CULDCEPT REVOLT Review! Such 3DS, Much Wow!

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Do you love video games, Monopoly, and Magic the Gathering? So do we, and that’s why it’s so gratifying to play Culdcept Revolt, Nippon Ichi Software America’s new western localization of the most recent title in the card-game series. With tons of content, unlockables, and online multiplayer, Culdcept Revolt is the time-killer you want for your 3DS or 2DS system, hands down!

Despite some minor UI gripes, this game is an addicting time-sink. Check out the details, as well as screenshots in my full review at KeenGamer.com!

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BLUE REFLECTION Review! (PS4/Steam)

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Blue Reflection is developer GUST’s final entry into their “Beautiful Girls Festival” trilogy, and it deserves the title whole-heartedly! With gorgeous visuals, strategic turn-based combat, and an emotionally resonant story, this release from publisher Tecmo Koei deserves a spot on everyone JRPG lover’s shelf. Grab your controller, your box of cry-tissues, and brace yourself to defeat the invading Sephiroths, and dance again!

Check out my full review of this unique and awesome RPG at KeenGamer.com!

 

YS VIII: LACRIMOSA OF DANA Review!

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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA marks Falcom’s triumphant JRPG return to the world of Ys! Follow fan-fave Adol through a mysterious island littered with monsters, loot, and a mystery involving a beautiful maiden that invades his dreams. Grab your rusty sword, don your armor, and dive headlong into fast-action and exploration-heavy adventure!

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA is both the eighth title in the main Ys series, and developer Nihon Falcom‘s first numbered title in the series in eight years. Featuring smooth action combat, collectibles, crafting, and an adventurous story, fans and newcomers have plenty of reasons to give Ys‘s freshman entry on the PS4a try, especially if you’ve finished Tales of Berseria, and need another action JRPG fix.

Falcom has a real winner here, so check out my full review for more details and screenshots at KeenGamer.com!

HYPER BEAM Review! iOS/iPhone

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Do you miss the arcade games of old, where twitch reflexes and split-second decisions meant life or death, high-score or nothing? Then grab your iPhone, boot up the AppStore, and head straight to Rinikulous Games’ new space shooter HYPER BEAM. Let your thumbs do the talking as you negotiate with enemies via a death laser, also known as the mighty Hyper Beam!

If you like attractive minimalist design, space, and bullet-hell action with inventive touch controls, you’d be well-served to give HYPER BEAM a try. You won’t survive long, but what a life it will be!

Check out my full review with more info and screenshots at KeenGamer.com! Also check out my review of Rinikulous Games’ last excellent mobile game, Lonely Sun!

CLADUN RETURNS: THIS IS SENGOKU! Review!

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The classic dungeon series is back with Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! With a new Nobunaga-era backstory and more dungeons than you can shake a pixel at, NIS’s brilliant bite-sized RPG is bigger, funnier, and more loot-filled than ever! Grab your controller, laptop, or Vita, and dive into this retro-themed masterpiece that’s sure to take years of your life (and you’ll love it!)

It comes down to this: Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! is a treasure trove of time-killing pleasures, the kind of game where boredom has to be sought to be found. Between dungeon crawling, loadout tweaking, magic circle and fortress-fortifying, drawing, and composing, there’re just too many play options to detail. The dungeons look good, play great, and will have you coming back for more.

Check out my full review with more info and screenshots at KeenGamer.com!

AKIBA’S BEAT Review! (PS4/PSVita)

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Ever have a desire to geek out on anime, games, and do absolutely NOTHING else? So does Asahi, the hero of AKIBA’S BEAT, and his lazy dreams are shattered by the pro-active Saki and her talking plush toy–er, familiar–who drag him into a monster-fighting quest to shatter people’s delusions. Get pumped for some J-Pop, Idol worship, and otaku-fueled hijinks in Japan’s famous “Electric Town” in this 3D action RPG!

Akiba’s Beat is a decent action RPG that lacks flash, but has above average elements, such as a great real-world setting, awesome music, and peerless voice acting. The story is entertaining enough, but the zaniness of prior Akiba’s games is gone, leaving an absence felt right to the core of the experience.

Is it worth it? To otaku freaks like us, sure–Akiba is still a totally cool place to experience, and while the look and actual licensed content is limited, the story and NPC commentary build up a social outline of the anime-fan lifestyle that those of us outside of Japan can only imagine. But if that’s not your thing, you’ll probably find too much loading, and too little visual flare to keep on fighting other people’s delusions.

Check out my full review with screenshots at KeenGamer.com!

OPERATION ABYSS: NEW TOKYO LEGACY Review!

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Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is an excellent dungeon romp through a near-future sci-fi Tokyo.Finish that high-school class quick, so you can gear up and dive headlong into a quest for missing students that’ll lead you into fierce battle against bizarre enemies. Best of all, this dungeon-crawler won’t make you crunch more numbers than math class! (Unless you’re into that.)

For those unfamiliar with Wizardry games, especially their later Japanese-spawned entries, suffice it to say that they consist of first-person dungeon wandering through grid’ed environs, where players control a party of characters in turn-based combat and have a metric ton of stats, gear, and spells to play with. Operation Abyss contains all of those traits, but trades the more common sword and sorcery theme for a near-modern future filled with high-tech laboratories and medical facilities hidden beneath local high schools.

Where Wizardry games, and their recent ilk such as Stranger of Sword City, often lose people is in the complexity of their numbers’ systems. Players need to be aware of no less than two dozen stats and traits to fully utilize their party, and often the mere act of equipping a new sword can take minutes. The fun comes from eventually fine-tuning your crew into the ultimate monster-slaying heroes, but it can come at the price of playability. Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy skips this terrifying time-sink by using story progression as a way to spread out the introduction of new stats and systems. Certainly this is nothing new to the gaming world, but being able to plunk your way through a few dungeons before having to worry about crafting is a nice change of pace, and makes learning the complexities of the game engine a gradual pleasure, rather than a brick wall on the highway.

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is both fun and approachable, like the best guest at a party. It doesn’t bore you with convoluted ways to make your guacamole taste better, but you know it could if you asked for it. It’s as complicated as you want it to be, and a nice challenge no matter what.

Check out my full review on KeenGamer.com!

RAIN WORLD Review! PC / PS4

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Rain World is indie developer Videocult’s new survival platform title published by Adult Swim Games. Taking place in a world of deadly rainstorms and vicious carnivores, players take charge of a single lonely slugcat, who must evade and survive long enough to reunite with it’s family. Will you be able to get back to the safety of your home, or be pounded into oblivion by a torrent of crushing water?

It comes down to is this: Rain World is a gorgeous game with great storytelling and a very slow pace. It has some bits and pieces that are more in favor of art than fun–such as non-skip-able animations and a dreary color palette–but there’s still great gameplay and a huge amount of content for all that (over 60 hrs. on the first play-through!)

If you’re the kind that likes to sprinkle some art house movies in between binge-watching cartoons, then you ought to consider Rain World a must-have, a 10/10, an insta-buy. However, if you’re just looking for the average Mario-Meat Boy-Hedgehog experience, then consider that you’ll be getting a game more focused on careful planning than twitch reflexes. Consider also that you’ll be getting a beautiful story, though–for us, that’s worth it.

Check out my full review with more screenshots at KeenGamer.com!

PHONING HOME Review!

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Phoning Home is indie developer ION LANDS love letter to storytelling and boasts a tale that really is worth telling. Players take control of ION, a small robot stranded on an alien world filled with dangerous weather, dangerous monsters, and the remnants of an ancient civilization with secrets long buried. Friends will be met, heartstrings will be pulled, and gamers will be satisfied in this third-person exploration survival experience!

Phoning Home is the first indie game in a long time that looks and plays like an AAA title. The production values and writing are worthy of the big names in gaming, and ION LANDS has pulled off a great story with a game engine that does exactly what it sets out to do–engage and satisfy.

Check out my full review and let’s play at KeenGamer.com!