Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars: PS Vita RPG Game Review

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
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conception ii

What they say: It’s time for classmating!

Monsters have invaded the world of Aterra, and only a few special individuals, imbued with the power of the Star God, are equipped to fight it. With only a small group of warriors and a narrow window of time in which their powers are at their peak, the solution is clear: combine your Star power to make magical Star Children to boost up your forces in battle!

The life of a student can be complicated when you’re exploring dungeons, fighting monsters, AND trying to maintain a high school lifestyle. Learn to balance your activities because the deeper the bond you have with your classmates, the stronger the Star Children you’ll make! In this stimulating JRPG, you’ll be able to create bonds with 7 different female Disciples and create 30 classes of Star Children, so you must learn how to create the perfect Star Children for any situation. In no time, you’ll have dozens of powerful kids with different skills that can take on everything the monsters throw at you.

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What I say: When I first heard about Conception II a few months ago, I was stunned with the innate weirdness of the concept. You are “God’s Gift” (Hey, I can play as myself! I kid, I kid!)and you “classmate” (thinly veiled spiritual sex) with various female students to produce Star Children, who then, with one of the girls, follow you into dungeons in order to fight monsters and save the…world! Seriously. Oh, and it was said to play like Persona. How could any RPG fan not be gobsmacked yet fascinated by this?

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The fine folks at Atlus picked up the game for US release and now this smorgasbord of weirdness is finally here! First things first, the game does take a lot of visual cues from the Persona games. The menus especially have that Persona fell. Likewise with the character designs. The Star Children are unique however as they replace the demons from Persona. Thus it is necessary for the Star Children to have a cuter look. Interacting with the various female students and your friends is similar to the social links from Persona. Although the side stories seem a bit more varied here. This makes it fun to go through all the stories and makes an all ready packed game feel even more full.

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As far as game play goes, there are definite similarities to Persona. You are sent into Dusk Circles, the games dungeons, these are so many floors and you progress through each floor until you find the transport to the next floor. Repeat until you hit the floor with the boss. Defeat the boss and a harder version of the dungeon is unlocked to train in. The onsite lab also offers side jobs, which are mainly fetch quests, for you to work on while sterilizing Dusk Circles. Despite its obvious influences, the levels are randomly generated which keeps you on your toes. The level design is also pretty good and each Dusk Circle has its own look.

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Overall Conception II takes its influences and with the various tweaks to gameplay it certainly feels like its own game and it certainly is much more than a Persona knock-off and it’s a lot of fun to boot.

Rating: 7/10

Disclaimer: A PSN code for the game was provided to us for review from the publisher.

Putty Squad: PS4 Game Review

Publisher: Maximum Games
Developer: System 3
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putty squad logo

What they say: A timeless classic is reborn! Putty Squad returns in a reimagined, stunningly vibrant rendition of the popular platformer from the 90’s! Help the beloved blue blob rescue his friends in the quirky adventure that has you inflating, stretching, squishing, morphing, and punching your way to victory! Set in a lush, 2D world filled with humorous but deadly enemies, Putty Squad offers the best in old-school gaming while bringing you exciting and fully immersive, challenging gameplay.

putty squad 1Your fellow putties are in danger and it’s up to you to save them. Jump into the often outlandish, totally addicting, retro-licious game that has been completely redrawn and re-rendered with a modern twist. Featuring a brand new Tutorial Mode, new moves, global leaderboards, achievements and more, Putty Squad is back and better than ever.

What I say: I have vague recollections of playing the Putty games on the good ol’ SNES back in the day. 2-D platformers were the systems bread and butter and it was a fine example of the genre. Moving forward to today I am always looking for fun games to play with my son. When I was offered the chance to try Putty Squad I gladly agreed. The game has an odd reputation (You can find out more about that here) but at the end of the day System 3 has done a fine job of bringing this sleeper favorite back with a fresh coat of paint and that classic style of play.

Filled with bright colors and a cartoony design, Super Putty is the perfect putty squad 2game to attract young children to its world but it’s the platforming goodness that will draw the rest of us in. The game, while never unfair, does require a definite sense of challenge. While death rarely occurs from missing a jump you may have to give it a couple of tries to master it. The games two modes; Marathon and Challenge will keep you quite busy for a while. Marathon is the meat of the game as you progress from level to level, collecting stars, in order to complete the games story. Challenge tasks you with completing a series of challenges on the levels you have completed.

The only real issue I have with Putty Squad is the price. $30 seems a bit steep based on current prices for like games but getting a game like this in a retail release makes up for it. For those of you who grew up in the 90′s, this is pretty much a must buy. For everyone else there is plenty to like.

Rating: 7/10

Disclaimer: A retail copy of the game was provided to us for review from the publisher.

Square-Enix Realizes People Like Their RPGs, Internet says “No Shit!”

I always knew Square-Enix was full of dumbasses but I never realized how bad it was…until now. via Siliconera

Und you vill like it!

Und you vill like it!

“Not just limited to games for smartphone or console, but we do have some global titles lined up,” Matsuda replied. “However, regardless of whether they’re for smartphone or console, there’s a difficult element to developing global titles, so we’ll be making them without focusing too much on the ‘global’ aspect.”

