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Compile Heart

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What's the deal with Compile Heart?


Promoted from our community blogs
Jul 01
// OverlordZetta
[It's ok not to like things. I can't get into King of Fighters, for example. But Overlordzetta's interest in Compile Heart's games has led him to believe that a perfectly normal game development company seems to get an inordi...
In Japan photo
In Japan

PlayStation Vita strategy RPG Makai Shin Trillion out next month


In Japan
Jun 03
// Steven Hansen
Makai Shin Trillion is coming to Vita in Japan on July 23. We first saw it just over a year ago. The Vita strategy RPG comes from developer Compile Heart whose last four developed games (Fairy Fencer F, Hyperdimension Neptun...

Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed

May 08 // Chris Carter
Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed (PS TV, Vita [reviewed])Developer: TamsoftPublisher: Compile Heart (JP) / Idea Factory International (EU, US)Released: August 28, 2014 (JP) / May 19, 2015 (US) / May 22, 2015 (EU)MSRP: $39.99 Once again we are whisked away to the parody-filled world of Gamindustri, where the main characters of Neptunia will get into all sorts of wacky antics. Since this isn't a typical RPG, the story is tangential to all of the killing you're going to be doing. You're free to bypass part or all of the story with very easy to enact button presses, skipping ahead to dungeons and gear management at will. The dialog is cute and the voice acting is presentable, but the silly nature of the plot almost always circles around the same feud of "who is the best CPU or journalist in the Gamindustri," and it ends up getting old after a few hours or so. The action of course, is the highlight. Neptunia U's engine looks incredible, especially on the Vita's OLED screen, and more importantly, the framerate and camera are top notch. I simply adore the cel-shaded style. Everything on-screen looks wonderfully detailed, whether it's a faraway landscape or an up-close shot of a character. Each combatant has access to strong or weak attacks, which function just like the Dynasty Warriors series with simplistic combos that trigger new abilities. Characters can also double-jump, dash, and call forth stronger powers (limited by a mana gauge), as well as transform and unleash mega attacks. There's plenty of options like camera tweaking and display settings to ease the clutter of the UI, and a toggle for Japanese or English voice acting is the cherry on top. [embed]291761:58476:0[/embed] For a hack-and-slash the combat is surprisingly deep, even if you won't have to use half of its tricks to best the AI on the standard difficulty setting. Action Unleashed also has a costume break mechanic, where if you use too many strong attacks or get hit too often, some clothing will tear off. Yep, some characters will occasionally bare their underwear, so if you mind that sort of thing, you probably shouldn't play it. What this boils down to is the realization that Action Unleashed is a magical girl Dynasty Warriors, which I am totally ok with. Uni is a personal favorite of mine, as her main gimmick is a rapid-fire rifle that offers up some melee attacks, often melded in the same combo. All 10 playable characters (including series newcomers Dengekiko and Famitsu, based on the popular Japanese culture and gaming outlets) have their own signature style and are fun to play in their own right. There is a snag in terms of pacing, though. Early on, enemies don't put up enough of a fight to put your skills to the test. While their models are great (aping tropes like Dragon Quest's slimes or Pac-Man's ghosts), most of the foes you'll face in the first few hours are cannon fodder, and it isn't until you reach the boss fight in a particular dungeon that you'll really have any sort of a challenge to square off against. Additionally, it must be said that while the mechanics do match up to the Warriors series, the actual flow of a level feels more confined, akin to the Senran Kagura games. Instead of sprawling battlefields with multiple objectives to worry about simultaneously, Action Unleashed's dungeons are linear by comparison. It's a lot less focused on exploration and more-so on constant fights, with a hefty amount of gates -- some levels are just sole rooms with dedicated arena battles. Despite this, it's still a lot of fun to blast everything in sight and try out new styles of play. Once you clear the first few missions and the game opens up, there's a lot more to do in general to keep you interested. You can opt to watch additional scenarios and hang out with the cast of the game to unlock extra scenes, fool around with your current loot and try out new gear combinations, or adjust your bonus abilities, unlocked by killing a certain amount of each enemy type. Neptunia U is ultimately built on replay value, counting on players to repeat missions for better scores, gear, and the goal of reaching max level with all characters. There's also a new difficulty and extra arena mode unlocked after completing the game. Maybe it's just me, but the videogame industry parody theme that the Neptunia series is going for fits with a faster-paced environment -- especially when a better developer is involved. As long as you can deal with a little skin and a silly plotline, Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed is a fun little action romp.
Neptunia U review photo
Compile Heart didn't develop this
Over the years, I've developed a cautionary approach to Compile Heart projects. As a fan of Eastern games in general I'm always receptive to the idea of them, but as a development studio, they don't always follow through as w...


Review: Omega Quintet

Apr 29 // Josh Tolentino
Omega Quintet (PS4) Developer: Compile HeartPublisher: Idea Factory (JP), Idea Factory International (US/EU)Released: October 2, 2014 (JP) / April 28, 2015 (US) / May 1, 2015 (EU)MSRP: $59.99 Speaking of other "firsts," playing Omega Quintet brings to mind the very first Hyperdimension Neptunia title. That's not a good sign, seeing as the original game literally put Matt Razak to sleep back in 2011. Indeed, despite being, on paper, one of the most feature-rich titles Compile Heart has produced, the experience of playing Omega Quintet feels decidedly regressive, a far cry from the comparative refinement that the Neptunia franchise has managed to cultivate over the years. Perhaps some of that disconnect is cultural. Whereas the Neptunia series' light parody of the game industry and its never-ending platform wars will be familiar to most gamers, idol culture -- which informs much of Omega Quintet's setup -- is largely absent outside of Japan. Many of its references to the peculiarities of pop-princess life fall flat for lack of that common ground. On the other hand, not even Neptunia could be considered especially sophisticated in its satire. Anyone familiar with that series would know that the premises, however niche or inventive, really serve as a framework on which to drape a proven mix of cute girls, complex battle systems, anime-tinged humor, and sexualization. Omega Quintet is in much the same way, and its paeans to the life of celebrities are ultimately skin-deep. Except even by those lowered standards and tempered expectations, the game still comes across as lazy and half-hearted, without the charm or spark that helped its cousins rise above their otherwise mundane core.  Omega Quintet at least sounds interesting at first. Its future-set, ostensibly apocalyptic setting is cutely subverted by the fact that the Blare, an existence pushing humanity to the brink of extinction, can only be stopped by the Verse Maidens, a troupe of magical girl idols who sing and fight with giant weapons called "Mics". The Verse Maidens are powered by the adoration of the people, which necessitates their fights being broadcast live like a concert. Sadly, the last active Verse Maiden, Momoka, is retiring, because she's apparently much older than she looks. Enter Otoha, a fresh-faced youngster, and her male friend/player stand-in Takt, as the newest Verse Maiden recruit and the team manager, respectively. As more new Verse Maidens join to take up the reins, various anime-flavored antics ensue alongside goodly amounts of suggestive posing, relationship-building, wacky conversations, and of course, saving the world. The catch, unfortunately, is that all this cutsey waifu fun has to be experienced from the perspective of Takt, one of the least likable male leads ever to be inflicted on videogames. It's as if whomever wrote his lines mistook being a total prick for an aloof kind of coolness. Every word from his mouth is marinated in pointless sarcasm and brain-dead snark that it makes the event scenes -- which already run far too long and stretch their one-note jokes to the breaking point as it is -- a grating exercise in tedium. If he can't even be bothered to care what's going on, why should we? The game can't even be bothered to fully incorporate its premise into the main structure. Omega Quintet comes with a surprisingly robust "PVS" mode, which allows players to essentially construct dance and concert videos from the game's (rather small) collection of idol songs, complete with video recording and upload functions, but there's rarely any point or main-game benefit to engaging it. Ironically, despite the fact that this game is supposed to be Compile Heart's "idol RPG," Neptunia Producing Perfection, which is more of an actual idol-centric game than this could hope to be, came out last year. [embed]290971:58370:0[/embed] If there is a group that could look forward to enjoying Omega Quintet, it's the crowd that comes to JRPGs not for narrative or anime antics, but for abstract and engaging battle systems. Omega Quintet's is enjoyably complex and interesting to master. Where the trend in RPG battle has moved away from menus and into quasi-action game territory, Omega Quintet is all too happy to throw players into a sea of menu selections and gauge-driven turn-based combat. At its core, the game's battling relies on using attacks of varying effectiveness, range, and recovery time to manipulate the turn order. Stacking commands and attacks so that the Verse Maidens all take their turns in quick succession unlocks powerful Harmonics attacks, and building "Voltage" (a gauge representing the audience's fervor) eventually results in engaging the cinematic "Live Concert" mode, a sort of super attack that involves big damage, over-the-top animation, and background lyrics. Throw in Takt's ability to partner up with the Verse Maidens to deliver follow-ups or stat boosts, as well as score-boosting Overkill systems, a Sphere-Grid-like character progression system, and even item and gear crafting, and there's plenty of mechanical fat to chew on. If only the context and characters surrounding this part of the game were more worthwhile. Though there's nothing explicitly wrong with it, Omega Quintet feels far too much like a "by-the-numbers" Compile Heart title to do justice to the studio's first current-gen effort. Its narrative and aesthetic "fluff" ultimately fail to support its dense and otherwise engrossing mechanical heart. For a game about a bunch of girls finding their voices and path in the world, it has distressingly little "voice" of its own.  [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Omega Quintet review photo
Same old song and dance routine
Omega Quintet is a game of firsts. Chronologically, it's the PlayStation 4's first exclusive Japanese RPG (Final Fantasy Type-0 originally being a PSP game). It's also developer Compile Heart's first PS4 game, and by certain logic, the first JRPG to plumb Japan's idol subculture. If only being such a pioneer had resulted in a game that actually put its best foot forward.

