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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...
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir photo
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is like a whole new game

A massive framerate upgrade from PS2
Sep 17
// Chris Carter
Odin Sphere was one of the first games I played with my wife, and we had a perfect system. She would play a lot of the core areas during the day, and at night, I would plant seeds, gather food, and level up while she took a n...
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?
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...

Odin Sphere photo
Odin Sphere

This Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir Japanese package looks amazing

A Vita pouch and a charm
Aug 28
// Chris Carter
Although it's only been announced for Japan so far, Amazon has a pre-order listing up for Odin Sphere package for 3,298 yen, and it looks great. In short, it comes with a PlayStation Vita pouch, lens cloth, and a materia...
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir photo
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

Good lord, Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is pretty as hell

Or at least as pretty as Valhalla
Aug 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Odin Sphere was pretty. But this, this is better. Oh man, it's so much better. Oh, in case you haven't heard, Vanillaware is remastering its 2007 PlayStation 2 classic as Odin Sphere Leifthrasir for Sony platforms. The u...
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir photo
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

Atlus localizing Odin Sphere HD remake in 2016

Vague, but I'll take it
Jul 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is coming to the Americas sometime next year, Atlus confirmed today. The high-definition remake of Vanillaware's gorgeous PlayStation 2 role-playing game was unveiled earlier this week. On top of...
Odin Sphere photo
Odin Sphere

The Odin Sphere remake will have a 'Classic Mode' for purists

New mid-bosses
Jul 22
// Chris Carter
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is in the works for the PS3, PS4, and Vita, and it will be an HD remake of the original PS2 classic. As such, it will include a "Classic Mode" that will preserve the experience. Vanillaware is adding...
Vanillware photo

Oh, Atlus and Vanillaware have another secret project in the works

Not the Odin Sphere remake
Jul 20
// Chris Carter
Just this morning, Atlus and Vanillaware announced the joint Odin Sphere: Leifdrasir project -- a PS3, PS4, and Vita remake of Odin Sphere with new content. It seems as if they have piggy-backed yet another tease o...
Atlus photo

That Atlus x Vanillaware game is Odin Sphere on PS3, PS4, and Vita

I'm in
Jul 20
// Chris Carter
[Update: check out the new trailer!] A short time ago Atlus and Vanillaware were teasing a special project, and now, they have confirmed that it's none other than Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir -- a new port for PS3, PS4...
And where tf is Boston? photo
And where tf is Boston?

Atlus teases HD project with Muramasa dev Vanillaware

That's all I got
Jul 17
// Steven Hansen
Visit this webpage (screen capture above). Ok, we're on the same level. Vanillaware most recently did an HD version of Muramasa for Vita in 2013 and also developed Dragon's Crown, which Atlus published (in Japan and North Ame...
Vanillaware photo

What might a futuristic Vanillaware game look like?

Something like Kamitani's latest New Year's drawing, I reckon
Jan 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Vanillaware chief George Kamitani has a lovely annual tradition. Every New Year's the Dragon's Crown and Odin Sphere design director celebrates by sharing a lavish piece of art with the world. It isn't a teaser for the studio...
Muramasa Rebirth photo
Muramasa Rebirth

New Muramasa Rebirth DLC haunts Vita next week

More action-packed Japanese folklore inbound!
Jul 08
// Kyle MacGregor
The penultimate entry in Muramasa Rebirth's downloadable Genroku Legends tetralogy will be available in the West next week, Aksys Games announced today. A Spirited Seven Nights’ Haunting follows a ninja on the run ...
Muramasa Rebirth DLC photo
Muramasa Rebirth DLC

Muramasa Rebirth's third DLC will drop next week in Japan

‘The Tale of the Seven Night Ghostly Curse’
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
The first two DLC packs for Muramasa Rebirth were released rapid-fire, and it's been a while since the last iteration. In Japan next week pack three of four will drop, which will once again play separately from the two ...
Muramasa DLC discount photo
Muramasa DLC discount

Hot deal: Muramasa Rebirth DLC discounted on PSN

Both Genroku Legends available for $2.49 apiece
May 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Aksys Games has some nice deals on PlayStation Vita this week, with both episodes of Muramasa Rebirth's Genroku Legends downloadable content available for a song. A Cause to Diakon For and Fishy Tales of the Ne...
Muramasa DLC photo
Muramasa DLC

Muramasa Rebirth's second DLC is out next week

'Genroku Legends – A Cause to Daikon For'
Feb 20
// Chris Carter
Muramasa Rebirth is getting its second DLC campaign next week, and it's the most interesting one yet. It features Gonbe, a widowed farmer, and his grass roots rebellion against his lord. He has a sickle, bamboo spe...
Muramasa DLC photo
Muramasa DLC

Muramasa's Uprising of the Oone Resistance DLC detailed

Starring Gonbei
Jan 16
// Chris Carter
Muramasa: Rebirth is set to have four side stories arrive in the form of DLC, and they all seem to be pretty meaty diversions. America just got its first, The Fishy Tales of Nekomata, and the second has just dropped in ...