 

“For example, in the past, when we developed console games with a worldwide premise, we lost our focus, and not only did they end up being games that weren’t for the Japanese, but they ended up being incomplete titles that weren’t even fit for a global audience.”

 

Matsuda continues, “On the other hand, there are games like the JRPG we made for the Japanese audience with the proper elements, Bravely Default, which ended up selling well all around the world.”

The Square-Enix Brain Trust

The Square-Enix Brain Trust

How do these people keep their fucking jobs? I never cease to be amazed how these companies carry on without a clue of what their customers want or keep doing what they are famous for.

Basement Crawl: PS4 Game Review

Publisher/Developer: Bloober Team

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What they say: Enter the basement, explore dark, sinister arenas and be at one with the insanity. Bomberman inspired mechanics bring party games to the next generation level. Staying alive won’t be easy. The only way to survive is to become death itself, crushing all opponents. Fight with, or against your friends in a intensive, packed with action online and offline game modes. And remember, because of the horror-based graphics and themes, it’s best if you don’t play this game alone in the dark. You never know what might be hiding behind you.

What I say: I’ve been putting off reviewing Basement Crawl for a while. A horror themed Bomberman game should be a no-brainer, right? Well in theory it should be the most fantastic party game ever for sick fools like myself. Alas that’s not necessarily the case.

basement crawl 1The game has really dark and creepy visuals. You have four suitably ill characters to choose from; an unicycle riding clown, a girl packing an evil looking teddy bear, a wheelchair bound crash test dummy, and a large medieval looking masked woman. All fit right into the eerie atmosphere. The boards are set up just like Bomberman. Pick your character, then blast your way out of your corner and blow up your opponents. Despite aping the basic play mechanics the game fails on a number of levels. First there is no tutorial at all. You have more than bombs in your arsenal but you have to use trial and error to learn how to use them. Also there are no bots or any kind of single player. It would be nice to practice using all the different weapons. Not to mention there are not always people around to play with locally. True there is online play but to be quite honest it’s buggy as hell and I don’t think I ever successfully finished a match. Also since there is so much confusion the game never really seems fun.

This game had so much potential I almost feel bad beating up on it so basement crawl 2much…almost. The idea behind the game is great but the execution is so wrongheaded that I can’t imagine anyone thinking this would be good enough. And let me tell you it’s not. Blooper Team has promised to make changes and fix the bugs but at this point it really is too little too late. This is a lost opportunity.

Rating: 5/10

Disclaimer: A PSN code for the game was provided to us for review from the publisher.

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky: PS3 RPG Game Review

Publisher: TecmoKoei
Developer: Gust

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What they say: This world has gone through many Dusks, and is slowly nearing its end. Within this world, in the western reaches of the “Land of Dusk,” there was a nation that prospered thanks to its use of alchemy. There, in order to survive the eventual arrival of the “Dusk End,” the people devoted their efforts to rediscover and recreate lost alchemic technologies. Rediscovered technology from the past era was gathered in the alchemy research city known as “Central,” where research was conducted on how to halt the advance of the twilight. One of the heroes is a young man who researched alchemy in Central, the other a girl living in a small town on the frontier. This girl’s name is Escha. In the process of using her knowledge of ancient alchemy to help others, she was assigned to the Development Department. The young man’s name is Logy. Having learned the newest alchemic techniques in Central, he requested a transfer to this understaffed town to make use of his abilities, and meets Escha when he is assigned to the Development Department as well. The two make a promise to use their alchemy together, and bring success to the Development Department.

What they say: Okay, I was pretty excited about a new Atelier game. This one was no longer in Arland but now in Dusk Land.

Atelier_Escha__Logy 1So let’s start with what has been added. Synthesis was very different. Okay, not completely different but so different that it was once again a mystery like it was in Atelier Rorona. Also most of the things you could synthesize were different with a few exceptions like healing salve. The way combat was done was also changed. In past Atelier games only 3 people were allowed out traveling for items to use in synthesis. This is also counting the main characters, so only an additional 2 could go with you. Now, an additional 4 can go with you along with Logy and Escha. The way it is set up is annoying as can be. Three are allowed to fight at a time but they switch out when one dies and it seems to take forever for the living character to switch with the dead character. This can get aggravating when you are in a boss battle.

The graphics really didn’t change. It stayed basically the same from the last game. The art style was unchanged, I mean it looked the same as Atelier Ayesha. The controls didn’t seem any different to me. It played the same as the last one.

The story was different. It wasn’t like the past Atelier games were you were Atelier_Escha__Logy 2given 3 years to do something, this one just gave you a certain amount of days to finish a mission. This annoyed me because I liked how the past games were like, “Oh you have 3 years to do this and if you fail game over!” This helped me manage time. Atelier Logy and Escha wasn’t quite the same. You didn’t have to save a workshop or kingdom, you didn’t have to find a lost your lost mother or sister. You just had to do as you were told…

 

Atelier_Escha__Logy 3Over all it was a okay game, not as enjoyable as the past ones but that’s okay. I would prefer the game to explain a few things with more detail but hey, it happens, Also I would like to have the Friendship Points back. They took that out and that was the only reason I would replay the past games, so that kinda killed the replay value for me.

 

Rating: 7/10

 

Disclaimer: A PSN code for the game was provided to us for review from the publisher.