Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World PC Game Review

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World is a brand new game by Koei Tecmo Games to celebrate 20 years of the series. Wow has it been that long already? I still remember the first 2 games way back when. And you know what else I remember, a little-known Nintnedo DS offshoot game in the Atelier Series called Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island which came out about 10 years ago.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World

So why Am I mentioning Atelier Annie? Because, if you’ve ever played it, then you know what to expect from Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists. Both games are unlike any of the rest of the Atelier Games, and instead put you in a role of managing a city and completing missions to advance.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay

Nelke has some really negative reviews – at least on Steam, but I purchased Nelke anyways, on a hunch it’d be like Atelier Annie, and you know what, I’m not disappointed. If you liked Annie, you’ll like Nelke. Conversely, if you hated Annie, you’ll hate Nelke, and if you’ve never played either game, well there’s only one way to find out then, and that’s by giving it a go for yourself.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay

The reviews on steam are complaining how different Nelke is — and to some — how boring it is… But honestly Atelier Annie was one of my favorites in the series. I loved the humorous story / humorous main character, and yes, I enjoyed the more “Sim Like” gameplay of building a city.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay

Nelke is not without flaws however; Unlike Annie, it lacks the humor and charm, and feels a bit dry and dull so far in the story. I’m 4 hours in at this point… which brings to another flaw, in that 4 hours in, I’m still in the tutorial… This game is very very very linear in the tutorial… Like almost everything will be on lockdown… for a long while… expect your first 8+ hours to be linear AF….

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

After that though there really is a TON of stuff to do in this game. It is NOT boring at all. You can craft items, gather materials, build new buildings, talk to your villagers, discover new recipes, sell items in your shops, and invest in new routes and tools to use in your adventures. There are simplistic turn based combats and different characters to recruit to your village.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

You have to complete some required, and other optional tasks within a set number of days within the game. This can make it difficult and frustrating, so save often and in multiple save slots to try to minimize time lost if you miss a goal.

The game either runs slow on my laptop, or just is really slow by design, to the point where its a little frustrating. It may just be my laptop though and can probably be improved if I adjust some settings.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

The main complaint a lot of people have is that while exploring you do nothing but watch your characters walk by on the screen. They will converse, gather items, and occasionally run into random enemy encounters. The battles are also slow and tedious. I do agree with these basic gameplay flaws. However, they don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the other aspects of city building and mission completing and watching my city grow and evolve based on my decisions and choices made in where to invest and what to build next, etc.

The graphics are insanely adorable as always with the Atelier series.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

Unlike a lot of the other games in the Atelier Universe, this one does not have English voice acting. I do like to have the original voice actors, but I also sometimes like to have an English cast too. I was disappointed they didn’t offer both.

I assume replay value is high because each city you build will be pretty unique and you will attract different stores, different npcs, and different quests based on how your city is developing.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

All and all I’d rate the score card like this:

Title: Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists – Ateliers Of The New World –

Platform – (for this review The PC version was used.) It’s also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Where to Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FMZZYK1?tag=amz-mkt-chr-us-20&ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-org00-win10-other-nomod-us000-pcomp-feature-scomp-wm-5&ref=aa_scomp

Geeky: 3/5 – Points for bringing back some of the popular characters from this series over the past 20 years.

Sweetie: 5/5 – For the casual gameplay and kawaii art

Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Gameplay: 7/10 – I do love the sim aspects, having been a huge fan of Atelier Annie (easily one of my top 3 games in the Atelier universe). But I do agree that the game is slow and the wait for the payoff/reward is pretty steep. The game also doesn’t run great, can’t tell if it’s just my PC though maybe.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

Story: 3/10 – I’m not loving the story, or lack there of. I’m 4 hours in and there’s not much of any story to be found; it does keep hinting at solving a mystery about a fruit from a legendary tree. But compared to other Atelier games the story feels less engaging so far.

Characters: 10/10 – I love seeing popular characters from the Atelier games return all in a brand new game. I also love the new characters that were created just for this game.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

Voice Acting: 7/10 – The original Japanese voice cast does a great job and sounds super cute, but where’s the dual English voice acting? A bit disappointing especially for a 20th anniversary edition, you’d think they would have put a little more time and effort into the localization on this one. It feels cheap and rushed to not have both to choose from.

Music: 10/10 – Always love the music in the Atelier games, and Nelke doesn’t disappoint here either.

Replay Value: 8/10 – I think replay value will be very high, but I’m not looking forward to dredging through 5+ hours of linear handheld tutorials each time.

Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who does not mind slower paced casual simulation games, or to anyone who remembers playing Atelier Annie on the DS. I like Atelier Annie a lil bit more because of the humorous story; but Nelke’s story may pick up and become more interesting. I may come in eventually and update my review scores if I find the story to improve as I get further into the game. Gameplay wise though it is almost identical to Atelier Annie, so if that’s your thing, be sure to check Nelke out.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World PC Game Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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Top 2018 PS4 Games For Girls

I did a lot of research for this list. So the 40 2018 PS4 Games below are not ranked in any particular order.

If I had to pick a few favorites it’d be Detroit Become Human, Kingdom Hearts 3, Shenmue 3, Stein’s Gate Elite, Atelier Lydie & Suelle, Yakuza 6, Your Four Knights Princess Training Story, Shining Resonance Refrain, A Way Out, FF7, and Ni No Kuni 2.

This is not a full release list for the PS4 in 2018, but instead a collection of games I thought would appeal to other gamers such as myself based either on story, anime graphics, cuteness, or gameplay mechanics.

Leave me a comment below and let me know what games you’re looking forward to on PS4 this year!

40+ PS4 Games for Girls Releasing in 2018

1.) Moss

A virtual reality game that features a mouse who knows sign language. The environment is beautiful and the characters are adorable.

2.) Ni No Kuni 2 Revenant Kingdom

Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch is one of my favorite PS3 games. So it’s no surprise that I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel from Studio Ghibli and Level 5 on the PS4 in 2018.

3.) Red Dead Redemption 2

It’s not often that I enjoy a shooting game; however, I am quite fond of the original back on the 360. I enjoy the open world environment, myriad of quests, and choice and consequence system. The horseback riding was also fun.

4.) Detroit: Become Human

I think above any other title on my list, I’m most excited about this PS4 Exclusive from the makers of Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls. It’s a story driven game where the player must make choices at various points which will fork the story down different branches resulting in different endings.

5.) Shenmue 3

Shenmue 3 broke records when it debuted on kickstarter 2 years ago. Finally the wait is over as the title will launch in mid 2018. In case you missed the first two games, rumors abound about an HD remaster that will include both Shenmue 1 and 2 also arriving on PS4 in 2018.

6.) Knights and Bikes

This quirky cute co-op game aims to recapture the feelings of childhood innocence and fun. You can explore a colorful island, fight baddies with water balloons or race your friends on your bicycles.

7.) Bloodstained Ritual of the Night

This is basically a Castlevania game, except since Kojima left Konami, he’s not allowed to use the name Castlevania anymore. I’m also digging the anime style characters as opposed to the more photo realistic characters the series has been using recently.