Review: Muramasa Rebirth: Tales of the Nekomata DLC

Jan 15 // Chris Carter
Muramasa Rebirth: Fishy Tales of the Nekomata (PlayStation Vita)Developer: MarvelousAQLPublisher: Aksys GamesReleased: January 14, 2014 (US) / January 22, 2014 (EU)MSRP: $4.99 First things first, upon downloading the first DLC, Fishy Tales of the Nekomata, you'll have the option to select "Genroku Legends" from the main menu (don't forget the title update if it's not showing up). That's right -- there's no need to complete the core story in any way, as each DLC is a completely separate option that has no ties to your original save file -- Genroku Legends has its own menu and save system, almost like an expansion. That's great news for newcomers, as the tales are not only gaidens (side stories), but they also don't require any prior knowledge or specific ending to enjoy. As an added bonus, they can be played on both Legend and Chaos difficulty from the start. Fishy Tales of the Nekomata starts off right -- with the ability to control an adorable cat and innocently spy on some villagers. The tale quickly goes from cute to disturbing however, as a brother and sister are brutally murdered by thugs hired by her family's chef, all for a prized tea set that was going to be delivered to the shogun. Swearing revenge, Okoi is transformed into an avatar of hate by way of the aforementioned feline, and becomes a host to a cat demon. In true Muramasa form, the cat spirit (Nekomata) is based on actual Japanese folklore. This is where things get pretty interesting, despite the fact that this tale is essentially a familial and more intimate affair. All of the characters (even the vile betrayer) are interesting, and Fishy Tales really did a great job of sucking me into Okoi's world. It helps that there's full spoken Japanese dialog present in tandem with the impeccable Vita translation, and it really drives home the point that this DLC isn't some cheap rush-job addition. Okoi's gameplay and fighting style is also very fluid, and you can take advantage of her standard human form with the added benefit of claw attacks, as well as her "Miike" form (which is literally a cat) who can scratch and breathe fire, and the all-powerful "Avatar" special attack (which is only usable after you power up a special meter). Both main forms have their advantages, and are unique in their own way as you'll soon learn after busting out your first few combos with them. It's like playing with two different characters in a fighting game. The Avatar is pretty ridiculous, as you're able to commandeer a phantom spirit consisting of a giant face made up of cats. You can breath fire and attack as one, and as usual, the animation is top notch. It adds ridiculous element to the game and complements the theme of the DLC perfectly -- not to mention it's fun to actually use. When your meter runs out all the cats scurry off. Adorable. Changing forms is like changing swords in the core game (with durability in tow), but more fun and impactful. Rather than shift to a similar-looking sword that may not make a whole lot of difference (depending on your equipment of course), morphing between human and cat form makes for a vastly different set of tactics every time. Learning when to use close combat and ranged attacks is not only fun, but unique to Okoi as a character, which further differentiates the DLC from the main game in a good way. You'll also still have a skill tree (which is also specific to Okoi, and not to the swords like Rebirth proper), equipment unique to the DLC, and all of the other details that Rebirth allows for Kisuke and Momohime. It also still looks as beautiful and as smooth as ever, and most importantly, it's still challenging. Even the first fight on Legend difficulty can be an ordeal, and it kept me on my toes throughout the entire DLC. Nekomata will run you around two to three hours your first time through, although there is a speedrun trophy for finishing it under an hour. This might sound light, but it ensures that the story is streamlined, and results in less backtracking or tedium. In ways, it's more fun than the core game because it's basically nonstop action and story with little downtime. There are also two endings and a boss rush mode should you want more. I heartily enjoyed my time as a cat in Muramasa Rebirth, and I can't wait to see what the other DLC stories can do. Vanillaware ingeniously was able to tie the heart of the game into its first Genroku Legends side story, while giving it a fine heart of its own. It's so well done in fact, that I could easily see a full game starring Okoi one day.
Muramasa DLC reviewed photo
Muramasa Rebirth is a fine upgrade to the original game, but there was one thing that didn't sit right with me. For whatever reason, someone decided to take the only new content that was created for the game (four new ch...


Muramasa Rebirth Tales of the Nekomata DLC is out now

New story of cat-demon vengeance hits PSN
Jan 14
// Conrad Zimmerman
Muramasa Rebirth is one of the growing list of reasons why I will probably cave and buy a PlayStation Vita at some point. It just got a bit more enticing with today's release of the Tales of the Nekomata expansion i...
Muramasa Rebirth photo
Muramasa Rebirth

Muramasa Rebirth gets a trailer for its second DLC

He's a farmer who attacks enemies with his tools
Jan 09
// Chris Carter
Muramasa Rebirth was re-released on the PlayStation Vita, and not only does it look great, but it plays great as well. Four DLCs await us in turn with new characters and tales, the second of which can be previewed above by w...
ATLUS photo

