bg rotator

Friday, March 30, 2018

Memories Off 2nd

So after finishing Memories Off last year, I went and finished the sequel Memories Off 2nd in less than a year, which is good considering the series has been revived and another game is on the way. At this rate, I might be able to get caught up on the series in... 2026?

Oh boy, that's a lot of girls, I hope I can keep up.
2nd is a sequel to the first game in a way that I have a feeling is going to be a signature feature of the series going forward. The 2nd game has almost nothing to do with the previous game so you don't need to play it in order. However, it does take place after the events of the first and only a few train stations away geographically. There's also one character from the first game and Tomoya is now a dog (lol not really). It also tried to maintain the whole rain theme from the first game in one ending though it felt kind of forced.

This game has the usual diverse cast of girls to choose from though this time around, there's a slight, super minor, teeny weensy problem. You start the game with one girl already chosen for you so to speak. In other words, you start the game with a girlfriend, you lucky dog you. And no, she doesn't die nor is there anything wrong with her except maybe her awful taste in men. So yeaaaaaah, you're going to have to be an asshole to get all those other women.

Yup, you're going to have to be an asshole in this game
As usual, this game maintains the series standard as being perhaps the most pure and orthodox model of a traditional galge. Once again, there is almost no fan service and many of the girls have some sort of backstory with quite a bit of drama. There's also many awkward or emotional scenes, particularly when your girlfriend reacts in almost every conceivable way as you break her heart in like 11 out of the 12 possible endings: denial, anger, disappointment, sorrow. I mean, it got kind of ridiculous, seriously, around the 4th or 5th time. If you consider that the list of possible options to cheat with include her best friend and her older sister, it's like JESUS. You are SUCH an ASSHOLE.

Aww so cute. Ok, time to break up this family! #homewrecker
Fortunately, as the After Story bonus scenario shows, the true ending is supposedly sticking with your original girl after all. Kind of boring but of course not unexpected. The PSN 100 yen sale version I played includes Pure Story as well. It was kind of weird that they decided to voice the main character in Pure Story as it kind of broke the immersion. Also, Hotaru sounds very different maybe because the VA is older? Ah, the ravages of time. Oh wait, a Japanese woman, never mind. #loli4life

Hot dayum, she's almost 40 now?

Score: 3 pretty good breaking up with your girlfriend simulator out of 5 (39 hours to complete)

I actually found out while digging into the inner recesses of the Closet of Shame™ that I already had bought a copy of Memories Off Duet at some point which means I own a physical copy of both this game and the first Memories Off. Umm, did I mention I only paid 100 yen for the PSP digital licenses on a PSN sale? C'mon, it's so cheap! SALE!! BARGAIN PRICES!!!

Welp, there goes another 40 hours of my life, down the drain
Given the ever shrinking space left for shit, I probably really should get rid of my PS2 copy but I dunno. I liked the first two Memories Off games enough to want to keep them, which is really perhaps the biggest endorsement I can give for a game. Not the best game but it's definitely good ol' traditional stuff.

Minor potential spoiler warning. Stop reading here if you care.

I do have to rage a bit here on one of the endings which made absolutely no sense at all. I can't talk about it too much cause potential spoiler but how the fuck do you just slap two Kanji characters together and make 2 people into one? Oooh, this is a Uchikoshi scenario. Never 7 reference eh? HA! Feel free to discuss in the comments if you played this game (crickets)...

Ahhh, kyurei syndrome eh? You clever you #spoilers
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Hatsune Miku and Future Stars: Project Mirai(初音ミク and Future Stars Project mirai)

Well here we are, a full year after the release of DIVA Extend, comes the first Hatsune Miku experience on the latest current gen technology. The future is finally here! Prepare for amazing immersive graphics with super sharp visuals and... oh it's the 3DS. Oh well, I'll get to Diva F one of these days. Now, on to some SD chibi rhythm action!

Yeah, I jacked this image online cause it's fucking Nintendo
This game actually has an in-game album feature where you can take a screenshot anytime so it's the rare occasion where it should have been fairly easy to upload some screenshots. But of course, we're talking fucking Nintendo here so I was too lazy to rip open the back of my console to surgically remove my SD card and of course Miiverse is already dead though it sucked ass anyways. Ok, I can go on about this all day so moving on...