8.) Final Fantasy 7 Remake

The wait is almost over for the Final Fantasy Remake with new stories, new visuals, and new combat systems. This is more than just an “HD Port” this is a reworking of the game from scratch, using the same characters, world, and story, but improving upon it in many ways.

9.) The Last Of Us Part 2

This story driven post-apocalyptic action game is finally getting a sequel.

10.) Death Stranding

Kojima’s answer to Konami cancelling his Silent Hills game. It looks creepy AF. So if horror is your thing, check this one out. I’ll be picking it up but I know I won’t be able to play it alone in the dark.

11.) Beyond Good and Evil 2

Fans have been begging for this sequel for years, and now finally, the wait is almost over. This quirky series is best known for its anthropomorphic animals and charming worlds.

12.) Kingdom Hearts 3

I am currently preparing for Kingdom Hearts 3 by playing the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix which combines like 8 of the Kingdom Hearts games. I was a big fan of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 when it first came out on PS2, and am excited to revisit the worlds of Kingdom Hearts again in KH3.

13.) Monster Hunter World

Open world RPG adventure game with huge monsters and a variety of weapons and equipment.

14.) Concrete Genie

Your graffiti creations come to life in this PS4 exclusive.

15.) Anamorphine

Another PS4 VR game. This virtual reality game puts you in the role of a young man trying to recover his memories and make sense of the world around him. The story is about his relationship and his wife’s depression.

16.) Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker’s Memory

This prequel will reveal the events leading up to Digimon Cyber Sleuth as you play as Keisuke, a young man accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He must join a team of hackers to uncover the truth. Over 320 Digimon to discover.

17.) Iconoclasts

This game is full of intricate puzzles and a deeply moving story about faith, purpose, and the challenge of helping people.

18.) Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT

The characters from various final fantasy games return for this fun crossover fighting game.

19.) Past Cure

This story driven stealth game will let players use a variety of skills that blend dreams and reality as they try to help the main character master his new found powers while escaping from frightening horrors.

20.) Shadow of the Colossus

A story of a boy trying to find his lost love. Armed with only a bow and arrow you must battle fearsome giants.

21.) The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia

Based on the hit Netflix anime, this beautiful looking brawler features all of your favorite characters in a brand new storyline.

22.) Under Night In-Birth EXE:Late[ST]

This new fighting game from the creators of Melty Blood and Tsukihime features not only great anime artwork, but an excellent story in campaign mode as well. The game blends story and fighting sequences in a similar fashion as Blazblue

23.) Crossing Souls

This colorful adventure game takes place in the 1980s in California. It features puzzle solving and fighting.

24.) Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Come Deliverance is an open world first person action RPG with non-linear story and stunning graphics.

25.) Secret of Mana

This gorgeous remake of the SNES classic will launch in February 2018.

26.) Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet

Based on the popular Sword Art Online Anime. This new title features gun-based combat and 4 player co-op or vs modes.

27.) Frantics

Cute animal characters star in this 4 player party game where you must bluff, battle, or negotiate your way to victory.

28.) Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

Yakuza is a spin off of the Shenmue Series. It features a deep lengthy storyline, intriguing characters, and of course crazy, fun, zany minigames, all in an open world. New to Yakuza 6 is the cat cafe and spear fishing just to name a few.

29.) A Way Out

A narrative game that can only be played with 2 players. Don’t worry if you don’t have any friends, you can play online as well as local co-op. The story revolves around 2 men trying to break out of prison. To do so you must make decisions in the story that will help build trust and friendship between the two inmates.

30.) Dollhouse

An interesting game that lets you create your own maps and stories. It seems to be about artificial intelligence. The multiplayer mode says you are fighting for control to be the “dominant mind”.

31.) The Lost Child

The Lost Child is an anime RPG in which you are able to collect over 50 different gods from various mythologies and train over 250 different skills.  It includes both English and Japanese voice overs.

32.) The Witch and The Hundred Knight 2

This cute anime RPG lets you craft new weapons and items as well as recruit minions to fight for you.

33.) Gintama Rumble

This fighting game is based on the hit anime and manga. It will launch in January 2018.

34.) Fist of the North Star

From the developer of Yakuza, this action brawler is based on the hit retro anime and manga by the same name.

35.) Stein’s Gate Elite

This is a remastered version of the original Stein’s Gate game using animation taken directly from the anime based on the first game plus new animation created for this game. The goal was to create a fully animated visual novel (as opposed to still images). The developers are said to have been inspired from Yarudora, a series of fully animated visual novels from the 90s. I would also compare it to School Days HQ which is also fully animated. (and that animation style is why it ranks among our top 10 games for girls). I reviewed the original Stein’s Gate here. I highly recommend it. And since the first and second Stein’s Gate games have both been released in North America, I’d say there’s a good chance we will see an English release for Stein’s Gate Elite as well.

36.) Your Four Knights Princess Training Story

A “Raising Sim” similar to games such as Princess Maker and Graduation 95. Gematsu has an excellent article detailing how you will train your princess. Basically it involves scolding or praising your princess at various times, for example during conversations or while exploring dungeons. The story and characters change based on your decisions and how you raise your princess. The princesses each have various parameters that you can train to unlock new skills or increase their stats to help them in battle.

37.) Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists & the Mysterious Paintings

Atelier games focus on gathering ingredients and crafting new items. As you can see from the trailer, they feature beautiful anime graphics, and deep stories. Their gameplay is often long, and at times it can get tedious, however, for those who love crafting and exploring, Atelier offers the ultimate crafting system.

38.) Super Robot Wars X

Gematsu indicates that there will be a southeast asian version of this game with English subtitles. For fans wanting to play these games in English you should be able to import the game from Play Asia. It appears to be a compilation of many different retro Super Robot War titles, better known as Gundamn in North America.

39.) OK K.O. Let’s Play Heroes

This colorful brawler game from Cartoon Network arrives in early 2018.

40.) Shining Resonance Refrain

This is a remaster of the PS3 Shining Resonance Game, part of Sega’s Shining Force/Shining Wisdom game series. The PS3 version was never released in North America. Perhaps the new PS4 remake will find its way overseas. In addition to new graphics, this version includes new story scenarios and gameplay modes.

Top 2018 PS4 Games For Girls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Save Up to 70% off Idea Factory Titles at Bundle Stars Featuring Hyperdimension Neptunia and Hyperdevotion Noire

Bundle Stars just announced a big sale on Anime RPGs which seems to focus mostly on Idea Factory’s Hyperdimension Neptunia series with the largest discount being 70% off Hyperdevotion Noire and 50% off Hyperdevotion Noire DLC. Other titles also have 50-70% off in the Anime RPG sale which include Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 1, 2, and 3, Megadimension Neptunia VII, and Hyperdimension NeptuniaU Action Unleashed.

I’m unsure on the dates for this promotion so if you’re looking to get some cheap anime PC games, here’s your chance!

Click here to visit Bundle Stars and see what’s on sale.

