

Humble Bundle has some games from Japan in their weekly bundle from last week still going on but none of them really interested me or I have most of them already You can view it here

Indie Gala has a lot of visual novels and otome games in their Every Monday bundle this week – I picked this one up. Lots of these games were on my Steam wishlist and also are games which I have not previously seen bundled.

If you’re looking for an Xbone (not sure why you’d want one except for the 2 “supposedly” “exclusive” JRPGs (supposedly and quotes because one of these titles already exists on PSP, its just getting a cosmetic pretty facelift for the Xbone, so not really “exclusive” in my opinion lol.) Anyways, if for some reason you do want an Xbone (Scalebound looks interesting as well as the two aforementioned “exclusive” JRPGs) you can pick one up this weekend for $450. Here’s a list where to find one at http://www.cnet.com/news/its-official-xbox-one-price-drops-50-during-black-friday-weekend/ — Personally I think the PS4 blackfriday price of $299 is a better deal and has better games, especially if you’re here reading my blog, chances are you like RPGs, JRPGs, Simulation Games, Otome, Visual Novels, etc – none of which you’ll find on Xbone.

Wii U reguarlly $299 is dropping to $250 at both Walmart and Meijer and looks like it comes with the much beloved Super Smash Bros game. Wii U is also home to Xenoblade Chronicles and future home to the upcoming SMT X FE # which that game alone, makes it a definite must own in my opinion. Plus the nintendo e-store has great retro games such as Earthbound, Harvest Moon, and Chrono Trigger too to name a few. You can read more here: http://www.idigitaltimes.com/black-friday-wii-u-deals-best-nintendo-sales-black-friday-2015-492132

It’s rumored that the big Steam sales that we all know and love will begin on November 25th and run through December 1st. This year it’s also rumored that we won’t have daily deals and flash sales, and that the game will remain the sale price for the duration of the steam sale. It’s also rumored the biggest event of the year, the Steam holiday sale will occur on december 22nd, and run until January 4th. Note this is just unconfirmed rumors. I heard about these rumors here: http://www.vg247.com/2015/11/20/no-steam-flash-or-daily-sales-coming-this-autumn-and-winter-according-to-leak/

All week long Tee Turtle shirts are just $12 I have bought from them in the past and can vouch they are amazing and utterly adorable, even the packaging they ship in! http://www.teeturtle.com/

http://www.greenmangaming.com/
Green Man Gaming has 25% off ALL digital games with coupon: 1MZ9FW-H92JSD-2CT74F

Holiday sale is now live at http://www.rightstufanime.com/ including dvds, figures, and toys

Junkyspot.com almost always has black friday sales for asian balljointed dolls, obitsu, and hujoo dolls. Though nothing has been announced just yet. Their sale traditionally lasts a week, with different unannounced dolls available at steep discounts each day, and if you miss out that day you can’t go back, which is tricky and exciting, trying to wait for the doll you want, or take the one you can afford. I got my Hujoo Dana one year in this way, for a big discount (I can’t recall but I believe she may have been 30% which is like $100 off).

I will keep adding to this list as I find other great deals for us <3.

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Bundles and Black Friday Deals Make Christmas Bright for Girl Gamers was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

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Norn9 Var Commons | PS Vita | Otome | Visual Novel | Game | Review

I’ve been spending the past few days playing Norn9 Var Commons on my PS TV (also works with PS Vita). Norn9 is an Otome Visual Novel with a scifi Time Travel theme. The game was hyped up quite a bit – and in some ways, my expectations were a bit too high to live up to that hype; however, I’m still really enjoying this novel.

Gamestop says: “Prestigious Pedigree!
Legendary maestro Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy series) weaves soul swaying compositions and sweeping musical overtures to build a sonic world unlike anything heard before. Famed artist Akiba Minoru (Pokemon the Movie) provides expansive landscapes and awe inspiring visuals.

Content Packed and Feature Rich!
A 50+ hour story, branching story path and multiple endings ensure a deep and engrossing gaming experience. Complete all routes to reveal the truth!”

My Main Complaint – and gods, I cannot find the source now….  Edit: Found it: Here. Is that I read that the game was going to be fully animated. When in actuality, the sprites are super stiff (though not any more or less stiff than the majority of other visual novels out there). I was expecting something like School Days, or NekoPara in terms of the sprite art — but instead got just “Run of the Mill Visual Novel Sprites”. They do blink and their lips move as they read their lines. There are front facing, profile, and three-quarter views of each character. But beyond that, yeah, not exactly what I would call animated. Big Let Down.

Direct Quote Which Proved Totally Untrue:

“The characters in Norn9: Var Commons come to life. No completely static images, here!”

Source: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2015/05/26/norn9-var-commons-coming-to-ps-vita-this-fall/

The Music though, my god, the music is amazing. Though there is this one theme that’s used throughout that kinda sounds like a cellphone ringtone to me – but that’s just me / my imagination lol. The rest of the tracks are really good. Nobuo for the win. 🙂

And yes, the main reason we all play these games, the story. The story is solid gold. It starts slow though. But then it really picks up. The cool thing is that you have not just one girl to play as, but 3 different girls, each with their own story and within that story, different branches to pick to get the guy/ending you want.

