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2 months ago
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Review: Arcadia Fallen

One of the perks of being a game reviewer is learning about upcoming games that may be easy to miss. Sometimes, these hidden gems can provide more entertainment than big named titles, and when that happens it’s ALWAYS the best feeling. I recently had this experience with Arcadia Fallen, a modern fantasy visual novel developed
6 months ago
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Review: Bustafellows

I have to admit that it’s a great time to be an otome fan. I remember when the only source of otome games available in the west were either fan-translated ports or very questionable-looking games on sites like Newgrounds. We now get new otome releases almost every year, and as a long-time player of dating
6 months ago
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Review: The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

It’s been nearly five years since we’ve seen an entry in the Ace Attorney series arrive in the west, but at long last the wait is over. Coming to Switch, PS4, and PC on July 27, 2021, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a remaster of a pair of 2017 3DS Ace Attorney titles that
7 months ago
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Review: Winds of Change

Growing up as a furry in the late 90s and early 2000s, it seemed unthinkable that it’d ever be some degree of mainstream. Sure, animators on various cartoons were undoubtedly throwing us a bone here and there, but the thought of something unapologetically made by furries, for furries, escaping our niche corner of the internet
9 months ago
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First Impressions: The Sekimeiya: Spun Glass

Of the “classics” one is expected to play in order to consider themselves a “real visual novel fan,” one that is often mentioned to this day is Ever17: Out of Infinity. It’s easy to see why; aside from the fact it was one of the first “real” visual novels to be released in English, it’s
11 months ago
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Review: Altdeus: Beyond Chronos

The idea of visual novels in virtual reality has always intrigued me. Taking a genre mostly made up of 2D sprites and massive amounts of text, and turning it into an immersive experience that actually allows one to interact with the characters and the story around them. I had my first taste of this a
1 year ago
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Review: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

I’m a huge fan of incredibly dense, complex stories. Ones that require active thinking from the reader to keep track of them, as they weave multiple narratives together. Ones that keep me thinking of them long after I’ve put down the book or controller, putting pieces of it together in my head.
1 year ago
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Review: Aokana: Four Rhythms Across the Blue

Here’s the thing. This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered visual novels as a reviewer or as a gamer. Admittedly, most of the titles that I’ve come up against possess some sort of gameplay element. Sometimes it’s pointing a finger at your opponent to prove your client’s innocence. Other times Japanese high school girls are
1 year ago
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Review: Milky Way Prince: The Vampire Star

Video games are finally becoming an accepted format to tell involved, intimate, and personal stories. At least, it seems that way to me. What was once the exclusive realm of film and literature appears to finally be normalized in the gaming medium, which has long been questioned on artistic merit (and whether it has any).
1 year ago
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Review: Necrobarista

When you think about the places games are created and developed, how soon does Australia come to mind? My wild guess for many is that it wouldn’t quite crack your top five list. Japan and the United States are usually the first the come to mind. Perhaps France and Canada next, followed up by Germany
22 May 2020
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Review: Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen

So this is a title with a weird approach. Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen is the first title in the Utawarerumono series, and also the last one to receive a localized release like this. Here’s how this happens. Utawarerumono was released in 2002 for PCs as an eroge, part visual novel and part strategy RPG
13 May 2020
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Review: Signs of the Sojourner

I found myself feeling very divided in my opinions as I played Signs of the Sojourner. Actually, that’s not altogether true; my opinion was relatively clear insofar as it was a game I really wanted to like if the darn game would stop getting in the way. But that may or may not be its
28 Jan 2020
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Review: Coffee Talk

When a game makes a splash in the community, whether big or small, any other release similar to it that comes after is bound to be compared to the original. Hell, just look how often people refer to difficult games as “The Dark Souls of [insert genre here].” It’s practically a meme at this point.
18 Nov 2019
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Review: Tokyo Dark: Remembrance

Back in 2014, Square Enix entered into an interesting experiment. One that would help indie developers pitch ideas, gain public interest, and possibly receive assistance in the creation and publication of their work. That experiment is known as the Square Enix Collective.
8 Sep 2019
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PAX West 2019 Hands-on: N1RV Ann-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

A few years ago, a little indie visual novel called VA-11 Hall-A popped on to my radar. A cyberpunk tale told through the eyes of a bartender, this first release from Venezuelan studio Sukeban Games quickly made it into my list of favorite visual novels. The game was heavily character driven, mostly focusing on the day-to-day life and issues facing the people living in the game's dystopian setting, rather than the world itself.
3 Aug 2019
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Review: London Detective Mysteria

When designing a character, an author can only hope that their creation will be one to stand the test of time. A character that readers decades from now, maybe even centuries, will still be able to enjoy and relate to in a way. A character that even those who haven't read the works they were created for can still recognize.
22 May 2019
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Review: World End Syndrome

I really shouldn't like visual novels. I have no idea why I do, looking back at many that I consider my favorites. For as much weight as I put on quality storytelling, the VNs I remember fondly don't seem like they would hold up.
1 May 2019
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Review: VA-11 Hall-A [Switch]

Ah, the common trope of the humble bartender. Always there to listen to the woes to whoever strolls in and needs to throw back a drink of their choosing. It's not uncommon for this trope to rear its head in storytelling in general, and for said individual to be the stalwart rock that dispenses useful advice to the protagonist and supporting characters.
13 Feb 2019
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Review: Arcade Spirits

Back in the 80s, the arcade was the place to be! All the cool kids would bike on down to the local arcade after school to play the latest games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, fighting for high-score dominance while simultaneously stuffing their faces with greasy food, all lit up under a warm neon glow.
15 Oct 2018
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Review: The Midnight Sanctuary

Open the Floodgates How often do you look at games that release in Japan, hoping and praying that they’ll eventually make their way west? Games that look intriguing or exciting, but, for one reason or another, nobody decides to localize it, so you’ll never get to play it?