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Hyper Dimension Neptunia isn’t the only Idea Factory title on sale either! Amnesia Memories is also 70% Off, and Fairy Fencer F is 65% Off right now. Disgaea PC is also 25% off. You can see all the Idea Factory International titles below:

https://www.bundlestars.com/en/games?page=1&publishers=Idea%20Factory%20International

 

Save Up to 70% off Idea Factory Titles at Bundle Stars Featuring Hyperdimension Neptunia and Hyperdevotion Noire was originally published on

Rumor: Mother 3 Getting Official English Release in 2016

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of Mother 3 – known to gamers in the west as “Earthbound” – Lately, there have been a lot of rumors online, including some started by people from within Nintendo which indicate that we MAY be getting an official English release of the game now a decade after it’s original release in Japan.

Even if the rumors prove false, you can play Mother 3 in English already right now today. You can always purchase the Japanese cart and patch it with the free 100% completed English fan translation which you can get here. If you need help on where to buy the cart for the game, check out Play-Asia who specializes in Japanese import games. There’s also some available that are already “pre-patched” which saves you the trouble of patching it yourself on sites like ebay and amazon here for about $25

But let’s hope that the rumors are true since this is what fans really want from Nintendo, an “official” translation. In fact, the creator of the fan-translation patch has offered his full translation to Nintendo for absolutely free. Though this was years ago now. However, stranger things have happened, Nintendo of America decided to bring out Mother 1 (rebranded as Earthbound Beginnings) just last year which sold better than expected and is much older than Mother 3.  And with the success of the re-release of Earthbound on Wii U, it seems quite profitable (and plausible)  for Nintendo to give fans what they want.

If you’ve never played an Earthbound (or Mother) game, they are very similar to Undertale with lots of customization and freedom, such as specifying your favorite food, favorite color, etc which all get used throughout various parts of the game, as well as a cute, quirky feeling but also very deep and moving story. The charm of the 2nd game, known as Earthbound to western audiences, made it a cult classic among Super Nintendo owners, and it definitely differentiated itself from any other 90s RPG in a very good way.

You can check out a gameplay trailer of Mother 3 to show off the fan translation patch in the video below:

 

Check out some of the sources below to read more about the Mother 3 Rumors Online:

http://gamerant.com/mother-3-nintendo-114/

http://dorkshelf.com/2016/02/04/mother-3-could-finally-be-coming-to-north-america/

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-02-04-mother-3-will-finally-get-western-release-report

http://kotaku.com/the-mother-3-rumors-are-getting-intense-1757072418

We’re Not Telling You Mother 3 Is Being Released In English

http://www.toonzone.net/2016/02/were-not-telling-you-mother-3-is-being-released-in-english/embed/#?secret=CBlf6wZf2C

 

Rumor: Mother 3 Getting Official English Release in 2016 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Valkyrie Profile Review

Valkyrie Profile Review:
Title: Valkyrie Profile
Publisher: Tri-Ace and Squaresoft (Square-Enix)
Release Date: PS1 2000; PSP 2006
Platforms: Playstation 1, Playstation Portable

Overall Score: 51/70 72.86% C- Good Game For Girls

Where to Buy: The Playstation One Disc is Regarded as a Collector’s Edition and goes for upwards of $400 on places like ebay and amazon. You can see the current value of this edition here: LINK

Meanwhile, the PSP version is a more reasonably priced alternative, at just $50 – It’s also very rare, at time of this writing only one copy was available on Amazon which you can track here: LINK

Geeky Factor:  geekygeekygeeky

Sweetie Factor:  sweetiesweetie

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Overview: Valkyrie Profile is an old playstation 1 rpg, which later got remade with additional cutscenes on the playstation portable. The game focuses on collecting different characters and leveling them up before sending them to Valhalla to battle in Ragnarok. It is steeped in Norse mythology and each character has it’s own little side story. The trick is that time is passing as you explore the dungeons and if you want to get as many characters as possible you’re going to be hard pressed to complete everything in enough time. This also increases the replay value of the game allowing you to meet new characters each playthrough. You play the game as Lenneth, a valkyrie who is responsible for guiding the souls of brave warriors after their death. Lenneth herself has a troubled and tormented past which is slowly unveiled as you play through the game.

Gameplay: 9/10 The gameplay is a combination of action-rpg / platformer while exploring the dungeons, but it turns to turn based rpg combat when encountering an enemy. Enemies can be seen on screen and can be avoided, or engaged early to try and get the upper hand in battle. The battle is fast paced even though it’s turn based. You can chain your characters’ attacks for big bonuses and hit combos. This makes combat feel fluid and dynamic. There’s also special finishing moves which can be executed if your group has enough energy when the enemy is knocked down. You command each character with the push of one of the buttons (Square, X, Triangle, or Circle), I do not believe that the battle animations can be turned off, and after awhile, they do tend to get repetitive and slow down the combat some. The dungeon exploration gameplay feels fun and intuitive. You will jump, slide, climb, and build while traversing the dungeons. It is reminiscent of castlevania in this regard. The dungeons also feel adequately large and have lots of hidden goodies for the would-be explorer. At save points you can divine items and save your progress, there’s generally 2 or 3 save points per dungeon. And for those looking for a challenge, the game offers 3 gameplay modes, easy, normal, and difficult. If you play on easy, you are penalized into only having a few characters available to recruit. Aside from the basics mentioned here, the other main gameplay mechanic is the recruiting of characters for Ragnarok. Time passes as you explore dungeons and so you must decide where to go and what to do. It’s almost impossible to recruit every character in a single playthrough which makes this game highly replayable since a majority of the storyline is told through these characters you recruit.

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Story: 9/10  The storyline has 3 different endings for you to achieve, and as mentioned above, depending which characters you successfully recruit you are shown different “side” stories which help bond and endear the cast to you as you play. Due to the nature of the theme, death, and rebirth, etc, there are lots of tragic melodramatic moments. The story borrows heavily from Norse Mythology while throwing in a few unique twists and turns along the way.  You control the story mostly through your valkyrie seal level and evaluation level (two separate features). The other story mechanic involves who you send to Ragnarok and when you send them, and if you yourself decide to go to the final battle as well. Many people consider the “good” (or happy) ending to be very difficult to receive without referring to a guide or walkthrough. There’s one I found on Google here: SPOILER WARNING IF YOU CLICK HERE http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Valkyrie_Profile/Endings

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Concept: 10/10 The unique blend of action and traditional rpg elements as well as the ability to find dozens of unique party members, and the replay value of this game, earn it a 10/10 for overall concept and design.

Characters: 8/10 There are many characters in this game, and some are more fleshed out than others or have more interesting tales, but I think by and large, each story is unique, and collecting all of the characters is one the main attractions of the game. Therefore I give the characters 8/10.

Graphics: 4/10 – I don’t want to be too hard on this game, really, I don’t. I love love love this game. If I was going simply by how much I adore this game, everything would get 10s. But sadly, I must try to be objective. The graphics are old of course, since the game is now 15 years old, and even it’s remake is 9 years old already. That’s not the real problem, my problem is that not only are the graphics oldschool/retro style, but just really low quality. the textures look bad, grainy, pixelated, the sprites don’t look much better. The portraits for each character are nice, they give it a storybook, or painted feeling, but the environment textures and character and monster sprites are just very low quality. I also dinged it a few points for not being able to disable the battle animations which can be lengthy and repetitive.  I also was personally not impressed by the remakes cut scenes, which other reviewers have cited as the highlight of this remastered edition. The textures also seem low quality even in these new cut scenes. I think they could have used more shading and some more details especially in things such as clothing or hair, or even her wings they just don’t have enough detail. And it’s not just a tell of the times/limitations of the hardware, as I’ve seen other PSP games with crisp and clean textures and more details.

