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  1. barrel


    From the album: Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma

    © technologytell.com

  2. Hot on the heels of its announcement for the PS Vita version of Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma, Aksys Games has announced a visual novel based in the Blazblue universe called Xblaze Code: Embryo. The story is set some 150 years before the events of Blazblue in which a high school student is thrown into a world of magic and the supernatural and must uncover a hidden truth. Aksys says that there will be several endings and routes to uncover, with one even being a gag. A specific release date has yet to be announced, though for now Xblaze Code: Embryo is aiming for a Summer release on PS3 and Vita. UPDATE: An Aksys rep has confirmed that the game will release on June 24th for $39.99. Source: Press Release
  3. Today Aksys announced that the next installment in the Blazblue series, Blazeblue: Chrono Phantasma, would be coming to Vita this summer after the PS3 version's release next month. Aksys confirmed that all of the DLC will be cross-compatible, meaning that if you bought some on the PS3 version, you'll be able to use it on the Vita version as well (assuming you have the Vita version, that is). Also new to this version is an extra story mode featuring Ragna, Noel, Celicia, and Kagura at the beach. A solid release date will be detailed for the Vita version at a later time. In the meantime, Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma is releasing first on the PS3 on March 25. Source: PlayStation Blog
  4. Aksys has published several games in the Hakouki series as of late, and now it's looking as if they are trying to build it up into one of their core series, especially with the announcement of the latest game - Hakouki: Stories of the Shinsengumi. Having originated on handhelds, this will be the series' first title on a console, namely the PS3. The plot for this game focuses on a young woman named Chizuru, who finds herself fighting alongside the Shinsengumi as competing factions go to war for control of Japan. And, as is standard for Hakouki games, she'll also fall in love with one of six possible love interests. Included in the game are additional features that include a series of short stories written specifically for this game about the Hakouki cast set in a modern-day high school setting. There will also be DLC side stories and a massive art gallery as well. In all, Aksys says that you can expect around 20 hours of content from the game. No release date has been announced just yet, so stay tuned. If you're interested in the Hakuoki series, be sure to check out our official review for the most recently released game.
  5. Did you know that a new entry in the Blazblue series is set to release next year? You do now! Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma will be the next major game in the fighting series and will feature five new characters (and two new downloadable ones, redesigned moves, and online play that will allow players from around the world to battle each other. Aksys also says the story mode will contain 30 hours of gameplay. Also announced today is a limited edition for the game, which will include the following: 40-Page Full Color Art Book - Featuring art from the game as well as from other artists. Official Soundtrack CD - Composed by Daisuke Ishiwatari. A Rachel Alucard Nendroid (small figurine) A Fourth Mysterious Item - No word on what this is right now, but more info will be revealed in the near future. Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma is set to release in 2014 on PlayStation 3.
  6. Developer: Idea Factory Publisher: Aksys Games Platform: 3DS Release Date: September 19, 2013 ESRB: M for Mature A download code was provided by the publisher for this review Before Aksys brought Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom to the West last year, otome games were largely unheard of here. Since they took the plunge, we've been getting more and more games in the genre. Now, Aksys's efforts have brought the samurai romancing visual novel to 3DS owners with Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi. Memories of the Shinsengumi can be described as a port of the original PSP game with some new bonus features. On top of the riveting main game that includes many routes and endings, Memories of the Shinsengumi also totes six new stories and a photo booth mode. Those that have already played Demon of the Fleeting Blossom already know what goes on in the Hakuoki universe. This may be an intimidating title to others, however, especially because it“s an otome game. True, there is some romancing going on from the view of a female protagonist, but the game is largely focused on Japanese history, politics, action, and violence. The point in time that Memories of the Shinsengumi takes place in is during the late Edo Period. As the game“s title implies, the game follows the exploits of the legendary Shinsengumi – a special police force. Much of the game retells the history surrounding the Shinsengumi, of course. However, not everything is as it seems… Supernatural beings such as bloodthirsty “furies†and demons cause strife throughout the story and make for an interesting twist. The protagonist, Chizuru, still manages to find love during these troubling times. Those interested in the romancing aspect might be a little disappointed that there isn“t much of it throughout Memories of the Shinsengumi, but there“s still just enough to satisfy that sweet tooth. All of the characters are quite well developed and have some great backstories. It“s very much worth it to go through each guy“s route and get all the endings. Be careful, though! You just might fall in love with these handsome men and won“t know what to do with yourself. Now, unless you“re very well-versed in Japanese history, you may have a bit of trouble understanding what“s going on through Memories of the Shinsengumi. There are many