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SMT X FE photo

Bask in the glory of more Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem weirdness

Love those costumes
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
More Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem (Genei Ibun Roku #FE in Japan) weirdness awaits. This time, admist the peppered-in combat sequences, there's a commercial for soda, lots of fantastic costumes, and even some anime c...
Japan Warriors poll photo
Japan Warriors poll

Persona or SMT Warriors? Atlus says 'get in touch with us anytime'

Or Final Fantasy Warriors?
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
A recent Famitsu poll asked fans what Koei Tecmo Warriors (or Musou) crossover they'd most want to see and Gematsu has the Sokuho@Hokanko translation of the results, as well as responses by those series' respective creators o...
Atlus x Vanillaware photo
Atlus x Vanillaware

Odin Sphere has a great collector's edition

By Odin's Beard!
Nov 18
// Jordan Devore
Atlus sure knows how to put a special edition together. For Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir, a remake whose name I dare not type out manually, the publisher has a $79.99 Storybook Edition planned. It's exclusive to PlayStation 4 and...
SMT IV: Final photo
SMT IV: Final

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final gets original SMT IV cast

Including one party member
Nov 17
// Steven Hansen
Atlus is embracing confusing naming conventions with the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final, which Atlus has billed as not a direct sequel to SMTIV (you don't have to have played it to play Final) when we last wrote about...

Odin Sphere photo
Odin Sphere

Want to play an 8-bit version of Odin Sphere in your browser? Take to Twitter

28,888 tweets needed
Nov 14
// Chris Carter
Atlus of Japan has just announced a neat little promotion for their upcoming ports of Odin Sphere. If 28,888 people tweet out that they're interested, we'll unlock an 8-bit browser version of the game. Based on the footage i...

Review: Stella Glow

Nov 13 // Chris Carter
Stella Glow (3DS)Developer: ImageepochPublisher: AtlusMSRP: $49.99Release Date: November 17, 2015 Our journey begins with Alto, a young man who (surprise) has amnesia, and is found by a girl named Risette, who takes him into her mother's house. Three years later Alto encounters Hilda, a "sort of good sort of bad" witch, who is commonly referred to as "The Witch of Disaster" -- with a name like that, who wouldn't be inclined to be bad sometimes? Risette then unlocks an ancient power from one of Alto's artifacts, and becomes a witch herself -- then it's off to the royal palace, where they are tasked with hunting Hilda by recruiting more witches. You can probably guess where it goes from here. Alto is a country boy of sorts, but accepts to call to become a reluctant "aw shucks" shonen sword master. The rest of the party runs the gamut of anime tropes, and while they can occasionally get annoying, the cast is memorable enough and all sport a great set of designs. There are a few nuanced storylines peppered in, like the tale of a misunderstood witch who was doomed to live as an outcast. Another character hides her face in a cardboard box because she's shy, but wears revealing clothing. The cast is massive, and since there's no "job" switching in Stella Glow, all of them act unique both in and out of combat. Speaking of combat, much like the Arc series, it's still a lot like Final Fantasy Tactics. Utilizing chibi characters on a grid-like format, players can move about the battlefield, use items or skills, and choose to "wait" in a specific direction to guard against directional attacks. A lot of games still use the grid style because it works, even to this day. There's a certain order to it that warrants a respect beyond relegating it to "old school nostalgia," and planning out party movements and attacks is never a chore. When you're actually engaged with an enemy an Advanced Wars style miniature cutscene will play, and as expected, some characters have counter-attacks available. As previously stated, the cast really makes a different here, as some party members have access to special abilities like guarding characters they're adjacent to, which makes placement paramount. Don't expect a whole lot of depth and customization though (stats are applied instantly, and equipment management isn't all that difficult, even accounting for the materia-like socket system). [embed]320467:61085:0[/embed] Really, the game isn't all that tough in general. I feel like it will be challenging enough for those of you who don't keep up with the genre, but for veterans, you'll rarely find a taxing quest until later in the storyline. This is partially due to the fact that the AI isn't overly aggressive, and tends to hang back more, waiting for a better opportunity to strike. On the flipside, that means that there's no frustrating fake difficulty spikes for the sake of it. Like most SRPGs, Stella is hella long. There's at least 40 hours of gameplay here if you only opt for the story, and leveling up characters, locating the additional endings (over 10), completing sidequests and sidestories will likely elevate it to double that. Like most games with a billion endings, your mileage may vary depending on your affinity towards a specific character, but the ones I saw ranged from unsatisfying to sufficient. For those you are wondering, the voicework is in English, and the songs, which are heavily woven into the game's narrative, are performed in Japanese. In many ways, Stella Glow is a by-the-numbers strategy RPG, but it does have a partially interesting cast, some unique storylines, and a working combat system. Imageepoch has had some ups and downs in their lengthy career, but thankfully they can at least end on somewhat of a high note. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Stella Glow photo
Imageepoch's swan song
That's all she wrote for Imageepoch. The developer responsible for the Luminos Arc series and Arc Rise Fantasia filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, and it seems like they're out of the industry entirely with the laun...

NSFW photo

What is going on with this Dragon's Crown figure?

Mesmerizing in all the wrong ways
Nov 11
// Jordan Devore
I'm almost at a loss for words other than to say you don't know what you've got until it's gone. The last Dragon's Crown Amazon figure (that I've seen, anyway) was over the top in ways you would expect given the source material, but that design now looks respectable compared to what's happening here. If you don't mind my asking, uh, what exactly is happening here?
Shin Megami Tensei photo
Shin Megami Tensei

Man, Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem looks so weird

In a good way
Nov 06
// Chris Carter
Recently, I forgot that Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem (known as Genei Ibun Roku FE in Japan) existed, but a new series of videos from Nintendo have reignited my interest. Highlights from this newest promotion in...
The Legend of Legacy photo
The Legend of Legacy

Legend of Legacy travels to Europe February 5

But beware the grind
Oct 30
// Kyle MacGregor
The Legend of Legacy is coming to Europe on February 5, NIS America has announced. The role-playing game from FuRyu draws inspiration from Square Enix's SaGa series, following a collection of seven adventurers on a journey to...

Review: The Legend of Legacy

Oct 26 // Kyle MacGregor
The Legend of Legacy (3DS)Developer: FuRyuPublisher: Atlus USARelease:  January 22, 2015 (JP) October 13, 2015 (NA) February 5, 2016 (EU)MSRP: $39.99 The expedition rings hollow from the outset, presenting players with a diversity of characters, all of whom have a unique opening sequence. It's a seductive come-on, one that hints at a multi-sided story that never manifests. The narrative threads converge almost immediately and then vanish, leaving players to explore Avalon with little impetus for hours at a time. The script is sapped by an absurd lack of dialogue, which prevents the cast from distinguishing themselves and essentially renders them stock characters. The Legend of Legacy, hamstrung by its sparse narrative and superficial characters, is forced to lean squarely on a repetitive formula. From the time it begins to the moment the credits roll, players will travel to a location, explore every nook and cranny there to create a maps, then sell that to a merchant. You can then pay the merchant for new destinations to explore, map, profit on, and repeat. Much like the story, The Legend of Legacy's exploration and combat components manage to leave a strong first impression, but they lose their effectiveness over time. It's almost as though FuRyu stumbled across an ingredient list for an excellent dish, but got the proportions all wrong. Individually, elements have the potential to be wonderful; they just don't come across that way in the melting pot. The turn-based battle system has some promise, allowing players to switch between various combat formations. Depending on the formations, individual characters will receive bonuses pursuant to their roles in battle. A defender will use a buckler to shield allies from damage, while a support character heals, and someone else attacks. While there are only two formations at the outset, players are given the ability to create their own -- an option that would be enticing if the battle system were deeper and it felt necessary. What might have been a strategic highlight soon curdles and becomes rote. The experience suffers from diminishing returns, with systems encouraging players to settle on a finite number of battle strategies and seldom deviate from them. Rather than have characters level-up, individual skills do. So, repeated use of, say, a sword will make a character more proficient with that type of weapon. But should one give that character an axe, bow, spear, or even a larger sword, they'll be back at square one, meaning it's beneficial to to decide which characters and weapons to use early on and stick with those choices, rather than experiment at all. In addition to impelling players to perform the same actions again and again, The Legend of Legacy doubles down on the repetition with a shortfall of enemy variety. The species of monster from a forest environment might reappear in the desert or alongside one another as palette swaps, a small irritation that just serves to compound a feeling of monotony that's pervasive throughout the game. Even endearing qualities, like the pop-up book-style visuals, which sees terrain and scenery sprout out from the ground, can cut both ways. Aesthetically, environments look very nice, but have a way of concealing enemies. And in a game with far too many fights for its own good, stumbling into a battle on accident due to a bit of poor camera positioning can be so exasperating. It also feels too focused and even reserved to a fault. At a time when many of its peers seem so enamored with heavy-handed tutorials and overabundance of side content, FuRyu is running in the opposite direction. This is an experience that could desperately use something to do other than plod along the critical path, or do a better job explaining some its more mystifying gameplay systems. If this appraisal sounds overly critical, it's because it comes from a place of love. The Legend of Legacy comes so close to being a compelling role-playing game, but it just doesn't do enough to earn the amount of patience it requires of players, let alone reward it. This may be a story about a treasure hunt, but it certainly is no treasure. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Review: Legend of Legacy photo
Lost in the woods
Juan Ponce de León's hunt for the Fountain of Youth is a legend far more emblematic of many adventures than most depicted in media. The conquistador committed the lion's share of his days to exploring the New Worl...

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir photo
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir

The new Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir trailer will melt your eyeballs with how pretty it is

Prettier than Trine 2? Just maybe
Oct 23
// Joe Parlock
Just in case you missed it, Atlus announced Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir a few months ago. A full HD remake of its popular (and beautiful) action JRPG, Leifthrasir will also feature some tweaks to the combat system, and making s...
SMT IV Final photo
SMT IV Final

First glance at Shin Megami Tensei IV Final

Ready to kill the gods?
Oct 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Well, here it is: Shin Megami Tensei IV Final in action. Earlier today during a NicoNico presentation, Atlus shared the first footage of its recently announced follow-up to Shin Megami Tensei IV. Set in a dystopian Tokyo in ...
Genei Ibun Roku X FE photo
Genei Ibun Roku X FE

Oh yeah, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem exists

New story trailer
Oct 07
// Chris Carter
I don't forget about major releases often, but I totally forgot Genei Ibun Roku X FE (yep, that's the official title) is a thing. Originally known as Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, which was thought to be a tradi...
SMT IV Final photo
SMT IV Final

Shin Megami Tensei IV Final isn't a repeat

Don't be fooled by the name
Oct 05
// Jordan Devore
Atlus has been building to something Shin Megami Tensei related with a countdown. Thanks to Famitsu, we now know it's a new 3DS game, not rehash, called Shin Megami Tensei IV Final. It's expected to release February 10, 2016 ...
Atlus photo

Atlus teases something Shin Megami Tensei IV related

'15,000 tweets'
Oct 05
// Chris Carter
Right now on the official Shin Megami Tensei IV site, Atlus is running a social media campaign to unlock some sort of special announcement. In short, if the game gets 15,000 retweets, we'll find out what it is. If you cl...
Odin Sphere photo
Odin Sphere

Can I just...have Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir now?

Check out the Gwendolyn character vid
Oct 02
// Chris Carter
I had the chance to check out Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir at TGS recently, and man was it fantastic. The art style absolutely holds up, and the framerate issues of the original (one of the only real problems) were complete...

Review: Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Sep 29 // Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4: Dancing All Night (PS Vita)Developer: Atlus Publisher: AtlusReleased: September 29, 2015MSRP: $49.99 Taking place shortly after the events of Persona 4, Dancing All Night opens with Rise Kujikawa and a couple members of the gang in a dance studio. The former idol is mounting a comeback and has enlisted her friends as backup dancers to perform at a large music festival. Of course, things quickly go awry. A cursed Internet video has droves of people falling into comas, and to top it all off, members of Kanamin Kitchen, the pop group headed by Rise's frenemy Kanami Mashita, have gone missing. We soon find out the women have been transported to an alternate dimension called the Midnight Stage, where a mysterious voice and hordes of Shadows hold them hostage. Kanamin Kitchen's captors prey on idols' identity crises and try to make them fall in line with the image of what people think believe are, or want them to be, rather than wage any sort of painful personal struggle. The Investigation Team naturally comes to the rescue, except in this world they can't use their Personas to fight. The only way to beat back the Shadows and save Rise and Kanami's friends is to dance. It's a contrived plot device to shoehorn in rhythmic gameplay based on Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series, but honestly, who cares when the end result is a damn good time?  [embed]311909:60472:0[/embed] The mechanics at work here are nothing revolutionary. Notes appear in the center of a circle and fly outward toward six zones on circle's perimeter in formations based on music. Players are tasked with keeping the beat, the success or failure of which will determine things like high scores, whether new levels are unlocked, and earn in-game currency for purchasing items and costumes. Dancing All Night functions perfectly, and its three main difficulty settings all feel appropriately challenging. Regardless of which you choose, a poor performance will result in a quick hook, though a mediocre one may allow you to complete a level without passing. This can be a powerful motivator, and definitely kept me coming back to some of the tougher stages. On top of the standard fare, there's also an even harder (hidden) difficulty setting awaiting dedicated players. So good luck with that! Aside from the joy of watching familiar faces like Teddie and Chie cavort around in ridiculous outfits, what makes Dancing All Night a blast is the music itself. One of my favorite aspects of the Persona series is composer Shoji Meguro's handiwork, which is obviously thrust into the spotlight this time around. After completing both the story and free dance modes (plus redeeming some downloadable content) I've unlocked 36 songs, spanning everything from original Persona 4 tracks to spin-off theme songs and even a live performance. However, while that may conceptually seem like a decent-sized selection, it doesn't always feel that way. Half of the soundtrack is padded out with remixes that may or may not resonate with players. While I absolutely loved many of them, there are others I will seldom play again. I found it difficult at times to appreciate versions of songs I've adored for years, only to have some DJ somewhere strip the track of nearly all its personality and transform it into something else entirely. Dancing All Night's uneven score wasn't the only facet of the experience that wasn't as compelling as it could have been. The story is somewhat plodding at times and suffers from repetition, following multiple groups that tread similar ground for most of the game. While there are some pensive themes at work, endearing new characters, and a dramatic finale once the narrative threads begin to converge, the plot doesn't quite live up to its source material -- which is probably expected, given how phenomenal that is. This fusion of visual novel of rhythm game isn't exactly perfect, but speaking as someone who loves Persona (and Shoji Meguro's work in particular), I really enjoyed my time with this one. It might be pure fan service, but sometimes maybe that's enough. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher. Several DLC tracks were also provided by the publisher. ]
Review: P4D photo
Your prize cow
Persona 4 was a story about acceptance. We all have a dark side, some aspect of our personality we dislike about ourselves, something we choose to repress and hide away from the rest of the world. This isn't the healthiest pr...

ATLUS photo

Atlus confirms Hatsune Miku Persona 4: Dancing All Night DLC for the Americas

Coming October 20 for $5
Sep 24
// Kyle MacGregor
While we already knew Hatsune Miku was coming to Persona 4: Dancing All Night in Japan, the possibility of a western release was up in the air. Well, until now, anyway. Atlus USA has just informed us the make-believe singer's...
Persona 5 stuff photo
Persona 5 stuff

Persona 5: New character, multiple villains & in-game social media

New gameplay screens
Sep 23
// Steven Hansen
Welp, we got the trailer and the into-2016-delay for Persona 5 out of Tokyo Game Show 2015. Not unexpected. There are some more details and a good look at new characters in the latest Famitsu. Most of the gallery below is st...
Persona 5 photo
Persona 5

Persona 5's opening theme is sooo good

Anime, festival event also announced
Sep 19
// Kyle MacGregor
In case you haven't heard, Persona 5 has been delayed until summer, giving us all plenty of time to do other things -- like watching this video featuring footage of the RPG's opening cinematic and its theme tune, a lovely jazz number composed by Shoji Meguro and belted out by singer Lyn.
ATLUS photo

Atlus picks up indie RPG Cryamore

Indie RPG also changing platforms
Sep 17
// Kyle MacGregor
Atlus will now be publishing Cryamore, the Kickstarter-funded RPG from indie team Nostalgico. The Shin Megami Tensei publisher has apparently been courting the studio for some time, offering the development team help to finis...
Persona 5 photo
Persona 5

Persona 5 delayed until summer 2016

But at least there's a new trailer?
Sep 17
// Joe Parlock
I have some good news and some bad news for you, Persona fans. The good news is there’s a new Persona 5 trailer! It shows off some of the very pretty environments you’ll be exploring in the latest game, as well a...
13 Sentinels photo
13 Sentinels

13 Sentinels: Aegis Arm revealed for PS4 and PS Vita

Coming from Atlus
Sep 15
// Laura Kate Dale
Atlus and Vanillaware today revealed their newest game at Sony's Tokyo Game Show press conference, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Arm for PS4 and Vita. A trailer for the game was shown off during the press conference, which looks pretty god damn interesting. So, who's interested in this awesome looking new IP?
Genei Ibun Roku #FE photo
Genei Ibun Roku #FE

Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem is coming to Japan on December 26

2016 in the West
Sep 12
// Kyle MacGregor
The Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem crossover project, otherwise known as Genei Ibun Roku #FE, will arrive in Japan on December 26, Nintendo just announced via the RPG's blog. It was also revealed that first print cop...
Etrian Mystery Dungeon photo
Etrian Mystery Dungeon

Etrian Mystery Dungeon out now across Europe

Good lord, finally
Sep 12
// Kyle MacGregor
After an extended wait, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is now available in Europe, NIS has announced. The roguelike RPG launched in North America in April after debuting in Japan the previous month, and earned praise from Destructoid's reviews pope Chris Carter, who called the crossover "a match made in heaven" in his appraisal of the localized release. (Check out the full review here.)
Tokyo Game Show photo
Tokyo Game Show

Sega at TGS: Persona 5, possible Vanillaware and Yakuza Studio new games

Persona 5 news may come before the show
Sep 10
// Steven Hansen
Sega's got a lot going on at Tokyo Game Show 2015 between Sega proper, Sega Networks, and Atlus. There's already word we'll be getting a new Yakuza announcement, but Yakuza Studio might also be announcing a new PS3 and PS4 ti...
Persona 5? photo
Persona 5?

Atlus hosting Persona event at Tokyo Game Show 2015

So, Persona 5 release date?
Sep 09
// Steven Hansen
Hey, remember how Persona 5 still has a 2015 release date, but a non-specific one and, also, we're almost through 2015? Hmm. Sony Japan is doing its pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference at 4PM JST (12AM PDT) on September 15, ...
Persona photo

Hitler really mucked things up for the Persona 2 localization

Lovely video on a lovely series
Aug 24
// Chris Carter
"Did You Know Gaming" is a delightful series, mostly because it focuses on games that I may have played and enjoyed as a youth, but didn't fully comprehend. That includes this new video on the Persona franchise, which g...
ATLUS photo

Persona 4: Dancing All Night launches in Europe this November

Not the worst delay, I suppose
Aug 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4: Dancing All Night is coming to Europe on November 6, NIS America has announced. As per usual (as far as Atlus goes), the PlayStation Vita-exclusive rhythm game's PAL version is launching a tad later than its North American counterpart, which debuts September 29.
Free Persona DLC photo
Free Persona DLC

Persona 4: Dancing All Night swimsuit set free the first week

No Kanji swimsuit though
Aug 14
// Steven Hansen
Persona 4: Dancing All Night's ladies swimsuit DLC will be free during the rhythm game's first week of release (it comes out September 29). After October 5, the costume pack will cost money. Unfortunately, this free DLC does...

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