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Music: 10/10 I really like the music in Valkyrie Profile – what can I say, it just works, it helps set the tone in the both battle and dramatic or heart-moving story sequences. It’s varied enough that it doesn’t feel repetitive nor annoying, and several tracks remain memorable even after you finish playing the game.

Voice Acting: 1/10: CRINGE WORTHY voice acting. You can find patches online to “undub” this game, and I highly recommend it! The english voice acting is so bad…. like… 80s/early 90s anime kind of bad. It’s Baaaaadddd….. lol.  The first warrior you meet to recruit, reminds me almost of william shatner with his dramatic random pauses. He also doesn’t seem to have a good range capable of emotion, his performance is flat and monotone. I wish that he were the exception, but many other characters are also just as bad. It really detracts from the sentimental impact of the story, because their delivery is just so off. It doesn’t seem like it matches the same emotions the characters are experiencing and really kills the mood of the game for me at times. Also to note: In the original Japanese version EACH character is voiced by a different actor. In the English version, they use about 6 actors to voice a cast of over 30 characters :( That’s just cheap and lazy if you ask me. Do yourself a favor and download the Japanese voices and patch them back into your game. :) It really enhances the entire experience.

Conclusion: Looking past these few flaws, I would encourage you to give this game a chance if you have yet to experience this cult classic in rpg history. It’s fun fast paced gameplay and heartfelt storytelling will hook any gamer. There’s also a sequel called Valkyrie Profile 2 Slimeria

Final Scores:

Gameplay: 9/10

Story: 9/10

Concept 10/10

Characters 8/10

Graphics 4/10

Music: 10/10

Voice Acting: 1/10

Overall: 51/70 72.86% C- Good Game For Girls

Valkyrie Profile Review

Valkyrie Profile Review

Valkyrie Profile Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Valkyrie Profile Review

Valkyrie Profile Review:
Title: Valkyrie Profile
Publisher: Tri-Ace and Squaresoft (Square-Enix)
Release Date: PS1 2000; PSP 2006
Platforms: Playstation 1, Playstation Portable

Overall Score: 51/70 72.86% C- Good Game For Girls

Where to Buy: The Playstation One Disc is Regarded as a Collector’s Edition and goes for upwards of $400 on places like ebay and amazon. You can see the current value of this edition here: LINK

Meanwhile, the PSP version is a more reasonably priced alternative, at just $50 – It’s also very rare, at time of this writing only one copy was available on Amazon which you can track here: LINK

Geeky Factor:  geekygeekygeeky

Sweetie Factor:  sweetiesweetie

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Overview: Valkyrie Profile is an old playstation 1 rpg, which later got remade with additional cutscenes on the playstation portable. The game focuses on collecting different characters and leveling them up before sending them to Valhalla to battle in Ragnarok. It is steeped in Norse mythology and each character has it’s own little side story. The trick is that time is passing as you explore the dungeons and if you want to get as many characters as possible you’re going to be hard pressed to complete everything in enough time. This also increases the replay value of the game allowing you to meet new characters each playthrough. You play the game as Lenneth, a valkyrie who is responsible for guiding the souls of brave warriors after their death. Lenneth herself has a troubled and tormented past which is slowly unveiled as you play through the game.

Gameplay: 9/10 The gameplay is a combination of action-rpg / platformer while exploring the dungeons, but it turns to turn based rpg combat when encountering an enemy. Enemies can be seen on screen and can be avoided, or engaged early to try and get the upper hand in battle. The battle is fast paced even though it’s turn based. You can chain your characters’ attacks for big bonuses and hit combos. This makes combat feel fluid and dynamic. There’s also special finishing moves which can be executed if your group has enough energy when the enemy is knocked down. You command each character with the push of one of the buttons (Square, X, Triangle, or Circle), I do not believe that the battle animations can be turned off, and after awhile, they do tend to get repetitive and slow down the combat some. The dungeon exploration gameplay feels fun and intuitive. You will jump, slide, climb, and build while traversing the dungeons. It is reminiscent of castlevania in this regard. The dungeons also feel adequately large and have lots of hidden goodies for the would-be explorer. At save points you can divine items and save your progress, there’s generally 2 or 3 save points per dungeon. And for those looking for a challenge, the game offers 3 gameplay modes, easy, normal, and difficult. If you play on easy, you are penalized into only having a few characters available to recruit. Aside from the basics mentioned here, the other main gameplay mechanic is the recruiting of characters for Ragnarok. Time passes as you explore dungeons and so you must decide where to go and what to do. It’s almost impossible to recruit every character in a single playthrough which makes this game highly replayable since a majority of the storyline is told through these characters you recruit.

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Story: 9/10  The storyline has 3 different endings for you to achieve, and as mentioned above, depending which characters you successfully recruit you are shown different “side” stories which help bond and endear the cast to you as you play. Due to the nature of the theme, death, and rebirth, etc, there are lots of tragic melodramatic moments. The story borrows heavily from Norse Mythology while throwing in a few unique twists and turns along the way.  You control the story mostly through your valkyrie seal level and evaluation level (two separate features). The other story mechanic involves who you send to Ragnarok and when you send them, and if you yourself decide to go to the final battle as well. Many people consider the “good” (or happy) ending to be very difficult to receive without referring to a guide or walkthrough. There’s one I found on Google here: SPOILER WARNING IF YOU CLICK HERE http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Valkyrie_Profile/Endings

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Concept: 10/10 The unique blend of action and traditional rpg elements as well as the ability to find dozens of unique party members, and the replay value of this game, earn it a 10/10 for overall concept and design.

Characters: 8/10 There are many characters in this game, and some are more fleshed out than others or have more interesting tales, but I think by and large, each story is unique, and collecting all of the characters is one the main attractions of the game. Therefore I give the characters 8/10.

Graphics: 4/10 – I don’t want to be too hard on this game, really, I don’t. I love love love this game. If I was going simply by how much I adore this game, everything would get 10s. But sadly, I must try to be objective. The graphics are old of course, since the game is now 15 years old, and even it’s remake is 9 years old already. That’s not the real problem, my problem is that not only are the graphics oldschool/retro style, but just really low quality. the textures look bad, grainy, pixelated, the sprites don’t look much better. The portraits for each character are nice, they give it a storybook, or painted feeling, but the environment textures and character and monster sprites are just very low quality. I also dinged it a few points for not being able to disable the battle animations which can be lengthy and repetitive.  I also was personally not impressed by the remakes cut scenes, which other reviewers have cited as the highlight of this remastered edition. The textures also seem low quality even in these new cut scenes. I think they could have used more shading and some more details especially in things such as clothing or hair, or even her wings they just don’t have enough detail. And it’s not just a tell of the times/limitations of the hardware, as I’ve seen other PSP games with crisp and clean textures and more details.