Review: Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart

Apr 28 // Kyle MacGregor
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart (PlayStation Vita)Developer: Sting, Compile HeartPublisher: Idea Factory InternationalReleased: February 24, 2015 (NA) February 27, 2015 (EU)MSRP: $39.99  Why was I so hopeful for Hyperdimension Neptunia? Well, the concept of a game that parodies the console wars is almost too good to give up on. The series follows a group of anthropomorphized gaming consoles, each the ruler of her own kingdom, all vying for dominance in what's effectively a grand popularity contest. It's a cute idea, at the very least, with the potential for so much more. I hoped it would be a clever satire, something introspective and comedic that poked fun at the industry in an interesting or meaningful way. Instead, I discovered one jejune RPG after the next, a middling collection of games that lean all too heavily on fan service as crutch. What I wanted this series to be and what it is are two very different things. I probably should have realized that before now, but well, here we are. The latest entry in the franchise, Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart, may be a spin-off, but it hews closely to its source material -- albeit with one notable exception. This is a strategy role-playing game, rather than a more traditional one. However, aside from the difference in combat, those familiar with Compile Heart's previous efforts will know exactly what to expect out of this one. But let's talk about what makes this entry unique. The action takes place on grid-based battlefields. There, players act as the general of a small army, moving units to support allies and assault foes. In addition to the SP gauge, used for special attacks, there's an LP meter, which fuels even more powerful moves and allows the central protagonists to transform into their more powerful goddess forms. LP is an interesting resource, as it's gained by performing special attacks while flanked by friendly units. This will result in a kissing animation, which doubles as a power-up.  This system is a key component of a successful strategy on the battlefield, but it isn't without risk. As you might expect, clustering into tightly-packed ranks makes units more susceptible to area-of-effect attacks, meaning it could as easily pave the way to victory as it could to your undoing. The level design at work here is interesting and varied, constantly shaking things up with a range of traps, puzzles, and obstacles. The objectives are similarly diverse, though I'm not sure the assortment makes the combat terribly compelling. Despite minimal repetition, the pace of play here feels inordinately slow. Battles often feel overly long and drawn out, especially when a protracted series of turns are dedicated entirely to positioning. There are a lot of lulls in the action that mar an otherwise competent tactical experience. The story doesn't help in that regard, with a hackneyed plot and shallow, tropey characters that talk forever about nothing at all. There's some mild referential humor to be found, but it's mostly about the fan service. It has plenty of pantsu and giant, jiggling breasts, which is made all the more creepy by the new chibi art direction. The entire cast look like abominable hypersexualized infants. Speaking of said characters, most of the ones you'll be taking into battle over the course of the game are based on popular Japanese videogame franchises. This was actually one of my favorite parts of the experience, as taking personifications of the Street Fighter, Yakuza, and Dragon Quest (I could go on and on) series into the field was a real joy. Their special attacks (like the Metal Gear-inspired Lid's cardboard box stealth attack) are particularly charming, and serve as nice nods to players who are familiar with the source material. It's just a pity that these characters are often relegated to a support role, as the familiar faces are far more useful on the battlefield. Since Noire, Blanc, Neptune, and Vert can all transform into their extremely mighty goddess forms, it pays to deploy them over your favorites. While transformed, the goddesses are able to fly, making them immune to traps and elements of the landscape that limit conventional troopers. It's a lamentable design choice, impelling players to use the same, stale heroines rather than the revolving door of refreshing newcomers.  There are other questionable choices that hamper the experience, like: lengthy enemy turns, the constant influx of tutorial messages that are more busy than informative, a loading period at the beginning of each fight where the game makes you watch combatants materialize out of thin air, one-hit kills, and a bizarre movement mechanic that doesn't allow you to move units exactly where you'd like them to go -- even if that space is in range. There are just dozens of little annoyances peppered throughout the experience that require the player to be very patient and forgiving. It's unfortunate because there's a decent strategy RPG at Goddess Black Heart's core, but the game just can't seem to get out of its own way. Hyperdimension Neptunia fans may well enjoy this one, but I can't count myself among them. The series has an alluring premise, but it just doesn't push the idea far enough for me. The cloying characters and banal story are just so incredibly vapid, and the respectable strategic gameplay just isn't enough to compensate for the myriad of drawbacks and stumbling blocks. Sorry Noire, but it's time we go our separate ways. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Hyperdevotion Review photo
It's not you, it's me
Falling in love with potential can be dangerous. A mistake people make far too often when forging new relationships is placing undue expectations on others. People grow and change, but it's impossible to know how or when that...

Idea Factory Steam photo
Idea Factory Steam

Neptunia Re;Birth and Fairy Fencer coming to Steam


Idea Factory expanding its reach to PC
Dec 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Idea Factory International has announced plans to bring a handful of its role-playing games to PC. Hyperdimension Neptunia, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation, and Fairy Fencer F will all be...
Omega Quintet photo
Omega Quintet

Idol RPG Omega Quintet hits PS4 in spring 2015


In a world on the verge of destruction, singing might be their only hope.
Nov 18
// Kyle MacGregor
Omega Quintet is coming to North America and Europe next spring, publisher Idea Factory International announced today. The PlayStation 4 role-playing game stars a group of idols who must save the world from darkness with thei...

Review: Fairy Fencer F

Oct 19 // Brittany Vincent
Fairy Fencer F (PS3)Developer: Compile HeartPublisher: NIS AmericaReleased: September 16, 2014MSRP: $49.99 You should already be pretty aware of where the story is going when it opens up with the perpetually hungry Fang, who doesn’t really care about anything he’s doing since he’s so hungry. Right when those words spill out of his mouth, it becomes infinitely more difficult to care about anything that transpires during his time in the story -- unfortunately he’s the protagonist, so we’re forced to listen to plenty more drivel about how apathetic he truly is about things. And how he’ll “eat when he wants to.” Riveting. But when Fang hears he can pull a special Sword in the Stone move and wish for whatever he wants as a result (food, of course) he does so and gets a whole lot more than he bargained for. When a fairy jumps out and tells him he’s now forced to gather weapons to be used in a battle to seal away the “Vile God,” he becomes bound to a special sword known as a Fury, and eating just has to wait until he fulfills his new role as a being known as a Fencer. I’d be pretty upset if I were Fang personally, but then again I would have just gone to a grocery store or something, like a rational person. The fairy within Fang’s Fury weapon is a hot-headed pink-haired nymphette named Eryn, and when you combine her haughty condescension with Fang’s apathetic “can’t-be-bothered” attitude, you have a recipe for two of the most grating characters you could possibly have been forced to spend time with. It’s really quite unpleasant, the culmination of the several awful anime tropes you always hope to avoid when it comes to this genre, and it only gets worse from there. [embed]281894:56013:0[/embed] In case you couldn’t already tell, there’s not much of an opportunity for epic storytelling or anything like that here, so thankfully the battles that eventually crop up give some semblance of meaning to the game. It’s a familiar turn-based affair, though you can roam the battlefield and call on your Fury partners in order to give you power. Your partners and powers metamorphosize over the course of the game, making combat the strongest part of the concoction. As you earn weapon points and the ability to customize your equipment, you’ll realize that strategic point assignment is absolutely important. If you don’t upgrade specific things, like your combos, you’ll find that cutting down swarms of enemies is actually an impossibility, finding yourself back at square one if you don’t bother to take the time to upgrade. For anyone wishing to look beyond the typical “press X to bash Y into oblivion” system, Fairy Fencer F delivers, and it’s a genuinely fun, while it lasts. What really steals the show is the “Fairize” ability, which finds you fusing with your fairy partner for stat boosts that go completely off the charts. You’re essentially stabbed through the torso by your Fury weapon, and after a brief, cheesy J-rock interlude, are fused with your partner. You get a fabulous transformation, new attack animations, and a nigh-unstoppable form that you’ll want to call on time and time again. Despite this powerful option, the game’s somewhat unpredictable difficulty curve will undoubtedly end up affecting you at least one point or another, especially when you find yourself facing bosses, who are more difficult than the enemies around them in a ridiculously non-proportionate way. While that’s usually par for the course with JRPG bosses, the level of difficulty they achieve in Fairy Fencer F can get out of hand, and when you’re forced to grind for twice as long as normal to defeat them, there’s a problem. You’ll have to hit the dungeons in order to get to the meatier parts of the game, as well. Combat is engaging, as previously established, but traversing the various dungeons, represented by different elemental affinities, is more drudgery than anything else. You aren't offered the opportunity to freely roam around in any environments, so they’ve got that going for them, but the simple action of moving from one room to another when it comes to dungeon areas isn't exactly scintillating. There's even a drop in framerate when things tend to heat up, which is bizarre, given the fact that the game isn't absolutely mind-blowingly gorgeous to start with. Fairy Fencer F is inherently flawed, but it does boast familiar combat, plenty of items to collect, and JRPG elements that do make up for some of its shortcomings. Unfortunately, dull and grating characters, an uninspired narrative, and the slog of the game’s lengthy dungeons drag it through the dust. If you’re just getting into Compile Heart’s games and are looking for a starting point, you may as well stick to the Neptunia series, which offer more in every department in the long run. Fairy Fencer F should be relegated to footnote status in Compile Heart’s stable of role-playing games.
Fairy Fencer F review photo
Not 'fairice,' but 'fairize!'
If you want to think outside the box, the role-playing genre may not be the perfect playground for you -- at least, when it comes to traditional Japanese titles, which generally confine themselves to a set of tried-and-true m...

Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection

Aug 30 // Brittany Vincent
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (PS Vita)Developer: Compile HeartPublisher: NIS AmericaRelease: June 3, 2014MSRP: $29.99 For the uninitiated, Hyperdimension Neptunia revolves around the female personifications of the major console manufacturers. You’ve got Noire, Neptune, Blanc, or Vert, each representing various companies such as Nintendo and PlayStation. That’s a common theme within the Hyperdimension games, although Producing Perfection abandons the entire “lampooning the game industry” mission and opts for an idol management game that pulls you in as an active participant in the CPUs’ fates rather than a passive viewer who was simply privy to the RPG stylings of the Hyperdimension Neptunia games past. Producing Perfection charges you with training the CPUs of Gamindustri (that’s where they live) to become the latest pop sensation after they begin losing their powers to pop idol group MOB48. Rather than seeking out an alternate path to success, the girls arrive at the conclusion that the best way to beat out their rival is to excel in the same field. The girls decide to summon you (the player) as their producer. From there, it’s your job to determine whether they sink or swim as aspiring idols. [embed]280328:55499:0[/embed] Producer Mode finds you naming your custom protagonist and choosing a singular CPU to raise and mold as you see fit. From there, you complete bits and pieces of training segments, as the game is set up like that of a day-to-day sim with visual novel elements peppered in. Your end goal is to take on most of the shares in the region you're operating in as well as send one of your CPU's recorded songs to number one on the charts. You’ve got 180 in-game days to complete this objective, so time management and making the right decisions is absolutely crucial if you want to see any of the endings that are considered “good,” or any of the events leading up to them. Day-to-day tasks include giving the girls singing lessons, rhythm training, and more, but they need to be able to relax too, so the goal is to strike a fair balance between learning and polishing up stats while waiting for cooldown periods to pass. Once you've become a bit more seasoned, you even have the option to put on concerts, during which you'll help your fledgling pop star perform. These segments are a bit dull, unfortunately, mainly because the music tracks themselves aren't truly memorable after you've completed the songs, and because you don’t truly interact with your idol as much as you’d think you would. There are only six tunes to speak of as well, so it’s a good thing the concerts weren’t made a focal point of gameplay -- they can and do get old extremely fast. But you’re not really there for the music, strangely enough. Enhancing stage presence and playing around to see what works best for the girls is fun too, but rarely engaging. In fact, you do little else other than alter the camera angles and provide special effects for the girls during their performances, and admittedly, this can be done while barely even looking at the screen. There's no real lasting appeal to speak of that you might see with, say, Project Diva F or other similar endeavors. A combination of the tasks you direct your girls to complete and your attentiveness lead you to the ending you’ll eventually receive, although it’s prudent to keep in mind that allowing any of the girls’ stress to reach its max level or simply running out of time to “complete” the game will result in the worst ending possible. If you’re familiar with visual novels and dating sims of this ilk, this should come as no surprise to you. However, if you’re a newcomer to the genre and have little or no understanding of the basic framework of “management” sims or visual novels, the game won’t be holding your hand to see you through. You’ll need to figure things out for yourself, which may well be a turnoff for some players. The problem is that the game never really ramps up enough in the idol management or concert areas to offer a complete experience for both fans of the Hyperdimension Neptunia lore or those who’ve never ventured forth into Compile Heart’s colorful world of CPUs and tongue-in-cheek video game references. It seems content to languish between two worlds, and as it’s never particularly fantastic in either, ends up feeling quite hollow. And it’s not for the production values, at least. The game is polished enough and boasts excellent localization, with genuinely likeable dialogue. English and Japanese voice options are certainly a boon, and it's entertaining to see the Hyperdimension Neptunia girls in new roles, but this isn't exactly the vein most players will want to see them in. Plus, unless you want to play the same scenarios over and over, you'd get more enjoyment out of one of the meatier core games. Unfortunately, this is one instance where Compile Heart simply didn't produce perfection -- but if you just want to hang out with the girls when there’s not some sort of crisis going on, it might be worth a look.
Hyperdimension Neptunia photo
'Perfection' isn't the word
The Hyperdimension Neptunia series is a polarizing one. Some find Compile Heart’s thinly-veiled parodies of the game industry engaging and painfully adorable, and flock to it for an abundance of fanservice. Others run f...

Fairy Fencer F photo
Fairy Fencer F

Here's your first look at Fairy Fencer F in English


Compile Heart's latest adventure is lookin' good
Jul 20
// Brittany Vincent
NIS America has released the first batch of English screenshots from the upcoming Fairy Fencer F, releasing in North America on September 23 and Europe on September 26. These screenshots act as introductions to some of the ca...
PS4 RPG photo
PS4 RPG

Compile Heart still teasing PS4 RPG Omega Quintet


Taking the stage on September 18 in Japan
May 07
// Kyle MacGregor
Oh good, another teaser for Omega Quintet, the next entry in Compile Heart's Galapagos RPG brand. Because we haven't had quite enough of those. Nope. Nope. Nope. We need more! The latest morsel of footage showcases the role-...
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Compile Heart announces PS4 idol RPG Omega Quintet


Due out September 18 in Japan
May 07
// Dale North
The latest Famitsu has the scoop on Compile Heart's (actually Galapagos') new game, a PS4 RPG called Omega Quintet. This is a cross between idol management and role-playing game. Gematsu says that five maidens' singing powers...
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Galapagos RPG is also a PS4 game, it seems


Another teaser video
May 06
// Dale North
Less than a week ago I shared with you a silly teaser video from Compile Heart's new RPG brand, Galapagos. They've been teasing a game for some time, but all we've got so far is that it's not Fairy Fencer F 2 or Mugen Souls,...
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Galapagos RPG is back with another crazy teaser video and song


I love these!
Apr 30
// Dale North
Remember this weird ass video from Compile Heart's new RPG brand, Galapagos? They decided to push out another tease this morning in a new video, and they don't disappoint on weirdness or vagueness in it.  What are they ...
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Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II Dimension Zero trailer


Fast-BPM Metal
Apr 30
// Dale North
Here's some high BPM metal to wake you up this morning, courtesy of the new Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II trailer. This game will have three stories spread across three dimensions. This trailer is for Dimension Zero.  While the trailer is heavy on the shred, it's light on details. Platform? Who knows! Feel free to poke around Compile Heart's webpage to see if I missed something. 
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Compile Heart promises an 'intense' announcement for Wednesday


April 30
Apr 29
// Dale North
Compile Heart, the folks behind the Neptunia series of games,  tweeted a tease for an announcement for Wednesday, April 30 recently. They say that it will be an "intense" announcement, whatever that means.  Games ar...
More Vita games photo
More Vita games

Fairy Fencer F and Disgaea 4 Vita dated for the west


More Japanese games to go with Danganronpa 2
Apr 18
// Steven Hansen
Earlier today, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair got a release date for North American Vitas: September 2. I still need to play the first. Anyway, more Japanese games have western release dates. Compile Heart's RPG Fairy Fencer ...
Hyperdimension Neptunia photo
Hyperdimension Neptunia

Hyperdimension Neptunia PP dances west this June


Gamindustri's CPUs take the take this summer on PS Vita
Apr 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Hypderdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is shimmying over to North America on June 3 and then Europe just three days later, NIS America has announced. The PlayStation Vita idol game stars the heroines of Compile Heart's RPG series, and asks players to manage the ladies' dancing and singing careers. Are you up to the challenge?
Makai Shin Trillion photo
Makai Shin Trillion

Makai Shin Trillion is a game with a dimension destroying monster


From Compile Heart
Mar 19
// Chris Carter
If you like interesting games, put Makai Shin Trillion on your radar. It's from Compile Heart (the developer of titles like Hyperdimension Neptunia), and it stars a fallen King and a grimoire-powered girl in their quest to d...
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Fairy Fencer F takes a stab at PS3 later this year


Compile Heart role-playing game announced for autumn release
Feb 14
// Kyle MacGregor
It's happening! Fairy Fencer F is headed to North American and European shores this fall, courtesy of the localization-smiths at NIS America. The turn-based role-player comes by way of Compile Heart, the studio behind th...

Review: Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God

Feb 02 // Wesley Ruscher
Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God (PS Vita)Developer: Compile Heart, ZeroDivPublisher: Aksys GamesReleased: December 10, 2013MSRP: $39.99 Sorcery Saga tells a story that is about as light-hearted as it gets. Pupuru, a recently suspended magic school student, loves nothing more than the delicious curry from Smile Curry. It’s the local restaurant that is facing tough times due to the new mega trendy chain store that has opened up in town. Sort of like the Starbucks of curry shops, this corporate conglomeration is running out all the local competition with its cheap and quick curry. Luckily for Pupuru, and her local shop, she’s happened to come across a magical book with the recipe for the “Ultimate Curry.” It’s the one thing that can save her favorite delicatessen – and something that requires Pupuru to embark on an epic quest to gather all the necessary ingredients. Though she may not be saving the world, she’s saving her world and it couldn't be any more delightful. [embed]269883:52430:0[/embed] If you dig lighthearted anime, then you will be right at home with the game’s narrative. Ever since 999, Akysys Games has consistently delivered excellently penned banter. The game’s cast of characters is quite ridiculous, but I often found myself laughing at the absurdity of every situation between dungeon crawls. Perhaps my favorite side character was Gigadis, an evil lord from the netherworld and stalker of Pupuru. His brashness and idiotic ways can be cringeworthy at times, but it’s of no fault of the localization. The guy just constantly puts his foot in his mouth and is borderline creepy with his failed attempts to get Pupuru to fall for him (kind of like the vampire dude from Twilight -- editor’s note: this comes by way of my girlfriend). Additionally, his overly cocky theme song -- comprised of broken English -- championing why he is the greatest ever, is another reason I couldn’t help but root for the buffoon.  Alas, while you will spend a decent amount of time pushing through the game’s story segments, the meat of Sorcery Saga is not nearly as sweet as the rest of the game’s presentation. At its core this title is a hardcore Japanese roguelike. Similar to games like Shiren the Wanderer and The Guided Fate Paradox (one of my favorite titles from last year) the majority of your time will be spent grinding away through the depths of many punishing dungeons. Roguelikes are known for their often unfair difficulty spikes and Sorcery Saga is no different. The game starts innocently, as it warms players to its subtle nuances that separates it from others in the genre, but by the time the third dungeon is reached you can expect more than a few occasions that make you want to toss your Vita in disgust. Death can come swiftly without notice, no matter how prepared you are. The game incorporates all the nastiest staples of the genre and it’s not afraid to pile them on and make you cry. There are enemies that can walk through walls; randomly overly powerful suicidal creatures; traps that cause status ailments; random floors that take away abilities (like using items or spells); and random floors filled with overwhelming amounts of monsters. The sense of elation when you overcome the odds is one of the greatest gifts the game can instill in its players, but sadly dying and losing all your on-hand inventory is an all too frequent occurrence. The game does do a modest job in bringing a sense of freshness to the genre with its cooking system. Along with dropping weapons, gear, and other useful items, defeated enemies drop basic ingredients for creating your own delicious curry. Collecting these items in each dungeon, and then bringing back to Curry Smile, will grant Pupuru with guaranteed recipes she can execute in a dungeon when no enemies are present. You can still attempt to mix ingredients without recipes, but often the results end in inedible disasters. Where cooking comes in handy is in the status buffs it can provide for Pupuru and her A.I.-controlled partner Kuu. Cooking the right curry recipe can make all the difference in successfully navigating any one of the game’s tumultuous floors. But luck still plays a major factor since the status isn't permanent and food can rot as well. The other standout feature to Sorcery Saga is Pupuru’s bunny-like companion Kuu. He fights alongside of you in dungeons and is quite handy when he behaves properly. Like Pupuru, he begins each dungeon at level one (it’s a roguelike thing), but how he gets stronger is all up to the player. A garbage disposal of sorts, Kuu levels up from all the unwanted items you feed him. The types of items you toss down his gullet additionally grants him extra skills (like weapon forging) that can make all the difference in escaping the game’s later stages. My only real complaint of Kuu comes from the way he sometime just does what he wants. He can often get stuck on an obstacle, and subsequently left behind. You need him alive to progress floors, so when he goes off and dies having to backtrack for him and can be quite costly. He’s a great companion when he’s by your side, but he can also be your worst nightmare  -- especially when he’s starving, since his hunger pangs attract monsters. The only other thing that irked me in Sorcery Saga was the random slowdown that would hit the game at times. When you look at the game’s visuals, you can’t help but think you’re playing an uprezzed PS One game -- which makes this phenomenon all the more strange. It’s never to the point where it makes the game unplayable, but it’s frankly inexcusable for a game with such simple graphics. In the end, Sorcery Saga was a title that took me by surprise. It may not the best of games, but it’s far from the worst. Its lighthearted nature is hard to recommend if you're not a fan of the genre, but if you're willing to try something a little different, there’s enough delicious pleasantries served throughout to satisfy anyone's dungeon-crawling cravings.
Sorcery Saga reviewed photo
I'm still hungry
With the amount of role-playing adventures I’ve journeyed through in my life that culminate in apocalyptic showdowns, I’m a little tired. Save the world, rinse, and repeat. It’s so rare that a Japanese RPG d...

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