The weird thing is, and I also noticed this also about Amnesia Memories – which I reviewed here (and need to update now that I’ve completed it 100%) – anyways I noticed that a lot of these Idea Factory / Otomate games use sorta “IOS / Mobile” “game mechanics” – by that I mean that they have you choose which guy you want pretty early in the game (after a “brief” prologue (though this prologue is longer than most) — I don’t really like this method of choosing the guy. It feels odd. I also find that you have to have 100% “correct” answers. Or you get the bad end. Which makes me feel like my choices don’t really matter (and makes me want to rage quit (or cheat and use a walk through lol).

In a normal visual novel by most other developers, that’s not how this all works. Typically you start a game, you interact with all of the characters, able to slip into and out of their paths by some mathematical percentage of who’s answers you’re matching up with the most. And yes sometimes you can screw yourself over with one bad answer and have to start over, but it’s not E V E R Y single choice with this weight of consequence.

In Norn9 I missed the good Kakeru ending on my first playthrough because I ate all my food in one scene instead of trying to copy another girl to eat less – because I thought Kakeru would love/accept me regardless of my choice, because he’s that kind of guy who likes more natural / carefree women. But nope, and that was in CHAPTER TWO…. Therefore ALL of my other choices became invalidated just by choosing to eat my food. I played the next Eight Chapters (or however many there were) and wasted all of those hours for nothing.

And yes, I did narrow it down to that one choice by using a guide on my second play through. First, in the guide, I thought it was because I did not point out that Kakeru was forcing himself to act happy. I didn’t point it out my first playthrough, saw that (which was in Chapter 6 or 7) in the walkthrough and decided, before going all the way back to Chapter TWO, to try that first. STILL got the bad end even after making this important change (which unlocked the important scene which I thought then for sure would give me good end.). Nope. So Went back to Chapter 2 to change the other question as well. You have to answer E V E R Y question the way they want you to.

Why even have freedom of choice at all? It’s really annoying. – My other answers were all exactly the same as the walkthrough. — Anyways obviously, finally on my third try, got the good ending. But I feel like it doesn’t really let me explore or live out the story the way I want to which is bad for immersion which is important in these games. It’s almost like a kinetic novel. It does have choices, but only really one path that you’re intended to take.

I don’t want it to sound like I hate the game; because I don’t — Nothing could be farther from the truth. I love this game a lot.

But I’m still able to point out its flaws (and point out the fact that it was way over hyped – like the “no static images here” — WTF @ sony blog???…. lol.

But like I said, the storyline is good, and that’s really all that matters in these types of games. If you enjoy games like Ever17 (and Remember 11 and Never 7) or Stein’s Gate – you will like this story. It deals with similar themes – though the pacing/timing and delivery in my opinion were not QUITE as good as the aforementioned games, it is only marginally less well written and the theme is one I honestly enjoy. And unlike any of the aforementioned games, this one is an Otome. Perhaps one of the only commercially available Otome games to deal with a scifi theme such as Time Travel.

At time of this writing, I’ve only completed Kakeru’s route. I’m playing through them in the recommended order (which you can see by pressing triangle within the game when it asks you to select your partner. I’m about 3/4ths of the way through Senri’s route now.

Compared to Amnesia Memories, this one seems to have less typos and inconsistencies – I still noticed a few here or there, but they weren’t as glaring to me as they were in Amnesia Memories. Typos are expected in any heavy text based game such as this. Anyways in either case, so far, the typos have not detracted from my enjoyment of the story.

I don’t have all the pieces/parts of the “puzzle” yet, as to what’s really going on here. But a lot was revealed to me already. I won’t spoil it though for you. 🙂 You’ll just have to play it for yourself.

The one thing which hasn’t been resolved for me yet (but I assume probably will be resolved by the end of the game by completing all routes) is if Sorata ever gets to return home. I’m really curious about that and about him as a character.

Anyways as for a brief story synopsis / overview / character introduction:

You begin the game as Sorata, a 10 year old boy who’s on a field trip to the Diet building (kinda like our house of representatives or senate). He starts hearing strange music, and then the next thing he knows he finds himself cold, frozen, and unable to move, nearly about to die from hypothermia in the middle of a busy city street.

Everyone ignores him, nearly tripping over his frozen cold body. But one girl approaches and is able to help him by building a fire to help him thaw out. This is the nameless protaginist who you get to play as (if you choose) and get to name as yourself or whoever you’d like. She is a bit of a space case, but very kind hearted. Sorta the typical anime heroine stereotype. Ditzy, Clumsy, Says things off-cuff, and Acts impulsively, but very interested in making friends and being well liked etc.

Because of her oblivious nature, and because Sorata really doesn’t have anyone else to turn to for help returning home, he decides to go along with our heroine. She takes him out to a grassy field, where she says a ship will be arriving soon to show her the world. Sorata naturally believes that they should be headed to a shipyard to wait for a ship. But the ship they’re getting on, is actually, a space ship, which swoops down and beams the pair up.

On board the ship, the other characters include:

Kakeru: the botanist who grows food on the ship

Akito: the chef who cooks the food on the ship

Mikoto: Another playable character, she helps protect the ship with her forcefield abilities. She is very beautiful and has a dignified / refined attitude which can sometimes come across as cold.

Senri: A shut-in who avoids the other characters, he has a weak sickly body. He is tiny in build, pale, and very softly spoken. He also hates doing chores or anything physically exerting.