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Music: 10/10 I really like the music in Valkyrie Profile – what can I say, it just works, it helps set the tone in the both battle and dramatic or heart-moving story sequences. It’s varied enough that it doesn’t feel repetitive nor annoying, and several tracks remain memorable even after you finish playing the game.

Voice Acting: 1/10: CRINGE WORTHY voice acting. You can find patches online to “undub” this game, and I highly recommend it! The english voice acting is so bad…. like… 80s/early 90s anime kind of bad. It’s Baaaaadddd….. lol.  The first warrior you meet to recruit, reminds me almost of william shatner with his dramatic random pauses. He also doesn’t seem to have a good range capable of emotion, his performance is flat and monotone. I wish that he were the exception, but many other characters are also just as bad. It really detracts from the sentimental impact of the story, because their delivery is just so off. It doesn’t seem like it matches the same emotions the characters are experiencing and really kills the mood of the game for me at times. Also to note: In the original Japanese version EACH character is voiced by a different actor. In the English version, they use about 6 actors to voice a cast of over 30 characters :( That’s just cheap and lazy if you ask me. Do yourself a favor and download the Japanese voices and patch them back into your game. :) It really enhances the entire experience.

Conclusion: Looking past these few flaws, I would encourage you to give this game a chance if you have yet to experience this cult classic in rpg history. It’s fun fast paced gameplay and heartfelt storytelling will hook any gamer. There’s also a sequel called Valkyrie Profile 2 Slimeria

Final Scores:

Gameplay: 9/10

Story: 9/10

Concept 10/10

Characters 8/10

Graphics 4/10

Music: 10/10

Voice Acting: 1/10

Overall: 51/70 72.86% C- Good Game For Girls

Valkyrie Profile Review

Valkyrie Profile Review

Valkyrie Profile Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Devil Maker Tokyo Review

Note: Sadly, this game is no longer available. It was one of my first, and favorite, Ipad Collectible card games. This review will remain up in honor of what a fun game this was.

If you’re looking for similar games, you can try: Million Arthur: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/million-arthur./id935513908?mt=8

Lussid Magic School (AKA Sid Story) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sid-story/id983543914?mt=8

Lastly, you can check out soccer spirits which combines collectible card games with soccer team management here https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/soccer-spirits/id808137814?mt=8 or Love Live School Idol Festival which combines collecting cards with a rhythm game mechanics which you can pick up right here https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/love-live!-school-idol-festival/id834030294?mt=8

Title: Devil Maker Tokyo

Genre: Collectable Card Game / RPG

Publisher: Palmple

Platform: Ipad / Android

Language: English

Geeky Factor: geekygeekygeeky

Sweetie Factor: sweetiesweetiesweetie

Grab it on IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/devil-maker-tokyo/id659867068?mt=8

Grab it on Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.palmple.glodmkr.google&hl=en

Cost: Free (with additional in-app purchases available.) There’s nothing that you “have” to pay for. There are no cards that you can’t obtain on your own while playing the game, but some people are impatient I guess, so for them, the option to buy additional “summons” to summon new devils exists.

Overall Score: 77% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Gameplay: There are multiple areas when it comes to the gameplay. First there is the story mode, where chapters unlock as you level up in the main game, the story is fairly solid (see story for more details there), then there’s the arena, where you can engage in pvp battles with other players.

Battles in this game are all done automatically, you don’t have any control over what happens. In the arena, you pay your fee with silver for entry, and then wait 15 minutes to see the results. Not very exciting lol. But you can win rare cards here. Every month (roughly) they will have a new “arena season” with a new devil to obtain that’s only available for a limited amount of time. You typically have to participate in the arena 150-200 times to obtain this reward. There are other smaller rewards like health potions and summoning tickets and experience cards as well.

Then there’s the “main” game. Here you are free to explore various maps in the game world, each offering various rewards and level requirements to enter. You explore these worlds by clicking on one of three cards that appear at the bottom of your screen. I like to think of it as coming to a fork in the road, you can keep going straight (middle), or turn left or right. Each map has a finite amount of steps, and when you reach 100%, you engage in a boss battle. Boss fights allow you to take up to 2 of your friends’ “leader cards” into battle with you. This is a big help for new or low level players, as some of the boss fights can be very tough. Also, just because you CAN go into a zone (are high enough level to enter), doesn’t mean you SHOULD go in there. I’m level 37 and consistently get my butt whooped by NON-boss battles in the areas with a level requirement of level 35 or even level 32. (My cards are around level 32 on average, rank 6 through 4).

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I guess I’ll talk about that next, cards have various ranks represented by stars across the top of the card, the more stars a card has, the more powerful it is and the more likely you are to want to place it in your party. You have 6 slots you can fill in your party, and you also have a battle cost on each card, and a battle “limit” meter that increases with each level up. Sometimes you might not be able to fit all of your best cards because of this limit. So have to put some thought into the members of your party.

Secondly, cards have a level, and they do NOT gain experience in battle – only you gain experience in battle. Confused yet? lol. The cards level up by sacrificing other cards at the shrine screen. You can sacrifice up to 30 cards at once. The higher the rank, level, and rarity of the cards you sacrifice, the more experience you will gain. Also, the higher the rank, level, and rarity of the card you are trying to level, the more experience it will take to level that card up. You can find “sealed devil cards” in the “theme park” and “fallen darkness” zones. The only use I’ve found for these is to level up your cards.

You can also find “material” cards like otherworldly and celestially armor, etc. You have 2 options for these cards, you can sacrifice them to get a tremendous boost in experience, or use them to transform certain cards at the shrine. When you transform a card, it will go up by one rarity level. The art work will change slightly, and it’s skills and abilities may also improve.

The other thing you can do in this game is fight against the “core”. Cores are discovered by you or your friends as they explore in the main game. If you discover the core, you get a free card, totally random, can be crap, or be really valuable. A core will stay active for 30 minutes OR until it is killed, whichever comes first. You may fight each core once every two minutes. Your friends will also receive a notice that a new core of darkness has been discovered and will hopefully help you defeat it. Each time you fight the core you get a decent amount of experience and a small amount of silver (currency used for things like sacrificing cards at the shrine or entering the arena). If you deal the final blow to the core, you get about ten times the experience awards as a regular “defeat” against the core. If no one defeats the core, it disappears after the time is up. If you OR one of your friends defeats the core, everyone who fought at least ONE battle will receive a card, once again totally random, there are also 2 very powerful cards that can ONLY be found by fighting the core. I’m not sure if they change or not. since I’ve been playing it’s been Amon (rank 5) and Samuel (rank 6). They drop pretty frequently, with Amon dropping about twice as frequently as Samuel.

Lastly, back at the shrine you can also “recontract” a devil. Devils also have a letter grade S through D. It goes (from best rank to worst) S, A, B, C, D. Altering a devil’s rank will alter it’s AP (I assume these are attack points), HP (self explanatory), and DP (maybe defense points? or darkness points? not sure). It may also gain new skills and abilities. It’s “battle cost” however will remain the same. You will need a “recontacting ticket”. You can find them playing the main game, or purchase for real money from the cash shop. So that’s a basic overview on the game play.