people, landmarks, and battles you will not know and have to remember during the course of the game if you wish to comprehend what“s going on. Thankfully, there“s an encyclopedia provided for you in the game menu that is filled out each time you come across a new term. The art of Hakuoki is very beautiful, especially when it“s displayed at its best in the special CG scenes. My problem with the art in Memories of the Shinsengumi, however, is simply because it“s on the 3DS. Because the system“s screen is small, portraits and whatnot have been sized down and look very low quality when compared to Demon of the Fleeting Blossom on PSP. It“s a shame to do such a thing to such pretty artwork, but what can you do? What about those new modes that Memories of the Shinsengumi boasts over Demon of the Fleeting Blossom? Well, the “Hakuoki Memories†mode (the six new stories I mentioned earlier) doesn“t offer much. The stories are extremely short, even if they do offer a little insight into the lives of the men of the Shinsengumi. There“s some very lovely pieces of artwork at the end of each story, though. The Photo Booth mode does offer some silly fun, but perhaps only for a few minutes or so. So, is it worth it to get Memories of the Shinsengumi over Demon of the Fleeting Blossom? If you have a PSP or Vita, you should probably get the latter. Those that just have a 3DS, however, should definitely pick up Memories of the Shinsengumi. As for me, I got the limited editions for both versions anyway! I love Memories of the Shinsengumi and the Hakuoki universe. Not only is it an otome game, but it“s a great game for those looking for something different (or for some hot samurai boyfriends). Pros: + Lots of routes and endings + Encyclopedia to help you learn important historical terms + A focus on history and action for those not interested in romancing aspect Cons: - New features aren“t very exciting - Art quality is lowered from original game Overall Score: 8.0 (out of 10) Great Those that have already played Demon of the Fleeting Blossom might want to skip Memories of the Shinsengumi (unless you want to support otome releases in the West!). Definitely pick this up if you haven“t played the original, though.
  7. Developer: Vanillaware Publisher: Aksys Games Platform: PS Vita Release Date: June 25, 2013 ESRB: T for Teen A download code was provided by the publisher for this review The biggest appeal of Vanillaware games is obviously their art style. Exaggerated curves, muscles, and proportions run rampant in them. Muramasa isn“t a stranger to this. Of course, it“s also incredibly beautiful. Aksys decided to take this hack-and-slash, redesign it, and put it on the PlayStation Vita. This showcases Muramasa“s art at its full potential thanks to the system“s gorgeous OLED screen, but how do the other elements of this port compare? In Muramasa Rebirth, there are two main stories to play through. As Kisuke, you are an amnesiac ninja that is traveling in search of a certain katana. Momohime“s story is the focus of Muramasa, however, and it“s the one that everyone always talks about. As Momohime, you are a princess possessed by a demon. This demon, Jinkuro, will stop at nothing to find the blade that is needed to make a complete soul transfer. The full story is a bit convoluted when you first start playing, and you may be incredibly confused in the beginning, but you'll get a grasp on it eventually. For those that have played the Wii version of Muramasa, which was brought here by Ignition Entertainment, you may appreciate the completely redone script by Aksys. This localization stays much closer to what the original text conveyed. And yes, the original Japanese dub is still intact. Hack-and-slash games can definitely feel repetitive. Muramasa feels like the epitome of repetitive, however. All you“re doing throughout the whole game is going from point A to point B, where you battle enemies in-between and a big baddy at the end. Battling is not terribly complex, either. All you need to do is button-mash and occasionally switch your blades, which mends them and unleashes a special attack. The controls, at least, make all of that easy and enjoyable. Among other changes that Aksys has made, the remapping of buttons is one of them. You“re also now able to jump with the X button rather than having to push up on the control stick. And the best part… no unnecessary touchscreen or motion controls, despite being on Vita. Thank Amaterasu. Aside from battling and progressing the plot, there“s not much else to do. You can cook delicious looking foods that heal your character and craft new blades, but that doesn“t really add much. Muramasa Rebirth does add four new characters with their own playable scenarios, at least. They also all have their own unique playstyle. If you“ve grown tired of swordfighting, then this is a godsend for you. Muramasa“s art style is undeniably its saving grace. The 2D artwork is smooth, sharp, and colorful. When the characters and backgrounds form together into one scene, it is truly a remarkable sight. With such fluid animation, every battle feels like a new experience, especially with boss battles. Aksys made a wise decision to bring Muramasa Rebirth to Vita, where the OLED screen accentuates the art“s vibrancy and detail. Muramasa Rebirth may not be winning any awards in the gameplay or story departments, but it“s definitely worth a play to experience George Kamitani“s gorgeous artwork in motion. Honestly, I would recommend Muramasa for its art and animation alone. Don“t you need a new game to play on your Vita anyway? Pros: + High-quality artwork and animation + Better translation and controls over Wii version + Four new characters to play as along with Momohime and Kisuke Cons: - Gameplay can feel tedious and repetitive quickly - Story a bit too unnecessarily convoluted Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good This new and improved version of the aesthetically-pleasing Muramasa Rebirth will be sure to satisfy old and new fans alike.
  8. Leah