Heishi: A really really dumb (but loveable) guy. His special power is to communicate telepathically with the crew. He is very loud and outgoing

Ron: I don’t know much about him yet honestly, other than he seems to know more than he admits. Even on Aksys’ official website for the game it says “No one really knows anything about him since he never talks about himself.” I suspect more may be revealed by the end of all the routes. I kinda wonder if he is Sorata in the future / a grown version of him. (Just speculation or a guess. Which may be way off base.) I think he’s probably connected somehow in some way to him at least.

Masamune: He is sorta like the “leader” he knows the most about the mission, and is responsible for reporting to the “World” throughout the journey. He appears taller/older than the others on the ship.

Nanami: another playable character. She is very quiet. Not as bad as Senri, but just a more private person. The one quirk I noticed is that she loves food.

Itsuki: He is a player / womanizer who flirts with all of the girls on the ship. He has a playful and mischievous personality. It appears his ability may be shape shifting and/or dream walking.

Sakuya: Stays close at all times to Mikoto. He gives off a quiet gentlemanly princely aura.

There are other characters too, but to reveal them now would be too spoiler-ish. So I’ll leave it at that.

Anyways, once on board, it is shortly discovered there is a traitor on board the ship. Someone is sabotaging the ship and attacking it which may cause it to crash before reaching its goal. In order to determine who the traitor is and minimize his movements, it’s suggested to pair up with another user so you can monitor them, giving the attacker fewer opportunities to go by unnoticed. Whoever you choose here as your partner will also be your love interest, and the focus of the story for that route.

Once you select a partner, the game focus shifts away from Sorata and onto you and your partner. And from the ending I got (Kakeru’s) It never shifts back to resolve things with Sorata – but I’m sure it probably does tie back into him somehow in the end.

There are several twists and turns in the plot/story mainly in regards to the Time Travel theme. It’s also full of futuristic technology and fantasy elements, androids, super-human powers, and space travel to name a few.

As far as gameplay, I’ve covered most of the gameplay elements above. Choosing your playable character, selecting their partner, having to answer 100% of the questions the way the developers want you to, and then arriving at the end, and rinse and repeat for the other characters and partners. The only variation from this is, there are some mini games along the way and points earned in minigames can be used to unlock additional stories, artwork, and soundtracks.

Graphics are beautiful even though I was immensely disappointed because of the way sony marketed this game about the non static image thing… blinking and lips moving hardly counts as not being static lol. but whatever, it’s still totally gorgeous. There are several CG scenes which highlight some of the important parts of the story and the background environments in this game are way gorge too.

Voice acting is also really well done, and if there are certain characters you dislike, you can mute or lower volume of individual characters in the settings which is a unique feature – not one I see myself using, but hey /shrugs. Of course, the voice cast is the original Japanese actors, with English subtitles which is what most of the people playing these types of games (myself included) prefer. So thank you aksys for not ruining the game with a shitty dub. Of course, Aksys could have taken it a step further, to please both sides of the debate, by allowing us to select from a shitty english dub, or original Japanese voice cast. But that would have cost them more money, and with Otome and Visual Novels being a very risky market, I can’t say I blame them for not wanting to put time into revoicing the game, when 99% of the players want it left alone in Japanese audio anyways.

Replay Value is obviously high with 3 playable girls and each girl having multiple romance options and endings for a total of at least 12 or 13 endings (maybe more.) The length of each route is also very substantial. I’d say you’ll average 6+ hours each play through. You do have the option to skip read text which is very helpful for replaying the game as well.

So that leads us to the following scores:

Geeky: 

Sweetie: 

Concept: 10/10 – For use of Time Travel, multiple female protagonists, deep, emotionally engaging story, high replay value, and cute mini games

Gameplay: 6/10 – I disliked how the choices felt “forced” – still good amount of choices, and once again back to the unique multiple protagonists.

Storyline: 9/10 – Emotionally moving, good character development. Neat time travel theme at center of the story. Also a story about humanity and technology and progress and a story about war and trust. Very complex, very engrossing storyline. Couldn’t ask for much more. Deducted 1 point for typos and a couple of weird translation choices. Why did the voice actress (Japanese) use Kakeru (first name) but Aksys chose to ALWAYS keep using Yuiga (last name) That bothered the hell out of me. If the character is on a first name basis (which is a very sweet/special sign of relationship status/closeness in Japan), why not reflect that also in the translation. There were other obvious liberties taken with the translation. At one point Kakeru’s voice actor used the word “Kanajo” which means “Girlfriend” (or can also just mean “Girl” or “that girl”) but the translation said “I’ve never felt this feeling before.” It seems like they could have done a closer / better translation by simply using a phrase such as “I’ve never felt this way about a girl before” or something similar. Still these are minor things that I’m being overly picky of.

Characters: 8/10 The main character feels a little cliche, but she’s still endearing in her own way. I like the use of super powers as a theme throughout and each character’s unique power and how they all tie in together at the end.

Graphics: 8/10 – I am still pretty peeved off about how I was led to falsely believe this would be a super animated high production value game — but when I take away my feelings of bitterness and resentment – and compare it objectively to other visual novels, it’s definitely above average. I mean look at Amnesia Memories and its black and white (almost) backgrounds, compared to the beautiful backgrounds in Norn9 and while yes, the sprites lack the promised animation and “life like” qualities, they’re still really pretty. If they had never made that claim and I hadn’t rode that hype train, who knows, maybe would’ve even gave Graphics a higher score. I think I gave Amnesia Memories a 7 in my review. These graphics are better than that, because of the backgrounds, so therefore, giving these an 8. On par with or slightly better than a slew of other anime otome games out there.