Unfortunately, probably the biggest flaw in this game is the seriously small list of songs, even less than Diva F extend. You can clear all 21 songs on normal in probably less than a couple hours. Fortunately, at least all the songs are new to the series except Clover♣Club and Finder (DSLR remix). Finder was one of my fav songs from Diva 2nd but somehow I just didn't like it as much in Project Mirai. The long intro with no gameplay was kind of annoying when shooting for that higher score on repeated playthroughs.

Speaking of gameplay, this time, you press buttons that go around in circles and I was not a fan of this new system. The main problem is that the next circle is grayed out RIGHT until you're on it and that's a killer for rhythm games. As any rhythm game expert will tell you, you always look ahead and already have a rough idea of what's coming musically to be any good. It's not a good sign when most of my mistakes are at the beginning of each circle and has little to do with the difficulty of the rhythm. An interesting but ultimately failed experiment.

XXY hold ABBA... it's just blondes and brunettes to me
The biggest highlight for me surprisingly was the ability to watch the non-chibi PVs in 3D. While the 3D feature of the 3DS kinda gives me a migraine headache and some light vomiting, I still felt it was worth it. It is pretty darn cool to watch the video for Piano Girl where the ribbons and candy and other shit falling from the sky is in front of the screen, so to speak.

Imagine this but with shit JUMPING OUT OF THE SCREEN #theFuture #Fad

After I cleared all the songs and watched the ending credits, I couldn't figure out how to unlock the costumes. It turns out that you also have to watch the PVs, which is a weird requirement for unlocking stuff but ok. There's a few points in the song you can skip forward to in PV mode but I still spend a bit of time watching the last minute or so of each song. That will unlock all the characters and make all but 2 costumes available for purchase using the Mirapo you accrue by playing the game. The last two costumes are unlocked by buying a bunch of costumes and beating at least one song with SS perfect score. Let me tell you, getting SS on even the easiest song is a BITCH! After I finally managed to do it with many tries, I got tired of this game to even purchase the unlocked costume.

I just don't care and no it has nothing to do with the lack of panchira appeal
Score: 2.5 I can't even fap to this! Err... I mean the gameplay is flawed! out of 5 (10 hours played)

While I had some fun with Project Mirai, it definitely has some flaws, the primary one being that there's just not much content to make grinding fun to even unlock all the costumes. To give you a brief idea of the economy, clearing one song on hard nets you 1,500 Mirapo and each costume costs 5,000 Mirapo except for the last two which cost a whopping 20,000 Mirapo each. I won't do any fancy math to scare away you gamers but it means you'll be playing the same songs a LOT. Being able to change the Vocaloid for some songs added a bit of replay value but not much.

Also, while I don't mind chibi style, I actually preferred the songs with the Original PV. I actually considered buying mirai 2 because the deluxe version converted the OG PV songs to chibi dance. I probably would've bought it too if I liked this one more but I don't so I'm gonna save my money for um... retirement? Yeah, cause my CIB copy of lain is an INVESTMENT. #sucker

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

FLOWERS - Le volume sur été -(FLOWERS夏篇)

I actually finished this Summer sequel to FLOWERS all the way back in 2016 but for some reason, never bothered to finish this post. Since I got Winter coming in the mail, I figured I might was well get this squared away. While I lucked out on a ebay snipe for the first game, I got suckered into pre-ordering the rest of the three games like an idiot. I didn't have to preorder because it's not like I'm caught up but then how could I miss out on the drama CD preorder bonus?! I can't miss that! To summarize, I'm still trying to pay back the interest on the payday loan to pay for the last payday loan. Thankfully, there are only 4 seasons on Earth so I'm done for now unless they're going to pull some Venus season or cosmic shower shit.

For some reason, google search for sucker turns up hundreds of trump pics? Weird!
Just like the first game, the art style is wonderful, and the great cast of characters are all back except for one girl (which if you played the first game, is no surprise). Erika is the main character this time around, which is cool I guess. You get to see the main character from the first game so it is definitely a sequel in terms of having to know what happened before to have any clue of the events in this game. However, it doesn't resolve anything from the first game. I'm assuming that will happen in Winter after Prototype has taken all my money (and then some).