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While exploring the zones you will find one of 4-5 different “encounters” at each “step” (each time you select a card at the bottom.) They are pink hearts (heal 20-30% of every party member’s HP), Shortcuts (advance further into the dungeon by skipping some steps), Devil (a battle, where you get a random card if you win), Powerful devil (a harder battle where you get a better card if you win, but still random), Boss (sometimes you find bosses before the final boss) you can take 2 friends’ leader cards, and have a small chance to get the boss card that you fight, they almost never drop though, they are super rare and annoying lol. You also can find cores (explained above), sealed devil and equipment cards (explained above), silver, and “empty spaces” where you might encounter new friends to add to your buddy list. Some maps also have celestial, underworld, or other worldly energy cards which deal OR heal damage based on your corresponding devil types (there’s weaknesses and strengths, but I’ve not figured them all out yet.).

There’s also a weekly “challenge” where you try to approach the core of darkness – basically it’s an endless dungeon with infinite steps, you can keep fighting until you have no party members remaining, you get various rewards for how far you make it. You encounter all the other things you encounter in a normal dungeon too. You can enter once a week for free, and then each time you enter, rather you resume (by paying 50,000 silver), or start over (from the beginning), will cost you light points.

Light points refill every few minutes and each dungeon costs a set number of light points to enter. There are light potions you can buy or find to refill your meter, and also when you level up, this meter, and all of your devils’ hp are restored, and dead devils are revived. If a devil dies while exploring you can use a revive potion to restore them to full health.

The gameplay is fun, but it loses some points from me for not having any control in battles, I can’t use items (like health potions) in battle, I can’t select which skills my devils use, or which devils they attack. All I can do is sit and watch or “skip” the battle to speed it up. I’d also like to see a way to trade cards with other players. Therefore, removing 3 points (2 for no control in battle, and 1 point for no trade feature). Final score 7/10

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Story: The story in story mode is very good. Without revealing too much here is a brief hopefully non-spoilerly synopsis :). You are a contractor, one who can make deals with devils. The devils lend you their power in exchange for “favors” that only a human contractor can perform. When a devil and contractor merge their powers the devils’ full potential is released.

Also a devil can enter areas of light if it is bound to a contractor. Conversely, a devil who puts darkness into a human, or a contractor of “darkness”, can enter darkness that most normal humans would not be able to.

There was a fight many years ago against a very strong devil named Oracha. After this fight, a great area of darkness, known as S1 was created. The government controls S1, the people who lived there before the fight, remain, but most people are prohibited from traveling in or out of the area. S1 is infested with demons and highly dangerous. The people living there live in darkness, despair, strife, etc. Sometimes contractors of light help these people, bringing them food and medicine from outside.

You can’t remember much about your past, but a devil named Yuki tells you that you used to have a contract with her master and that she needs your help to find her master again. You think that she might know more about your past than what she lets on, so you agree to help her in exchange to hopefully regain your lost memories. As the story progresses you begin to realize that you were directly involved in the events which created S1, but no one will tell you exactly how you were related to what happened there.

Oracha is about to re-awaken and is organizing an all out war, demons, against humans, and the newly found “contractors of darkness” mean that now there are humans fighting on the side of the ultimate evil, making him even stronger than the last time you battled him. You must find a way to prevent Oracha and his army from advancing their plans any further. Still, since the story takes a backseat to the main game and other features, and because it doesn’t feel terribly original, giving it a medium score of 6/10

Concept: The concept of summoning devils and making contracts is almost like playing Persona on my ipad. While the game play is VASTLY different, the concept is almost identical. Not very original, but then again I like Persona’s theme/concept. I also like that every card can be obtained for free with hard work, and the cash shop items are 100% optional. I also like that my max card size is very large AND it increases as I play the game. I play a similar game called Valkyrie Crusade and it’s cash shop is almost essential to increase your max card size which never increases, so that’s a big plus in Devil Maker’s favor. I think I have to also remove a point though for not having a landscape format, having to hold my ipad all the time instead of using it’s stand is super annoying. No reason why they should not have landscape view!! Overall concept loses 2 points, one for originality, and one for lack of landscape, BUT it gains 1 point for it’s non-essential cash shop, and nice max-card hand size. Making concept 9/10

Artwork: The artwork reminds me tremendously of Persona. the character designs and environment are very similar, and very nicely drawn. There are some cards which were designed (I assume) by players which palmple has allowed them to autograph the artwork on the cards, which ruins it in my opinion. After many months of play, I gained a red riding hood card which is highly rare. In the middle of the artwork, not even in an inconspicuous place, in huge letters it says artwork by blahblah blah, whatever her name is, a western sounding name, oddly, so that’s why i think maybe it was drawn by a player. None of my other cards have this garish writing on them. I really dislike that about this card, and I worked super hard to get it. orz… But other than that one small point, I think the artwork is beautiful. Some of the artwork does get recycled – a common card and uncommon card are identical except for a hue/color shift, and a rare vs uncommon has a colorshift and sometimes a lineart edit. So I have to ding the artwork 2 points total, making it 8/10.

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Music: I love the music in this game, it’s very catchy. Completely original, and fits the mood of the game. It is perhaps the best music score I’ve heard in a mobile game. 10/10

Voiceacting: Not voiced, no score given.

Characters: The characters in story mode are interesting enough, but take up such a small portion of the game that I can’t really rank them too highly, story is secondary in this game afterall. Character development therefore gets a medium score of 6/10.

Final Scores:

Gameplay: 7/10

Story: 6/10

Concept: 9/10

Artwork: 8/10

Music: 10/10

Characters: 6/10

Overall: 77% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Devil Maker Tokyo Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Devil Maker Tokyo

Title: Devil Maker Tokyo

Genre: Collectable Card Game / RPG

Publisher: Palmple

Platform: Ipad / Android

Language: English

Where to Get: http://www.palmple.com/dm/home?lang=en

Cost: Free (with additional in-app purchases available.) There’s nothing that you “have” to pay for. There are no cards that you can’t obtain on your own while playing the game, but some people are impatient I guess, so for them, the option to buy additional “summons” to summon new devils exists.

Overall Score: 77% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Gameplay: There are multiple areas when it comes to the gameplay. First there is the story mode, where chapters unlock as you level up in the main game, the story is fairly solid (see story for more details there), then there’s the arena, where you can engage in pvp battles with other players.

Battles in this game are all done automatically, you don’t have any control over what happens. In the arena, you pay your fee with silver for entry, and then wait 15 minutes to see the results. Not very exciting lol. But you can win rare cards here. Every month (roughly) they will have a new “arena season” with a new devil to obtain that’s only available for a limited amount of time. You typically have to participate in the arena 150-200 times to obtain this reward. There are other smaller rewards like health potions and summoning tickets and experience cards as well.