Music: 10/10 Nobuo never disappoints.

Voice Acting: 10/10 Every single character has such a distinct voice and so much emotion into delivering their lines.

Replay Value: 10/10 3 playable protagonists, multiple romance options for each, multiple endings, mini games, unlockable bonus content, one true ending playable only after completing all the other routes which ties everything together, skip function, yep, good replay value here :).

Overall: 79/90 88% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”

Norn9 Var Commons | PS Vita | Otome | Visual Novel | Game | Review was originally published on Geeky and Kawaii | Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews and News

Ensemble Stars – The Free IOS Game That Lets You Collect Cute Anime Boys

Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game
Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game

I’ve been enjoying Ensemble Stars, a game that lets you collect cute anime boys. When I first got the game, I assumed it was like Love Live School Idol Festival! However, it’s a little bit different. Most notably, Ensemble Stars is a Stat Raising Simulation. Not only do you collect the cards (just like in Love Live School Idol Festival!) but then you train different stats such as vocals, dancing, etc. Also, this is NOT a rhythm game. I initially thought it was, until playing it. There’s no user input in battles; it’s all mathematically determined. Your cards stats vs the Opponents’ stats.

This game is not available yet in the US app store. And in no app store is it in English; However, you can easily make a free account (must be on a PC (or mac)) by logging out of your main account and then at the bottom of the screen, change location, and select either the Korean or Japanese app stores. Then sync your iphone/ipad with your new purchase (its a free game).

The company also makes a game called Ensemble Girls which is available in the US app store, however, it is not in English. I just started playing Ensemble Girls lastnight and its gameplay is markedly different from Ensemble Stars. Ensemble Girls plays like a board game. You roll dice and move the corresponding number of squares through each level. You encounter girls to battle and collect points. You can use points to summon new girls for your deck and also get sweet tasting food which if you feed to the girls makes them level up. It’s a cute game, but the gameplay in Ensemble Stars is more fun since it’s a stat raising sim, which Ensemble Girls is not.

When you first start playing Ensemble Stars you get to select one “team” to be your “starter deck” which will determine your rare card.

This is the one I chose, because, he is hot as hell LOL. :drool:

Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game
Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game
Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game
Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game

There’s also a dating sim element to the game too. You can date the guys and by correctly responding to their questions (which are not in English), they will level up. Here are a few more screens showing all of these elements of gameplay. The dating sim, the stat raising sim, and the collectible card game (ccg).

Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game
Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game
Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game
Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game
Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game
Ensemble Stars | Dating Sim | Stat Raising Sim | Trading Card Game | IOS | Android | Anime | Game

The game is really super fun – even though I can’t understand a word of it. I keep hoping they’ll bring us an English version. It’s in many asian countries already. I think with the rise in popularity in America of otome games and dating sims and JRPGs we would be a good market for this game as well. I have already emailed the company and asked them if they would please release an English or “international” version of their app. The game has only been around since April of 2015. So it is not even a year old yet. That means there’s still a chance they could release it at some point in English.

Geeky: 

Sweetie: 

Overall: 70 / 90 78% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

Concept: 10/10 finally a game like Love Live School Idol Festival but with all boy cards! Sweet!

Gameplay: 10/10 – The stat raising simulation and dating sim aspects are really fun, and it’s exciting/thrilling to summon the rare cards that you really want to add to your deck.

Graphics: 10/10 – one of the cutest games around. The little chibi sprites are so cute as they dance and practice their moves in the stat raising sim portion of the game. The still artwork on each card is beautiful, and the dating sim element treats us to fully animated 2d sprites. (not chibi though, full drawn like the card artwork. Lovely.) The backgrounds and environments are also beautiful, and the user interface is so simple and easy to use that I can easily navigate the game even without it being in English (I can’t say the same for Ensemble Girls which I’ve been stumbling through for the past day or two.)

Story: 0/10 – Unfortunately until the game is available in English, the story is a 0/10 – It might have a good story for all I know, but I can’t read it.

Characters: 5/10 – Well the characters are definitely easy on the eyes. But once again I can’t read any of their backstories. So shrugs. If I’m going by character art / concept / design it’s 10/10 – but It would be nice to have the “feels” during the dating scenes by understanding wtf the characters are saying. And getting to know their personality by more than just their facial expressions.

Replay Value: 10/10 Like most mobile games, there are numerous events every month with the chance to get rare limited edition cards and items.

Music: 10/10 – I really like the opening theme and some of the background music also

Voice Acting: 7/10 – I love the voice actors in this game as well. I can’t understand wtf they are saying since there’s no English subtitles (and I deducted points for that), but I do hope that should this game be brought over, that they keep the original voice cast in tact.

Overall: 70 / 90 78% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

If it were in English, chances are story and characters would rate higher, but as it is right now today, it’s still totally playable, and quite enjoyable even without understanding the dialogue.