You wanna stop by my room after this? For um... tea?
While I really liked the first game, a lot of the charm was in the first impression of the great art and relaxing music. However, human nature rears its ugly head once again as it's not nearly as impressive the second time around. I still really like the series and I will finish all four games for sure but this sequel definitely lacked the oomph of the first game.

Great OP though a bit spoilerish... as usual

What else is there to say except it's more of the same? This time around they "fixed" some of the super niche trivia questions though the convenient rewind feature didn't make it too much of a hassle anyway.

The new character is attractive and I liked their interactions as the two main characters this time around are both kind of assholes (#tsundere). There's some student/teacher action this time as well thought nothing explicit or even barely suggestive. Even when the girls are in their underwear, it's all classy and nothing lewd or anything that appeals to horny, unsightly males.

This is like seeing my mom in her underwear... ugh.
Score: 3 But did they have SEX? OH C'MON! How can you leave that out... AGAIN?! out of 5

FLOWERS is always a good relaxing time for when you need a break from all that hyper sexual imouto, incest, gamergate, Trump school shooting trainer (ssh don't mention guns!), fireboarding mamma jammas CIA shit. Yeah... I'm feeling the urge to dig up that drama cd pre-order bonus right now in fact.

Nothing like a little Yuri to solve all your life's woes

Additional bonus screenshots because I need to clear them from my PC for um... space purposes.

There is absolutely nothing suggestive about this whatsoever

I forget the explanation but pretty sure it was totally wrong

It's been a while so I don't remember what "want to do it?" refers to... LOL

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Monday, March 19, 2018


Shiin is one of my insta-order games based purely on the cover art. Yeah, I'm still a sucker that way but as a big fan of horror games, how could I resist? I was even stupid enough to pre-order the PS4 version just for the extra goodies. I really should cancel that but then what about that 25 minute voice track CD?

There's one born every minute
As much as I love every horror game, especially on the Vita, I have to say this one was ultimately a disappointment. Given that it's by EXPERIENCE, you might expect this to be some kind of DRPG with horror elements. While I didn't expect quite that much, I was hoping for something at least with some exploration.

Your stats like the cake are a lie
If you've played Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, the gameplay is very similar to that game. There's a few rooms, hallways, and the like but that's about it. You move your flashlight around and investigate stuff. You can also pick an item to use from your backpack. Sometimes you have to make choices called Deadly Choice where you will die if you make too many wrong choices. No biggie because you can pick retry and try again though you may have to skip some text. That was a bit annoying.

 Need a hand? Haw haw haw haw!
The one unique part of this game is the boss fight at the end of each chapter. Given the clues that you pick up in your investigation, you have to pick the correct items to use every turn. However, it's nothing more than making educated guesses given the clues and retry if you don't pick the right items.

If this game is not a DRPG at all, it's not even a great ADV game. While Book of Shadows has its flaws, at least it had some character development and voice acting. I liked the fact that this game had characters of every age and gender and no qualms about killing any of them if you make the wrong choices. But there's almost no voice acting and very little dialogue. In fact, the entire game is very short and I beat it in a little over 10 hours while taking my time.

Think of the children!!!!
Thankfully, they released a new chapter that was free for a limited time and also included in the PS4 version. Since I was all up in the latest gaming news, I was able to nab it right away but the free download period is already over for the Vita version. (Sorry, fellow Jhipsters.) With the new chapter, I was able to enjoy the game for a few more hours and frankly it sorely needed that extra content.

Score: 2.5 oh I forgot to mention all those naked women in the game out of 5 (14 hours to beat)

Even ghosts have the decency to cover the important bits
In the end, despite the short length and all its flaws, I enjoyed the game. It has some great art that oozes with atmosphere. The story while minimal, at least had a satisfactory ending. And while the music lacked variety, the songs that it did have were excellent. The game was not that scary either so it might be a good one to try for those easily spooked.