    Muramasa Rebirth - 3

    From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Aksys Games

  9. Leah

    Muramasa Rebirth - 2

    From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Aksys Games

  10. Leah

    Muramasa Rebirth - 1

    From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Aksys Games

  11. If you're a fan of visual novels, especially otome games, then you're probably already aware of the upcoming Sweet Fuse: At Your Side for PSP. It's rare that North America sees any otome game releases, so Sweet Fuse needs all the support it can get. Maybe this newly announced pre-order bonus will convince you to buy the visual novel? There aren't any images of the pre-order bonus yet, but it's basically a replica of the skull necklace that the antagonist, Count Hogstein, wears. So far, it seems to be exclusive to Amazon. In any case, I can't wait to see how it looks! Sweet Fuse releases for PSP both physically and digitally on August 27th.
  12. It's going to be a hot summer. Thankfully, Aksys has you covered as they've announced a limited edition for Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi for 3DS! Here is what is included in the limited edition: Japanese folding fan ("sensu") Japanese-style towel ("tenugui") Men of Hakuoki Art Book There aren't any images of these goodies yet, but if they're anything like the gorgeous bandana pre-order bonus that came with Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi, then I'm definitely nabbing this limited edition. There is currently no release date for Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi.
  13. So, we know what XSEED Games is bringing to E3 but what of other Japanese game-focused companies? Aksys Games recently announced that they will indeed be at E3 2013, with both known titles as well as a few surprises. Here's what we know they'll have in tow: A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda EX (360) Muramasa Rebirth (Vita) Two new titles Asksy isn't a company afraid to localize niche titles so we've got to wonder what these two games are. Both of them will not only have trailers but also be available in playable form for convention goers. Expect Game Podunk to check out the two secret titles during E3! What do you think the unannounced games might be?
  14. Even though Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi wasn't very good, it looks like Aksys is still keen on the series. So, they're bringing Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi to North America! Memories of the Shinsengumi returns to its visual novel roots and explains what happens in between major events of the original game with six new stories. And since this game is for the Nintendo 3DS, you'll be able to view the handsome samurai in 3D! Another fun little addition that Memories of the Shinsengumi has is a "photo booth." Inspired by Japanese photo sticker booths, you'll be able to take pictures with your favorite Hakuoki characters and decorate with a myriad of themes and backgrounds. Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi is available only on 3DS and currently does not have a release date.
  15. Marcus Estrada

    Muramasa Rebirth Gets Limited Edition

    Muramasa Rebirth was announced for US release by Aksys a few months ago in January. The game, which is an upgraded port of Wii's Muramasa, has upgraded graphics and other character scenarios. Although some Vita players have already been anticipating its release, they may want it more now that there is a Limited Edition. Amazon's product page shows this Limited Edition (which has otherwise not been discussed by Aksys). What comes with it? It contains a Vita skin, Vita pouch, and a lithograph drawn by a Vanillaware artist. This set of goodies comes at the higher cost of $60. In comparison, the normal game costs $40 like other Vita titles. Interest parties should note that Muramasa Rebirth is currently aiming for a launch in early Summer. Those who aren't intrigued by the special edition can buy the game at retail or as a download on PSN.
  16. Marcus Estrada

    BIT.TRIP Runner2 Rushing to PSN

    If you hadn't heard, BIT.TRIP Runner2: Legend of Rhythm Alien came out this week on Steam, Wii U, and XBLA. It was also noted as coming to PSN, although not just yet. The PlayStation Blog has posted news of the game and let us know when it's coming, as well as what to expect. First off, this is developer Gaijin Games' maiden voyage with Sony. Still, with the game being a new take on the series, it shouldn't strike Sony-specific players as an out of place game. Strangely, Runner2 is not making use of Cross-Buy. Choose wisely when selecting either the PS3 or Vita version! As far as has been detailed, there are no functionality differences between the two. Runner2 is set to arrive on March 5th at the cost of $15. However, PS Plus members can knock 20% off the price, bringing it down to $12. Here's a video if you need to check the game out: