Touken Ranbu Warriors NSWITCH [DEMO] [HANDS-ON] | Bishounen Sword Boys VS History Revisionists

Well, that was kinda unexpected, i genuinely though that editorial-ramble earlier this month would be the last time i talk about Touken Ranbu Warriors, but a week before release they also put out a demo on the European (and i guess other territories) eShop, so let’s give it a try.

And say some words. I do mean “some”; because there’s actually very little to say, and actually the bigger news is that the game is also coming to PC in the west, as a Steam release (since the DMM platform isn’t available outside of Japan), with a demo also available for that version. And that version will run in 60 fps, unlike the 30 fps locked Switch release.

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Fate EXTELLA: Link PS4 [REVIEW] | #musoumay

3 years after putting out Fate Extella: The Umbral Star, Marvelous followed up with the sequel, Fate EXTELLA: Link.

And yes, it’s a sequel, taking place after the “true/actual ending” of The Umbral Star, where the protagonist and “child Altera” are suddendly approached by attack programs, only to be saved by a new Servant of the Saber class, identifiying itself as Charlemagne.

He then explains that within SE.RA.PH a new threat has arisen, with a self-dubbed “Conquering Emperor” that’s bent on controlling all the digital created world by a mind control/brain wash process he dubs “Oraclization”. The protagonist, with his/her Servants Nero Claudius and Tamamo are then helped further by this new ally, as Charlemagne gifts them a new flying fortress where to organize the counter-offensive and figure out how to stop the plans of this mysterious “Emperor”.

And no, it’s not Caligula. Gotta specify that, it’s Fate we’re talking about, that could have been a honestly sensible guess.

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Fate EXTELLA: The Umbral Star PS4 [REVIEW] #musoumay

Ah yes, the Fate musous. Yes, Plural.

One that took surprisingly long, despite being one of the more requested crossovers with the formula, according to many japanese surveys results.

And oddly wasn’t snapped up by Tecmo Koei, but by Marvelous, which is both a good and a bad thing, for reasons we’re gonna get into later. But regardless, it’s nice to be reminded that these kind of games aren’t actually a patented formula…. at least i don’t think anymore, but still, this game is another proof that you can attempt a similar formula and Koei won’t sue off the back of their old, very vague patent.

I mean, they did make a “sequel” after this, so i’d think it’s safe to say that at least you can make “musou-likes”, if you so desire. And if the company that owns Senran Kagura can have more than a crack at it, you know the “low budget” excuse doesn’t quite hold as you’d expect and/or hope.

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Berserk and The Band Of The Hawk PS4 [REVIEW] #musoumay

Even if i reviewed (or re-reviewed, since i did already cover this one in 2017 on my older Italian blog) this one before of Miura’s passing, i would have told a tale of sadness, woe and disappointment.

But i won’t deny that with Kentaro Miura spiralling out of this mortail coil just over a year ago… there’s an extra serving of melancholy to the subject, which it’s ironically fitting in its own way.

As you would expect, there was some expectations at the time, even more since Koei Tecmo teased it and made a big deal about one this being one of more bloody and violent Warriors games ever…. and in hindsight it’s very telling, as they also did this lip service for Warriors Of Troy. Oh boy.

That aside, you would expect the Berserk musou to be pretty bloody and gory regardless, and it definitely delivered on that, can’t take it away from the game. I can though laugh at the fuckin localized english title they went with for this game, Berserk’s main character has a name, and a pretty not-generic one, you know?

He’s called Gatsu/Guts, just so you know.

Though that it’s not completely random, as the game starts from the Golden Age arc and covers up to the Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc, with them boarding the ship after fighting Ganisha serving as the closing chapter.

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[EXPRESSO] Pacific Rim: The Black (Season Two) (2022) | Kaiju Kult

Well, look’s who back, a series that i honestly even forgot existed, but they did announced this second (and final) season, guess that branding helped.

So yeah, while i didn’t hate the first season, Pacific Rim The Black was kinda the perfect example of “Netflix anime”, as in, it looks like anime, it’s produced by an anime company and japanese directors, but you could tell it’s written by non-japanese staff.

Which isn’t necessarily an issue, but you just can tell right away and it creates this slight disconnect, and due to that once again it’s hard to say for whom exactly this is made for exactly, given it’s still made in okayish but still janky 3D CG (and the specific “3D CG anime jank” of Polygon Pictures output), which is kinda offputting for most of the self-proclaimed “anime enthusiasts”.

But on the flipside, it’s not that bad, it’s honestly alright, it’s entertaining enough and this one picks from the point where the first season started having some interesting worldbuilding and character development, and manages to make the plot have some purpose (though it kinda has to, since this is the final season), introducing a death cult of Kaiju worshippers.

It’s an actual improvement over the first season, the writing it’s still nothing impressive, but it’s better, though despite being just another 7 episodes, i did wonder if it was ever supposed to be longer, as some resolutions and events happen very quickly, almost abruptly so.

Again, it’s alright, but as the idea of anime series based on Pacific Rim makes a lot of sense if you think about it, it kinda let you wish it had better animation and a slightly longer lenght.