Good music but apparently not in the CD soundtrack (LOL first comment)

The downloadable last chapter also hints at a new aberration so perhaps there's a sequel on the way. I hope EXPERIENCE can use this first entry as a starting point to a more fulfilling series. I appreciate they tried something new but would hope they do a more thorough job the next time around.

Hey, you girls see my wallet? My money vanished like a ghost!
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Taiko no Tatsujin Portable(太鼓の達人 ぽ〜たぶる)

The Taiko no Tatsujin games are pretty fun when you have a giant taiko to bang on, though Japanese arcades are always so loud that the fun is diminished cause you can't hear jack. However, on home consoles, it becomes a rather simplistic rhythm game that's pretty limited musically. I mean, there's only so much you can do with just BOOM and CLACK. I know next to nothing about real taiko drumming but I don't think these games are exactly an accurate representation.

I tried this on my PSP and now I need a new one #Patreon #HALP #$$$

While it's fine as a mainstream, newb rhythm game, I find it pretty lacking compared to oh say for example, Beatmania (#fuckKonami?). Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like the game only has super easy songs. I definitely can't clear some of the more difficult songs in Oni mode. However, the issue for me is that the base mechanics are a bit too basic. So when my Closet of Shame™ started running out of room and I had to purge some shit, the taiko games on the PSP were the first on the chopping block.

Some of the songs on the first portable version is for me a nostalgic trip back in time to 2005. Those were the years I was actually living in Tokyo so it's not even fake nostalgia. Songs like マツケンサンバ really takes me back.

Oh god, now I feel really old. Still damn catchy though.

Of course, I was ignorant gamer at the time so I was mostly busy working overtime and playing mainstream DS titles like animal crossing and brain age. I didn't even know about the PSP, so big FAIL on Sony's marketing division there.

While the 38 songs isn't exactly a terribly small list (the online songs are now all offline), most of the songs didn't really do it for me. It has the standard set of "classical" and Namco originals that are whatever and overall, the set was just meh for me. It doesn't help that Taiko sound effects don't really go well with most songs and the other sounds such as farts were not better. Not surprisingly, We will rock you was the best match for this type of game. For some reason, this one also has DBZ Head-cha-la. CHA LA! HEAD CHA LA! Ahem, excuse me, reflex.

Score: 2 I actually watched マツケンサンバ on TV (yeah, I'm a dinosaur) out of 5

There's nothing wrong with this game, it plays just fine and that would normally be good enough for a 3 average score but the rather lackluster song list brings it down a notch.

I unlocked all the songs, got up to Meijin rank, and cleared a fair chunk of songs on Oni difficulty mode and that's good enough for me. Now I have a little extra space to BUY BUY BUY some more games. Mission accomplished.

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Fate/EXTRA CCC(フェイト/エクストラ CCC)

The first thing that stood out for me in Fate/EXTRA CCC is that this sequel jumped from Cero B from the first game all the way straight to D. You probably won't notice it in the first few hours of the game but as a dedicated Cero D import collector, I went in apprehensive of any SJW fodder.

What sword fighting technique is this stance?
Fortunately, the sequel came out in that blessed but all too short period in history when developers gave up on localizing all but the most mainstream titles and practically deserted the PSP "Pirates of the Caribbean" ISO download orgy platform. This was the golden age before all this gamer gate nonsense when all non-jhipsters could do was whine and beg instead of complaining that a new game now costs (gasp!) $40?! Stupid Japanese developers!

Because niche means higher volume=lower price... #oxymoron

Ah yes, the golden years, when costumes could be unlocked by playing the fucking game and DLC was a cute idea that fleeced token revenue from only the most gullible. The days of blissful ignorance when nobody knew half the stuff Japan was pumping out like they have been since the mid 80s. When gratuitous panchira was nothing more than a few harmless pixels. I guess what I'm trying to say is, "Can you imagine if Passionlip came out today?"