Then there’s the “main” game. Here you are free to explore various maps in the game world, each offering various rewards and level requirements to enter. You explore these worlds by clicking on one of three cards that appear at the bottom of your screen. I like to think of it as coming to a fork in the road, you can keep going straight (middle), or turn left or right. Each map has a finite amount of steps, and when you reach 100%, you engage in a boss battle. Boss fights allow you to take up to 2 of your friends’ “leader cards” into battle with you. This is a big help for new or low level players, as some of the boss fights can be very tough. Also, just because you CAN go into a zone (are high enough level to enter), doesn’t mean you SHOULD go in there. I’m level 37 and consistently get my butt whooped by NON-boss battles in the areas with a level requirement of level 35 or even level 32. (My cards are around level 32 on average, rank 6 through 4).

I guess I’ll talk about that next, cards have various ranks represented by stars across the top of the card, the more stars a card has, the more powerful it is and the more likely you are to want to place it in your party. You have 6 slots you can fill in your party, and you also have a battle cost on each card, and a battle “limit” meter that increases with each level up. Sometimes you might not be able to fit all of your best cards because of this limit. So have to put some thought into the members of your party.

Secondly, cards have a level, and they do NOT gain experience in battle – only you gain experience in battle. Confused yet? lol. The cards level up by sacrificing other cards at the shrine screen. You can sacrifice up to 30 cards at once. The higher the rank, level, and rarity of the cards you sacrifice, the more experience you will gain. Also, the higher the rank, level, and rarity of the card you are trying to level, the more experience it will take to level that card up. You can find “sealed devil cards” in the “theme park” and “fallen darkness” zones. The only use I’ve found for these is to level up your cards.

You can also find “material” cards like otherworldly and celestially armor, etc. You have 2 options for these cards, you can sacrifice them to get a tremendous boost in experience, or use them to transform certain cards at the shrine. When you transform a card, it will go up by one rarity level. The art work will change slightly, and it’s skills and abilities may also improve.

The other thing you can do in this game is fight against the “core”. Cores are discovered by you or your friends as they explore in the main game. If you discover the core, you get a free card, totally random, can be crap, or be really valuable. A core will stay active for 30 minutes OR until it is killed, whichever comes first. You may fight each core once every two minutes. Your friends will also receive a notice that a new core of darkness has been discovered and will hopefully help you defeat it. Each time you fight the core you get a decent amount of experience and a small amount of silver (currency used for things like sacrificing cards at the shrine or entering the arena). If you deal the final blow to the core, you get about ten times the experience awards as a regular “defeat” against the core. If no one defeats the core, it disappears after the time is up. If you OR one of your friends defeats the core, everyone who fought at least ONE battle will receive a card, once again totally random, there are also 2 very powerful cards that can ONLY be found by fighting the core. I’m not sure if they change or not. since I’ve been playing it’s been Amon (rank 5) and Samuel (rank 6). They drop pretty frequently, with Amon dropping about twice as frequently as Samuel.

Lastly, back at the shrine you can also “recontract” a devil. Devils also have a letter grade S through D. It goes (from best rank to worst) S, A, B, C, D. Altering a devil’s rank will alter it’s AP (I assume these are attack points), HP (self explanatory), and DP (maybe defense points? or darkness points? not sure). It may also gain new skills and abilities. It’s “battle cost” however will remain the same. You will need a “recontacting ticket”. You can find them playing the main game, or purchase for real money from the cash shop. So that’s a basic overview on the game play.

While exploring the zones you will find one of 4-5 different “encounters” at each “step” (each time you select a card at the bottom.) They are pink hearts (heal 20-30% of every party member’s HP), Shortcuts (advance further into the dungeon by skipping some steps), Devil (a battle, where you get a random card if you win), Powerful devil (a harder battle where you get a better card if you win, but still random), Boss (sometimes you find bosses before the final boss) you can take 2 friends’ leader cards, and have a small chance to get the boss card that you fight, they almost never drop though, they are super rare and annoying lol. You also can find cores (explained above), sealed devil and equipment cards (explained above), silver, and “empty spaces” where you might encounter new friends to add to your buddy list. Some maps also have celestial, underworld, or other worldly energy cards which deal OR heal damage based on your corresponding devil types (there’s weaknesses and strengths, but I’ve not figured them all out yet.).

There’s also a weekly “challenge” where you try to approach the core of darkness – basically it’s an endless dungeon with infinite steps, you can keep fighting until you have no party members remaining, you get various rewards for how far you make it. You encounter all the other things you encounter in a normal dungeon too. You can enter once a week for free, and then each time you enter, rather you resume (by paying 50,000 silver), or start over (from the beginning), will cost you light points.

Light points refill every few minutes and each dungeon costs a set number of light points to enter. There are light potions you can buy or find to refill your meter, and also when you level up, this meter, and all of your devils’ hp are restored, and dead devils are revived. If a devil dies while exploring you can use a revive potion to restore them to full health.

The gamep lay is fun, but it loses some points from me for not having any control in battles, I can’t use items (like health potions) in battle, I can’t select which skills my devils use, or which devils they attack. All I can do is sit and watch or “skip” the battle to speed it up. I’d also like to see a way to trade cards with other players. Therefore, removing 3 points (2 for no control in battle, and 1 point for no trade feature). Final score 7/10

Story: The story in story mode is very good. Without revealing too much here is a brief hopefully non-spoilerly synopsis :). You are a contractor, one who can make deals with devils. The devils lend you their power in exchange for “favors” that only a human contractor can perform. When a devil and contractor merge their powers the devils’ full potential is released.

Also a devil can enter areas of light if it is bound to a contractor. Conversely, a devil who puts darkness into a human, or a contractor of “darkness”, can enter darkness that most normal humans would not be able to.

There was a fight many years ago against a very strong devil named Oracha. After this fight, a great area of darkness, known as S1 was created. The government controls S1, the people who lived there before the fight, remain, but most people are prohibited from traveling in or out of the area. S1 is infested with demons and highly dangerous. The people living there live in darkness, despair, strife, etc. Sometimes contractors of light help these people, bringing them food and medicine from outside.

You can’t remember much about your past, but a devil named Yuki tells you that you used to have a contract with her master and that she needs your help to find her master again. You think that she might know more about your past than what she lets on, so you agree to help her in exchange to hopefully regain your lost memories. As the story progresses you begin to realize that you were directly involved in the events which created S1, but no one will tell you exactly how you were related to what happened there.