Additional Resources:

English Wikihttp://ensemble-stars.wikia.com/wiki/The_English_Ensemble_Stars_Wiki

Official Japanese Webpagehttp://stars.happyelements.co.jp/

Reddit Group (mostly English discussion): https://www.reddit.com/r/ensemblestars/ 

How to get the gamehttp://taemintchocolate.tumblr.com/post/96995527773/how-to-get-the-superstar-sm-game-if-you-dont-live

The above guide is how to get a different game, but works regardless for obtaining any game from other app stores in different countries. It is the guide I used in order to get my game(s) :). I think she also has info on how to get the game for android, I don’t know since I am an IOS user.

If you know of other helpful resources for English players, please leave a comment below to share your sources!

Ensemble Stars – The Free IOS Game That Lets You Collect Cute Anime Boys was originally published on

Tree of Savior Closed Beta First Impressions Archer vs Wizard Levels 1 through 20

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get into Tree of Savior Closed Beta, thanks to a very nice giveaway at treeofsaviorgame.com – Thank you guys so much for the beta key. I will upload some videos soon <3. Although Closed Beta Phase 2 is ending in just a few days, my time with it has been short but enjoyable.

Overall here are a few first impressions of the game itself, then I’ll give some feedback about the early levels of two of the classes that I played.

The game is rather lonely in the early levels – I don’t know if this is because it’s possible to solo then, or because I got into the beta so late and everyone has already formed their little groups. I only had one person “talk” to me, if you could even call it that. I didn’t respond, because I felt it was rude/annoying. He simply typed “Lady” “Lady” “Lady” about 3 or 4 times, each on a different line, within a few seconds of eachother. I don’t know if he wanted to chat, or wanted to tell me to stop attacking “his” mobs. I didn’t even see him on my screen until I took a few steps further, and he came into my view, It wasn’t like I was trying to steal his monsters specifically. I stopped attacking and moved on a little further down the map.

The game is beautiful. If you love retro games, pixel/sprite art, kawaii monsters, and anime styled portraits, this game delivers. I am a former Ragnarok Online player. I played all through Beta, and even continued when it went pay to play until FFXI came out, and then I switched to that game instead. Tree of Savior is highly regarded as a “true” sequel to Ragnarok Online, because fans were so disappointed by RO2. The similarities in art style and creature design are definitely there.

The text is too damn small!!! “RAGEFACE” :( — I literally can not read anything. And there’s no way to adjust it in game!! I’m just playing on a laptop computer 15.6″ monitor set at 1366 X 768 resolution. Playing in fullscreen mode. So I don’t think it’s my resolution or display settings as my laptop is old and there’s many people playing at even higher resolutions. — This is my main complaint with the game.

The server is laggy, at least in the main city. It’s not like unplayable, but I did get disconnected twice, to what I assume was lag, and there is noticeable delay/freezing when navigating in the main city.

Tree of Savior is split up into different channels within different servers, this takes away some of the “massive” out of the MMORPG – It feels empty. I rarely run into other players outside of the main city.

Monsters tend to ignore you unless you attack them in the early levels. This is strange to me, and even if there’s like 30 monsters on a map, and you’re attacking some of the ones nearby, the others will just wiggle around on your screen ignoring you while you slay their friends.

Character customization in the early stages is a bit limited. You can choose hair style, but you cannot choose hair color. Hair colors are unlocked later in the game (through crafting and questing I believe). Once you’ve unlocked a hair color, you can select it at any time. also their faces are not detailed at all, nope. lol. We’re talking like 16 bit Super Nintendo style sprites here. Cute, but when compared to games like Aion, or even Mabinogi, or even the original RO, this game disappoints in character customization. NOTE: there are tons of cute items to equip on your character, which do show up in game, so that’s a plus.

All of the starting zones look relatively the same as one another. (keep in mind, I’m only level 20 and the game goes to level 600+). (and yep that’s not a typo). (not sixty, but six hundred.) Which is cool because, I don’t like end game; the journey is more fun than the destination. And with 600+ levels, I’ll be kept busy for a long time! That’s insane.

Quests and storyline, or lack there of, are not terribly interesting in the early levels. This is true of most MMORPGs though, with only a few exceptions (FFXI and SWOR both come to mind as having a great story).

The game has some unique features that I’ve never seen in other MMORPG, most notably, the Adventurer’s Journal and Ranking System; where you earn not just achievements, but get ranked against other players based on how much you’ve seen / done / explored / killed / quested / etc. It’s different from just a pvp ranking or gear score, etc. It’s an all encompassing record of everything you’ve done in the game. This makes it rewarding to get out there and explore. I love that. It adds a little competitive edge, beyond just rewarding titles, gear, achievements, etc (which it also does reward all those things too). But now you have a way to see how you measure up to everyone else. And if you do make it to the top, everyone else can see how awesome you are.

The music in Tree of Savior is cute and mostly calming/melodic. It’s catchy and fits the kawaii theme of the game perfectly.

With my initial thoughts out of the way… Here’s some experiences I’ve had as a lowly archer and lowly wizard. Once again I’m only level 20ish and If there is a cap, (there may not even be a level cap) the rumor is that it’s level 600+. Therefore my experiences are only “first impression” and in no way am I authoritative as to which class is better etc. I’ve only played up to 3% of each of these class’ full potential so far.

The first character I made was an Archer because pets are cute / awesome, which you don’t get until later. I still don’t have one :(. But Archer itself is pretty fun. Now there’s a lot of discussion with people saying Archer is the lowest DPS and has no AOE attacks. (see for example this post here) (of course there are people that are coming to counter argue the points made too. It’s a pretty good discussion actually.)

I am of the belief that Archer has a lot of benefits over Wizard which was the second character I rolled. The main plus is fast attack. My wizard gets hit and her casting interrupted all the fricken time. I have never died as my archer, but my poor wizard died 3 times going from level 1 to 20. With my archer, I have greater attack range. I can attack while moving (albeit slowly) and I have swift step which lets me race all around the map “kiting” the mobs so they keep the heck away from me lol. With my wizard, she gets surrounded, she can’t run while she’s casting, and my god, her casting time sucks.

The wizard’s cool downs are better though. (I’m not in front of my game right now so forgive me for forgetting skill names) The first fire ball type attack that you learn, you can cast it 3 times before it goes on “cool down” where you must wait to cast it again (VS the Archer’s skills going on cool down each time they’re pressed 1 time). Wizards do have a shield to reflect some of the damage when you get hit (I still died though lol.) and Wizards can sleep and CC mobs left and right.

With Archer, your choices aren’t as many, and you are going to be auto-attacking a lot (due to the cool down of your skills and/or lack of SP). You do have some nice skills though they are VERY SP (spell point) intensive. I burn through mana pots more on my Archer than my wizard. Something is just f–ked up about that! That doesn’t make sense LOL. Alternatively though, I have to spam health pots on my wizard, and my archer almost never gets hit by anything since I kite the mobs around as I attack them.

For me, and my play style, Archer was a lot more fun, and a lot less aggravating than wizard. Wizard is more powerful. Even with me dying three times, I got to level 20 in about half the time that Archer took me. This could be in part since it was my second play through and I was more accustomed to the quest line / chain of progression / controls / game mechanics, etc.

But Wizard felt more annoying. I did not like dying so often. I know wizards are glass cannons in all MMORPG – they would be WAY too over powered if they were anything else! — But just for me, personally, I rather trade the “dps” for some more “durability” and the kiting play style is more “fun” to me than just sitting there spamming my skills, sleeping mobs to keep them away, and hoping to kill them before they reach me (which clearly doesn’t always go in my favor lol).

I just did the advancement quest on my wizard lastnight to go to Pyromancer. I plan to take my Archer on her advancement class quest later tonight. If I’m lucky enough to get to level 40 or 50 before this phase of the closed beta testing ends, I will write up another review. I also really want to check out barbarian who is supposedly really “overpowered” right now, and cleric to a lesser degree (I’ve never really enjoyed healer classes.).

But for me, right now, based on my, all be it VERY limited experiences with both classes, I prefer playing Archer. My view point could change later in the game, but for now, I consider my Archer my “main” and I am enjoying it.

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Tree of Savior Closed Beta First Impressions Archer vs Wizard Levels 1 through 20 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

SaGa Scarlet Grace – Coming to PS Vita / PS TV in 2016

I recently read a review for another game, The Legend of Legacy, over on Techno Buffalo, where they continuously compare the game to SaGa Frontier, because some of the same developers went on to work on the Legend of Legacy. Which looks like a great game for the 3DS by the way (after reading their very in depth review, I really want to play the game now too!).

I also have very fond memories of SaGa Frontier and its sequels. But what I was really reminded of was the fact that at this previous Tokyo Game Show (2015), we were treated with a trailer for a new SaGa game, SaGa Scarlet Grace. And it is very likely, we will get this game in the U.S. As well as our friends in Europe, as Gematsu reported that Squaresoft trademarked the name Saga Scarlet Grace for both markets.

This new game will be the first entry in over a decade in the 25 year old series which first began as Final Fantasy Legends on Gameboy. Many western fans never got to experience the most popular titles (Romancing Saga, and its sequels), and so the series never took off in the same way as it did overseas.

However, despite many criticisms of SaGa Frontier 1 and 2 and Unlimited SaGa, I’m a fan of this series. The games feature multiple player characters and you need to play them all to see all bits and pieces of the story, similar to Live A Live on the SNES (another great RPG that we never got here in the US. but one that has thankfully been fan translated (get patch here)) (on that note, Romancing SaGa has also been translated by US fans which you can get here).

However, Romancing SaGa 2 and 3 have never been fully translated into English by fans yet; only partial translations exist which do simple things like menus and item names, no dialogue which is kinda the whole point of an RPG. There is a full translation for 3 but it’s in Spanish which is useless to me lol. More SaGa games is a good thing; and I’m super excited for SaGa Scarlet Grace!

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SaGa Scarlet Grace – Coming to PS Vita / PS TV in 2016 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Disgaea comes to PC for the First Time with Disgaea PC – an HD Remake of the first game, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Disgaea is a cult classic Strategy RPG by Nipponichi and now, for the first time ever, PC Master Race players (those who refuse to play on a console) are about to experience this epic game series.

Technobuffalo recently reported that this is the “definitive” edition of the first Disgaea game, “Hour of Darkness” because of not only the new HD graphics, but also the bonus content that was previously only available in the PSP version “Afternoon of Darkness”

Steam already has a store page set up; and an expected release date in February 2016.

According to the Steam store page, the game will include Japanese and English audio, as well as Japanese, English, Chinese, or Korean text, making it a world-wide edition.

Also in the announcements on the steam page, users will be able to choose from the old “pixelated” graphics, or the new HD graphics, OR mix and match between the two – such as choosing the old character sprites, but using the new HD environments. The interface has also been enhanced for PC play.

For those who have never played Disgaea, or even long-time fans who want to have a copy in their steam library, this is very exciting news.

Here is some info taken from the Steam Store Page to help explain what this game is all about to new players, and to show long-time fans the new features in the PC port.

About This Game

Download the Darkness, Level Up Evil!

Two years after the death of his father, Overlord Krichevskoy, the demon prince Laharl awakens to discover that the Netherworld is in turmoil. With unlikely allies, his devious vassal Etna and the angel trainee Flonne, he must battle his way to supremacy to retake the throne and become the next Overlord. Experience the SRPG classic, now on PC!

Key Features:

  • An SRPG from the most prolific SRPG creators in the world, Nippon Ichi Software

  • Choose from over 40 unique character types

  • Even with a max level of 9999, use Transmigration to start all over again, but your characters will be even stronger per level!

  • Delve into the Item World, a randomly generated dungeon world, to level up your items!

  • With max level characters and leveled-up items, dish out millions of points of damage!

  • Over-the-top battle animations

  • Geo Panels – A puzzle game within a Strategy RPG

  • Lift & Throw – Throw your allies up ledges to reach enemies in hard-to-reach spots, or toss your enemies around instead!

  • A zany story set in the Netherworld, where the notions of good and evil are reversed New to Disgaea PC (It’s not just a port!):

    • Updated UI and textures
    • Keyboard/Mouse and controller support
    • Includes all content from Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness
    • New Steam features, such as Achievements, Cloud Saves, Badges, and trading cards

    Learn about the long and prestigious history of the Disgaea series @ http://disgaea.us/

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Disgaea comes to PC for the First Time with Disgaea PC – an HD Remake of the first game, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

How to Remove Debris Under Screen Protector On Smart Phone

I read an article today on how to remove dust, dirt, hairs, fuzz, lint, etc from underneath your screen protector.

When I tried it though, my screen protector, which I’ve only had for 5 days, cracked.

I want to warn everyone that if you are googling how to remove debris under your screen protector to NOT follow this tutorial if you have a tempered glass screen protector. I have one from ZAGG that luckily will be covered under the warranty.

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For those wanting to remove dirt and debris… here’s the “urban legend” online…. ONCE AGAIN DO NOT TRY THIS WITH A GLASS SCREEN PROTECTOR. YOU CAN SEE ABOVE WHAT THIS DID TO MY BRAND NEW $45 ZAGG protector.

Materials needed: Scotch Tape

  1. Tear off two pieces of scotch tape

2.) Fold tape over on it’s self leaving enough space to slide your finger through each piece (so that both sides are sticky)

3.) With one piece of tape, take your finger at edge of screen protector and gently lift

4.) Use other tape-covered finger to dab the lint or debris until it is removed

5.) Gently lower the screen protector back down.

6.) (Added by me) DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU HAVE A GLASS SCREEN PROTECTOR – IT WILL CRACK!!!!!!

I don’t even know HOW the darn cat hair got under my screen protector. It was put on professionally at best buy. And up until this morning no hair. It was definitely UNDER the screen protector though. I small white hair from my short haired female cat. I also have her hairs on my brand new sweater that was stored in another room where my cats don’t have access. ARGH cat hairs… bane of my existence, but cats make life better, so worth it, even if they destroy sweaters and screen protectors LOL.

Luckily ZAGG gives all of their products a life time warranty; but now I must wait 3 – 7 business days with no screen protector, and go back to best buy and pay $5 to have them put it on for me :( (or deal with the headache and cat hairs of putting it on for myself)

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How to Remove Debris Under Screen Protector On Smart Phone was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

The Letter, a New Horror Visual Novel Kickstarter Campaign Half Way to Funding With 5 Days Left

I got an email today about a kickstarter campaign for a new horror visual novel inspired by Japanese horror films such as Ringu and the Grudge. It’s currently half way to funding with only 5 days left.

It features 6 playable characters, fully animated sprites, and quick time events similar to telltales gaming mechanics.

There’s a playable demo also on the kickstarter page.

There’s a number of trailers and visuals for this game, and it looks great. So if you like anime, visual novels, or horror, please consider donating to this project so that we can all play the finished game when it comes out.

There are numerous bonuses for those who back the project on kickstarter, as well as several awesome stretch goals related to the game as well.

For $13 you will receive a digital copy of the game (only 5 left at this price) and for $50 you can get a physical copy (on a disc).

Check out all the cool rewards here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yangyangmobile/the-letter-2?ref=project_tweet

 

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The Letter, a New Horror Visual Novel Kickstarter Campaign Half Way to Funding With 5 Days Left was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

God Wars, New JRPG Strategy RPG Game, Heads West for PS4 and PS Vita in 2016

Kotaku covered a news scoop regarding Kodokawa’s latest upcoming JRPG, God Wars: Toki wo Koete (translation: God Wars: Beyond Time). You play as a girl, which makes this game highly relevant to my audience here at Geeky Sweetie. She’s a priestess named Kaguya, who has been chosen as a sacrifice to the gods, by her own Mother (the Queen).