I claim not clickbait because this is not the first header image
Actually, I am very curious to see what characters will be making a comeback in Fate/Extella. I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction that I WON'T see Passionlip in current gen HD graphics. Nor will we see BB's way too mini skirt and the frequent low angle camera. Oh but it's totally ok because nobody is wearing panties, it's all leotards, right guys? *wink wink*

In communist Russia, panties wear YOU
Anyways, now that I got the obligatory old man ramblings out of the way, let's dive into the game itself. The first thing I want to address is the battle system. The first game gets a lot of flack for being nothing more than a glorified paper-rock-scissor game, a common shitaku-style 10 second analysis before moving onto the next paycheck er... I mean "review". I, for one, enjoyed the pattern matching gameplay and statistical risk analysis for boss fights. It sure beats the spam the "A" button and heal routine of other RPGs that typical gamers rave over *cough Earthbound cough*.

Ugh, another 50+ hours of this shit?
However, no matter how much slack I gave the gameplay, I wasn't expecting the EXACT same thing in the sequel. I'm not asking for a complete different game (ugh Extella musou), but at least they could've made some tweaks, new abilities, ANYTHING to distinguish it from the first game. They recycled pretty much everything including the hougu, which in English is noble phanta... something blah blah blah.

Dunno where they came up with Noble Phanta... whatever
While the combat system is identical, including the already generic and boring enemy models, there's a bunch of tweaks that make this game much easier (eg mainstream) than the first entry. First of all, EXP doesn't have diminishing returns so grinding is now an option and you can retry if you lose a battle. What was Normal/Easy difficulty was also renamed to Maniac/Normal perhaps to make you feel better about being a gamer NEWB.

I actually look a bit younger than the grampa... a bit.

With the tight balance gone, CCC feels more like a TYPE-MOON game instead of an Imageepoch one. In that sense, the visual novel aspect of the game is massively beefed up. There's way more voice acting, which was one of my complaints in the first game. There's a new servant and a few costumes for each servant. Sure, you don't get a choice of dozens of costumes for only 300/400 yen each like the new games but they're included as part of the game (whoaaaaa).

I'm not fucking stupid, you bundled all this on Switch port #boycott #fuckSwitch
Each servant also has their own ending in addition to the standard and CCC ending. However, the biggest flaw in all this new content is that you have to play through the same bosses to view it. My first playthrough was 50 hours but I ended up playing through it twice more for a whopping 105 hours in total. One major problem is that the CCC ending is almost impossible to unlock without a guide and a lot of the story just doesn't make sense without all the events you need to trigger for that ending.

After the first playthrough, I did look up how to get the true ending but fucking google decided it was a good idea to shove spoiler screenshots of the hidden final boss right in my face. Usually, I don't have this kind of issue for Japanese-only Jhipster games but I guess the fate franchise is too mainstream, what with this Fate/GO smartphone bullshit. I quickly closed the offending tab and decided fuck it, I'll try a second playthrough blind and BOY was that a mistake. After another 30 hours, while I did get to see Caster's ending, the true ending was nowhere to be seen. With some more careful googling, I found out that I missed an event in the VERY FIRST CHAPTER. Here we go, round 3, this time, might was well see how the new servant works out story wise. UGH. At least the hougu for the new servant is pretty damn cool and I even got my otome fill. This new servant is SUCH an asshole and you can't help but fall for the "bad boy" even if he does make you sleep pathetically huddled in the corner.

Score: 3.5 Ok, they're not leotards, I admit it! The girls are wearing regular panties and you can see them OMG OMG OMG!!!! out of 5 (50 hours to beat, 105 hours total played).

While the gameplay was recycled, I at least still enjoyed the boss fights even though I didn't enjoy having to replay the game over and over. Caster though is so fun to play because she requires a bit of strategy and is always one step away from dying due to her low HP.

Whoa, Dの食卓 reference? (Sorry non-jhipsters)
In the end, the graphics looked great for the PSP, the music was not bad at all, and the story was interesting enough. Yeah, the story was about girls, girls, girls and their girly problems blown up to have enormous consequence but I enjoyed it. In addition, due to the triggering nature of the content, I'm 99% confident this will never see an English release so +0.5 Jhipster optional points there. What exactly is so risque? Well, minor spoiler but how does "global cum" sound? You'll have to fight the final true boss to see for yourself.

Maybe they'll localize, after all we haven't had good clickbait ad $$$ in a while
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely