Japan Sinks 2020 review coming later in August

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I wanted to have a review of Masaaki Yuasa new series up by tomorrow, but there’s a lot more to say about than i expected, i thinked it over for a couple of days, and i decided that instead of rushing out a crap job (even more than usual, since i’m also working on something else for August), i’m gonna finish the series and let it stew in my brain for some days, in order to make a better review.

Also, watch Kick-Hearth, it’s the greatest love story involving masochistic luchadores , wrestling sadist nuns and orphanages that need to be saved.

Senran Kagura: Beach Peach Splash PS4 [REVIEW] | Wetworks

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Copy Purchased
Platform: PS4
Developed by: Tamsoft, Honey Parade Games
Players: 1 offline (2-10 Online)
Also Available On: Steam

Many thing can be said about the Senran Kagura series, but i give Marvelous a lot of credit for going fuckin bananas with the franchise. For such a niche series of beat em up games, you won’t expect at all a rhythm game spin-off, or basically their take on Splatoon, i really like that constantly try to expand it in such oddball fashion. You’ve got bahonkas of steel, Marvelous, no doubt about it.

We’re going knee deep. In the plot. Continua a leggere “Senran Kagura: Beach Peach Splash PS4 [REVIEW] | Wetworks”

One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 – DLC Pack 1 PS4 [REVIEW + RAMBLE]

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I wasn’t planning on reviewing the DLC packs as well, but then again Namco and/or Koei silence on eventual stuff one would expect for a 30 bucks Season Pass…. made me feel apprehensive, and it worth keep banging on these issues, they won’t go away if you get bored of hearing about them, quite the contrary.

So you get both a review of the first DLC Pack for Pirate Warriors and a small digest of Koei’s DLC bullshit (just this once, i’m not gonna do that for the following DLC packs’ reviews), far from comprenhensive, but fear not, i could easily make an essay on this subject. If you’re already familiar (or WAY too familiar) with the subject, please just skip to the review of the DLC pack itself below. Continua a leggere “One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 – DLC Pack 1 PS4 [REVIEW + RAMBLE]”

So, about Japan Sinks 2020…

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I knew Masaaki Yuasa’s new series hit Netflix (even in my region) a couple of weeks ago or something, and apparently it’s a big ol’ turd with excessive nationalism and insane bullshit like granpas being superhuman hitman “360° sniping” with a bow or something?

At least that the impression i got from a lot of people on social media, and if that’s the case, i’m a bit sad, i absolutely loved Yuasa’s previous series, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, that one was great, a banger, so i guess i’ll have to see myself.

I wish i had a better excuse to dust off Netflix, but eh.

Expect a review of it later this month.

[EXPRESSO] They Came From The Sky NSWITCHDDL | Beam It Up

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After debutting last year on Steam, FobTi Interactive’s “flying saucer 2D abduction simulator is now also available on Nintendo Switch, where it honestly feels more at home, given it’s designed primarly for quick runs, and oddly it’s NOT a mobile port.

They Came From The Sky (not to be confused with “They Came From The Skies” on PS2) definitely delivers on its title, since it’s a 2D arcade style game, with pixel art to match the premise of playing as an alien saucer, attacking the 50s with a simple goal: to abduct humans (animals as well) and make delicious smoothies with them. So the premise goes anyway, you won’t see any retro, faux 8-bit pixel gore in any detail.

Gameplay is simple, as the ufo scrolls automatically in the sky, and when you use the beam to capture humans and collect power-ups, you also change in which direction the ufo is gonna move, so timing is essential to avoid rockets or bullets from the human opposition (unless you manage to collect enough energy for a warp drive), and at the same time to keep the combo going, because it’s either a high score race in a limited time, o a survival run. Either case, you’ll see and hear Godzilla in the background.

Admittely, there isn’t much in the way of stuff to unlock (with in-game coins ONLY obtained via playing) in any “long term”, outside of 5 extra ufos with different stats, there are 3 background/cities to play in, there’s local multiplayer for max 4 players, but it definitely nails the arcade formula of simple control scheme but far from immediate (and potentially quite addictive) mastery of the combo system.

Perfect for coffee breaks, honestly. And for 3 bucks (full price), this is a no brainer if the premise intrigues your high score brain.

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Hentatsu (2020) [REVIEW] | A Cat And Oni Walk Into A Bar

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This late june, i was on a kick to discover/watch what else director TATSUKI made after the first season of Kemono Friends, and among them Hentatsu felt in that category of “i’ve seen some images time ago of this, but i have zero idea of what it’s about”.

And after watching the whole series, i still don’t fully know how to answer the implied question, it sure wasn’t what i expected from studio Iroiro and TATSUKI – as you can tell immediately they made it – but it isn’t the usual ensemble of weird animal people or “humans” fighting against weird misterious enemy in the backdrop of a vague post-apocalyptic setting. Continua a leggere “Hentatsu (2020) [REVIEW] | A Cat And Oni Walk Into A Bar”

[EXPRESSO] Ninjala NSWITCHDDL | Not Squids, Ninja Kids, Now

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GungHo Online Entertaiment’s ninja themed free-to-play answer to Splatoon, announced years ago, then delayed but now available.

Gameplay-wise….. it’s basically Splatoon, but built as a melee based score deathmatch affair (with respawns), with the ink gimmick replaced by the Ninja Gum, essential as you can throw it, use it to dash mid-air, to transform into an object, or to fashion a stronger version of your weapon. If you can get enough “gum energy” from the drones, that is, which can also be used to activate a super move, alongside regular abilities with cooldowns.

Given this is melee combat only, weapon clashes are frequent – if not constant – so it’s not good that despite tutorials with Youtube videos baked in, trying to gain the upper hand always feels messy. No wonder, since it basically boils down to a QTE guessing game. There is more to Ninjala, there are abilities and complexities to learn (like wall running), but after a confusing first impression (made worse by a completely unbalanced matchmaking), where you either keep winning or losing without knowing WHY, you realize there the cool ideas and mechanics are flawed regardless.

On top of that, there are only 2 maps available right now, two modes (battle royale or team deathmatch), but the game is already bursting with freemium bullshit: various currencies, gacha, battle passes, cosmetic stuff like hats. And a story mode..10 bucks/5 eurobucks for chapter. ALSO, there are consumable weapon skins.

Art direction obviously apes Splatoon and it’s pretty good (ditto for the audio department), but technically speaking is just alright, though fairly stable in my experience.Mind you, it’s fun, despite the messy gameplay (some really messy design choices) and lack of content at the moment.

I’d just buy Splatoon 2 instead, to be blunt, but it’s worth try as it’s “nominally free”.

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[EXPRESSO] Pokemon Café Mix iOS | Got Milc?

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Another Pokemon puzzle game, another free-to-play (or more correctly, “free-to-start”, as Nintendo themselves likes to call these games) for mobile and Switch, this time with a cutesy pastel cafè aesthetic, as you manage a Pokemon cafè, operated by and for Pokemon, alongside a human girl, who acts as a general assistant-tutorial figure.

This is done via puzzle challenges, thankfully not of the “match 3” kind (we already had plenty of those with a Pokemon license), nor or the Panel The Pon/Puzzle League variety, but in turn based grid-less form, with the objective of linking together chains of pokemons, in order to activate an ability, destroy special blocks, or because of a stage requiring a certain quota of Pokemon pieces/icons to be matched.

Each pokemon has a specific ability, a specialization for a certain kind of dish (drinks, sandwiches, desserts, etc.), and as you progress you unlock more critters but also more recipes and new expansions for the cafè, which in turn introduce new elements and stage objectives, with some random chances of increasing the friendship level with a certain pokemon, who will join the staff.

The gameplay is decent, but the more free-form, grid-less style of level design makes it too reliant on abilities and consumable objects, a bit too helpful in this case, especially because you can also activate them during the stage, not just before. All to push you into buying the premium currency, which happens a bit too fast, it won’t take long to realize so with the limited energy system, timers and the extra turns costing a lot of “gems”.

While i’ve seen worse monetization schemes and freemium economies, there’s also the fact i’ve seen and played way better puzzles game. This is a very cute distraction (with a tad manipulative freemium economy), but not much else.

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