People who are quick to criticize weak willed characters, especially females in gaming, will appreciate this lead role, who manages to escape her ill fate, and has a spunky and opinionated personality, enough so that she rebels against her mother, and her kingdom.

She does not just accept authority, from her mother, the queen, or even the teachings of the gods. Instead she sets out on a Journey to find her own answers and make her own decisions.

Japanese history, folklore, and mythology are at the heart of the story. Sawaki Takeyasu (famous for his creature work in Devil May Cry and Okami) will be in charge of monster design once again for God Wars Beyond Time.

Gameplay consists of turn based and grid based mechanics similar to those in other JRPG strategy games such as Shining Force, Final Fantasy Tactics, or Tactics Ogre. Check out the official trailer below.

According to Gematsu, God Wars will feature over 30 job classes, 200 weapons, and 600 skills. Gematsu also provided some more storyline details, stating that the game is intended to blend Japanese fairytales with historical events to reimagine the coming of age of some of Japan’s greatest historical figures.

Gematsu also notes that the characters are designed by Mino Taro (famous for character design in Love Plus) and a narration by Japanese actor Shiro Sano.

 

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God Wars, New JRPG Strategy RPG Game, Heads West for PS4 and PS Vita in 2016 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Nagi No Asukara | Anime Review | A Lull in the Sea | Nagi-Asu

Title: Nagi No Asukara (sometimes referred to as Nagi-Asu, or its English title “A Lull in the Sea”

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Overall: 31/35 89% B+ Very Good Anime for Girls

Anime Studio: P.A. Works

Number of Episodes: 26

Overview: Nagi No Asukara is an anime about a race of merfolk whose school closing forces them to attend school on the land with human children. Their elders worry about preserving the merfolk culture, heritage, traditions, and are distrusting of the humans. The children are both sad about their school closing, as well as excited to be able to attend school on the land.

Humans used to worship the sea god, but lately they have turned their back on the old ways in favor of progress. The anger of the sea god has had implications for human and merfolk alike and it only continues to worsen throughout the series.

The children want to help find a way to calm the sea god, and together the merfolk and human children work on an “offering” to please the god of the sea. However, the sea god’s anger is even greater than they could have imagined. The merfolk suggest going into hibernation to sleep until his wrath passes, which saddens the children who realize that their new human friends will be much older and/or deceased by time they wake up. The children agree to take matters into their own hands to find a way to calm the sea.

There are some love triangles and a “coming of age” theme and romance built into this series as well. Wikipedia classifies this anime as a Shonen (anime for young boys) But I would not agree with that. I’d classify it as a Shoujo (anime for girls) due to the heavy themes of romance throughout as well as the “cutesy” big head, big eye look of all the characters. There are no battles or fighting, it’s mostly just a slice of life anime. Last I checked, that’s not what Shonen anime is lol.

The merfolk are protected by scales (I believe they call it Etna (but could be wrong)) which allow them to breathe underwater and make their skin sparkle like diamonds when in the light. (kinda like Twlight’s take on Vampires). This is their blessing from their sea god.

Should a merfolk fall in love with a human, they will instantly lose their scales and be forever unable to return to the sea (as a sign that they have turned their back on the sea god and his people). This becomes a main theme throughout the series; It affects not just the main characters, but side characters as well as the back story.

Scores:

Artwork / Animation: 5/5 I love the cutesy character designs, the simple, calming color palette, the cute school uniforms, and well just everything about this anime screams cute, cute, cute.

Story: 10/10 I really enjoyed this story; it takes some twists and turns and it didn’t really end the way I imagined it. It’s not predictable, it’s not very deep or heavy either though. It is very emotional, but it’s a short brief ride with a good mix of romance and suspense. It was sweet and heartfelt and reminded me of a “modern day” “Little Mermaid” with a few twists.

Characters: 10/10 The design of the characters alone is just incredibly appealing to me. They are beyond kawaii (cute). I also love watching the characters grow and change so much through this series, as they come to understand their feelings and navigate through various emotional upheavals as they come to odds with humans, merfolks, their elders, or even each other.

 Voice Acting: 3/5 It was good, not the best voice acting I’ve ever heard, but “good”. Manaka’s voice iritates me, but it fits her character well – she is a sorta airhead and crybaby. It’s cute in it’s own way, but the constant “whiny” quality tends to annoy me.

Music: 3/5 It’s been less than a year since I watched this series, and I honestly can’t even remember the opening theme. Where as there are some anime I watched 15-20 years ago and can still hear the theme even now in my head. The music was “fine” but just not memorable to me. Average-ish.

Overall: 31/35 89% B+ Very Good Anime for Girls

Note: Story and Characters are always weighted more heavily than other categories for anime reviews. This being because they are the most important qualities in (my) enjoyment of anime. I can suffer through an anime with bad art or bad voice acting if the story and characters are interesting, so we score them on a scale of 10 points, and the other areas on a total of 5 possible points.

In this case, I would’ve given the art 10/10 because it’s just that cute, and the art did in fact effect my enjoyment of the show; but there are shows out there, with ugly as heck art, but a great story. That’s why I always weight story and character higher in the grading scale. I feel most other girls (my target audience) probably also value story and characters more than art/music/technical qualities.

Nagi No Asukara | Anime Review | A Lull in the Sea | Nagi-Asu was originally published on