Still, for a spin-off “western-ish anime” series that didn’t need to exist in the first place… it’s decent.

[EXPRESSO] The Cuphead Show (Season One) (2022) | Ragtime Round

Unlike many videogames to animated series adaptations, Cuphead having his own Netflix show makes some sense, given its aesthetic molded after the style of 1930s cartoons, why not make a cartoon using the characters and the retro-aesthetic?

I’m gonna say this now so we can move on from it, but yes, i really wanted the team to opt for a full proper rubberhose style animation, but that would have required a fuckton more time and money, and honestly the animation is pretty good, with some episodes even mixing live-action sets, and overall i gotta say it delivers on the presentation.

The voice acting is on spot in terms of accents and lingo too, the character designs and mannerism are perfect but in terms of content it’s a bit uneven because it doesn’t really go all the way to imitate the source material, i mean, you expect a lot more in terms of guns, cigars and gambling, but nope, it’s kinda mild and forgettable.

It also basically ignores the plot of the videogame it’s based off, instead going for mostly episodical…. mundane adventures. Yeah, Cuphead owns the Devil its soul… but that goes ultimately nowhere, and the writing it’s uneven, as some episodes do manage to work in a musical number, some good jokes and a good rhytm to the slapstick, others feel like they exist to waste time and deliver cheapo jokes that come off as too modern.

The Cuphead Show it’s an odd case of a series stuck in between a cheapish low effort animated comedy and a tribute to 30s style cartoons, so ultimately it’s just kinda there, inoffensive, fairly short and easy to binge, cute but just with not much of substance going on under its “borrowed” aesthetic.

A second season has already been greenlit, regardless. Mh.

[EXPRESSO] Temple Run: Puzzle Adventure iOS | Thine Freemium Designs

To be brutally honest, this game in itself leaves very little to talk/comment about, as in it’s EXACTLY what you’d think it would be: a generic match-3 puzzle game using the license-name of a popular but old IP that benefits of the deal because people that ever so much do remember Temple Run, with generic character and art style.

Heck, i probably wouldn’t have known it existed if i wasn’t subscribed to Apple Arcade, and this – alongside some of the shittier releases like Galaga + – makes it more obvious how the service’s main selling point of featuring games without ads & microtransactions..is GOOD, but inadvertly exposes how many of these were mostly designed as freemium

We previously reviewed the quite similar match 3 revival of Zoo Keeper on Apple Arcade, but that just happens to be better and way more feature complete overall.

Which makes even more strange how it still feels pretty obvious something it’s “off”, because the game it’s honestly alright, but doesn’t have much to the standard match 3 formula seen a squillion on times, nor does it have an adventure twist despite being called Temple Run… or anything else besides the puzzles themselves.

Still, i played through 50 + of the puzzles and i had to eventually check online what the hell i was getting gems for, as in, you can buy power-ups, but due to the game not telling me at all, often outright handing out some, and the puzzles not being that hard, i wondered if i had to progress to unlock something where to spend the gems.

But nope.

It’s obvious this was designed as a freemium thing first, that easy to imagine it as such.

It’s inoffensive, but also disposable, even on Apple Arcade there are better puzzle games.

Nintendo Direct 9/02/2022 | Rites Of N

That time again, time to put on your robe and attend the ceremony with expectations so far out to make worshippers of the Old Gods looks like wannabe zealots!

Especially since all fair criticism of the company is dropped by most people (and publications) when a Direct happens. But again, this is sadly “business as usual”, let’s move on.

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Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires PS4 [DEMO] [HANDS-ON]

With the game officially launching in the west in less than a month, Koei finally released the demo for Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires…. properly, i saw plenty of people that managed to get it via the Microsoft Store by fenagling with the regional accounts, but even those versions made available for non-english speaking territories had english in it.

Whatever, the demo is out now pretty much everywhere on consoles, and it includes the tutorial for the basic combat and the battle of Changsha, but NOT the Diplomacy phases and political managerie.

Make sense since they want to showcase the revamped Castle Sieges, by letting you play the battle of Changsha on the invading or defensive’s side, and also the revised Edit Mode, it’s an Empires game after, and you will be able to carry over the created officers’ data to the full game.

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One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows PS4 [REVIEW] | Anonimity Force

Worry not, Namco isn’t removing this from sale this February like Jump Force, just shutting down the online servers for it.. already (game came out in 2020), but i’ve played this this past month, so enjoy this extra anime fighter review of One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows, it’s on the house!

On a conceptual level, i feel pity towards a game like this, based on a popular shonen series that turned heads at the time because of it’s modern attitudine and unique premise of an overpowered superhero that defies his goofy look and can literally one-shot any foe he meets with a single punch.

One Punch Man is also more than a gimmick, but the premise was ripe to do something quite different with it in terms of a videogame adaptations… and instead Namco Bandai did exactly the most obvious, lazy and low effort thing they could with the license, another 3D arena anime fighter, in an overpopulated sea of the buggers, mostly all released by Namco Bandai anyway.

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