Oracha is about to re-awaken and is organizing an all out war, demons, against humans, and the newly found “contractors of darkness” mean that now there are humans fighting on the side of the ultimate evil, making him even stronger than the last time you battled him. You must find a way to prevent Oracha and his army from advancing their plans any further. Still, since the story takes a backseat to the main game and other features, and because it doesn’t feel terribly original, giving it a medium score of 6/10

Concept: The concept of summoning devils and making contracts is almost like playing Persona on my ipad. While the game play is VASTLY different, the concept is almost identical. Not very original, but then again I like Persona’s theme/concept. I also like that every card can be obtained for free with hard work, and the cash shop items are 100% optional. I also like that my max card size is very large AND it increases as I play the game. I play a similar game called Valkyrie Crusade and it’s cash shop is almost essential to increase your max card size which never increases, so that’s a big plus in Devil Maker’s favor. I think I have to also remove a point though for not having a landscape format, having to hold my ipad all the time instead of using it’s stand is super annoying. No reason why they should not have landscape view!! Overall concept loses 2 points, one for originality, and one for lack of landscape, BUT it gains 1 point for it’s non-essential cash shop, and nice max-card hand size. Making concept 9/10

Artwork: The artwork reminds me tremendously of Persona. the character designs and environment are very similar, and very nicely drawn. There are some cards which were designed (I assume) by players which palmple has allowed them to autograph the artwork on the cards, which ruins it in my opinion. After many months of play, I gained a red riding hood card which is highly rare. In the middle of the artwork, not even in an inconspicuous place, in huge letters it says artwork by blahblah blah, whatever her name is, a western sounding name, oddly, so that’s why i think maybe it was drawn by a player. None of my other cards have this garish writing on them. I really dislike that about this card, and I worked super hard to get it. orz… But other than that one small point, I think the artwork is beautiful. Some of the artwork does get recycled – a common card and uncommon card are identical except for a hue/color shift, and a rare vs uncommon has a colorshift and sometimes a lineart edit. So I have to ding the artwork 2 points total, making it 8/10.

Music: I love the music in this game, it’s very catchy. Completely original, and fits the mood of the game. It is perhaps the best music score I’ve heard in a mobile game. 10/10

Voiceacting: Not voiced, no score given.

Characters: The characters in story mode are interesting enough, but take up such a small portion of the game that I can’t really rank them too highly, story is secondary in this game afterall. Character development therefore gets a medium score of 6/10.

Final Scores:

Gameplay: 7/10

Story: 6/10

Concept: 9/10

Artwork: 8/10

Music: 10/10

Characters: 6/10

Overall: 77% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Stein’s Gate

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Title: Stein’s Gate

Publisher: Nitroplus & 5pb. & Kadokawa Shoten

Genre: Visual Novel

Release Date: (Originally Released) October 2010; Preorders Now (2013) onsale for “official” English version localized by JAST USA: http://jastusa.com/blog/2013/09/20/steinsgate-preorders-open/

Platform: PC (for the upcoming English version); the game has also been released in numerous languages for numerous consoles and mobile devices. There’s also an anime based loosely upon this game.

**My play experience is based on the fantranslation but should be relatively close to the same as the final official version – I’m in the midst of playing this still so may update this review and it’s reflected scores as some point. Also I have never watched the anime as I want to beat all the routes first in the game to avoid spoilers :).

Story: The story of Steins Gate revolves around a group of youths who accidentally discover that their microwave has the ability to send emails into the past. There was a ton of thought and research put into this game. It combines science, theories, facts, and pop culture, to create a very believable back story. I like it’s use of real theories and intellectualism. It spurred me to look up many of the concepts and do my own research. As expected, most of the game revolves around time travel,, black holes, time/space theories, and butterfly effect theories. In addition to this it also deals with mental health issues, psychosis, paranoia, etc. Making it a really “heavy read”. I personally like that it’s very thought provoking, but there may be some who find it hard to follow.

Gameplay: The gameplay in this one is hard for me to wrap my head around. It’s a visual novel style game for sure, but the way in which the player interacts is very ambiguous. You do make choices, however, the ramifications of those choices are really not apparent, in the least. You interact with the game through your in-game cellphone, replying to text messages and emails from your friends, when you get a text, it will have a few hyper links in it (one to 3 words per each “link”). Some emails have 3 links, others have only 1, some have none, etc. But once you select a link by clicking on it, you will be shown your character’s response to the email he has just received. Often times, it’s anyone’s guess as to what he will say. (a lot of times its not very nice lol). This makes it really less about strategy and more about random chance in my opinion. – maybe they will improve this with the official translation – or maybe it is intentionally ambiguous, just as the characters in the game are unsure of how they are changing the past,, and the consequences these actions have on their future, we as players are unsure of how our actions are shaping the future for these characters as well. But regardless, it’s a bit “different” from typical visual novels, where the choices you make are more apparent.

Concept: The game references many real life events and borrows heavily from internet culture, rather it’s John Titor (a supposed time traveler who appeared online several years ago), or referencing 4chan, there’s also starbucks, pokemon, and dr pepper. Because it’s rooted so strongly in popcultural references as well as scientific debate and theories, it makes it seem like a very true and believable adventure.

Characters: The cast of characters is a bit weird in this game, you play as a “mad scientist” who often talks to himself and frankly, has many “crazy moments” and your group of friends are equally eccentric from cosplayers, to otaku (in the sorta negative sense of the word, obese, nerdy, perverts, etc), to cross-dressers, to young super geniuses, and even neko-maids, it’s a very eclectic mix. I have mixed feelings on the cast. They lend themselves well to the setting and story, since it’s once again referencing “today’s trends” in popculture, it gives a good overview of many of society’s stereotypes, But these characters can be a bit too stereotypical sometimes and tend to annoy me at points, especially the main character. The fact that I don’t really care for the character artwork could also be causing some slight disconnect here for me.

Graphics: I’m just not a fan of this game visually speaking. It’s highly stylized, to where you either love it or hate it I think. Also it combines some 3d here or there with the 2d which just looks cheap in my opinion and disjointed. Like the two art styles do not mesh well. The highly stylized art is shaded in an odd way, looks like water color almost, but much more muddy and murky. The character designs themselves are also not typical of what one might expect in such a game. They are rough and unclean, almost sketch like in appearance. While I know this was a stylistic choice, it’s one that I just can’t get behind. Mayushi’s bushy eyebrows also annoy the heck out of me, as well as her hair style and clothing. I really don’t like her character art, but I like her character and voice actress. It’s not a bad character concept, but the style is just… not attractive to me.

Music: I really like the music in this game, there are a lot of different tracks, and each one is well suited to the different moods of the game. There are even hidden tracks you can unlock with some of the choices you make in replies to emails you send; sometimes your friends will send you back mp3 files you can listen to in the game; it’s a very unique concept. The music itself is very good and long enough that it won’t annoy as it begins to loop and repeat.

Voice Acting: The game is FULLY voiced, the only thing not voiced are narratives and inner thoughts of the main character – although he sometimes breaks into monologue and begins voicing those too lol. The voice acting for the most part is good. I did get confused once in awhile about who was speaking; the scene with Suzuha and Nae comes to mind as being confusing to me. I would have liked to seen different colored text, or a nameplate system used, but that’s not really the voice actor’s faults. The main character sometimes over(re)acts in my opinion. Other times though he’s really good. It’s a bit hit or miss for me with him. He tends to annoy me at times, but when he’s not being a total nutjob, he has a really good voice with a good range of emotion. I hate his laugh though its insanely fake. I know it’s supposed to be a “mad scientist” laugh, but it’s cheesy as heck, I’d rather a more natural laugh personally. The rest of the cast does a good job and seems more natural to me.

Final Scores:

Story: 10/10

Concept: 10/10

Gameplay: 6/10

Characters: 5/10

Graphics: 2/10

Music 10/10

Voice Acting: 7/10

Overall: 71% C- “Good Game For Girls”