Dragon's Crown shipments soar past 800,000 copies

Atlus vaunts successful figures for contentious PS3 and Vita brawler
Dec 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Atlus has announced Dragon's Crown shipments and digital sales have climbed north of the 800,000 mark since Vanallaware's PlayStation 3 and Vita brawler ventured out into the wild this summer. The controversial...
WUT photo

Vanillaware's butt-eye monster will haunt your dreams

Muramasa Rebirth players be warned
Nov 07
// Jordan Devore
In the Genroku Legends DLC for Muramasa Rebirth lies what may be one of the most unsettling videogame enemy designs I've ever witnessed. If this thing moved to Silent Hill, it'd still be the creepiest thing in its neighborhoo...
Vanillaware photo

Muramasa Rebirth transports DLC westward early next year

Nov 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Muramasa Rebirth's long-awaited Genroku Legends downloadable add-ons will finally make their way to North America in early 2014, Aksys Games has announced. The supplementary content for Vanillaware's PlayStation Vita action ...
Dragon's Crown photo
Dragon's Crown

Dragon's Crown cross-platform multiplayer hits Europe

At least it didn't take too long
Oct 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Fret not, eternally enraged European Atlus fans, your tortured existence is about to become a tad more sufferable. At long last, the patch enabling cross-platform multiplayer in Dragon's Crown has arrived in your ne...
ATLUS photo

Dragon's Crown cross-platform multiplayer now live

New patch allows PS3 players to play with Vita owners
Oct 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Dragon's Crown is now equipped with cross-platform multiplayer in North America, Atlus USA has announced. A new title update allows PlayStation 3 and Vita players to set aside their differences and band together in four-player co-op adventures. Happy hunting!
Dragon's Crown photo
Dragon's Crown

Dragon's Crown now available in Europe for PS3 and Vita

Cross-platform play coming at a later date
Oct 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Hell hath no fury like a European Atlus fan. That much I know. Still, every once in a while there's cause for celebration across the pond. Today is one of those days, as Dragon's Crown now available across Europe for PlayStat...
Dragon's Crown EU photo
Dragon's Crown EU

Dragon's Crown is hitting Europe on October 11th

Finally, a release date!
Aug 15
// Chris Carter
Even though Dragon's Crown has been confirmed for a European release, the date itself was a nebulous entity, leaving prospective fans in the dark. But today we have confirmation from NIS Europe, stating that Dragon's Crown wi...

Jimquisition: Neutered

Aug 12 // Jim Sterling
Jimquisition photo
Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Why do gamers defend their favorite titles from criticism with such volatility? According to some, it's because they don't want to see their genitalia removed. Is inclusivity the enemy of creativity? Is restriction an inherent part of congeniality? The Jimquisition considers recent controversies against the fear of a game being "neutered" to "pander" to new audiences.

Dragon's Crown guide: very quick tips

Aug 06 // Chris Carter
As a side note, I tend to organize my guides into two sections. Basic tips should be read by every prospective player to help make things a little more enjoyable. Advanced tips generally contain a few minor gameplay spoilers, so it's probably best to bookmark the page, experience the game a bit, then come back. Basic tips: The way loot works is this -- it's instanced. If you open a chest, you have a chance to uncover a "rated" item all the way up to "S" rank. The item doesn't actually appear in the field -- it automatically is added to your armory at the end of the stage. The same thing goes for experience points -- you don't get your XP reward until after the stage is over. Early on, you can actually tell how powerful post-stage looted items are before you appraise them. For instance, if the item lists ?-?? as the stat-line for a weapon, you know that the low-end damage ranges from 1-9 (?), while the top-end damage ranges from 10-99 (??). Use this to avoid overpaying for junk appraisals. Although it may seem like you need to appraise items right away, you can actually pocket them, and identify them later at Morgan's Magic Item Shop to save money. If you find yourself unable to best a boss and your NPC party is slowly counting down to doom (at which point, if you don't buy them back, they'll be gone forever), you can press start and quit the level to cut your losses. Always pray at the Canaan Temple before a mission. Even if it's a paltry 200 Coin Life increase, it may save you more often than not, and you need to re-pray after returning to town. Be mindful of wooden boxes (or wooden objects in general) and bones for Wizard and Sorceress party members respectively. Wizards create golems out of wood, and Sorceresses can create skeletons out of bone piles. Don't just crush every box you find if you have a Wizard in your party, and if you don't need to pick up bones, let a Sorceress have them. If you want to make sure that you saved your game -- go to the Inn a lot. Dragon's Crown automatically saves every time you alter the data in any way after leaving the Inn. Do all of the quests when you get them, and even if you put them off and "outlevel them," do them later. Just because an early quest may have a low XP reward that will be useless to a higher level character, remember that completing quests nets you one or more skill points. Note that you must "turn in" quests to the guild after you finish them to earn the reward. If an enemy grabs you or holds onto you (usually biting occurs), keep in mind that in addition to a party member slashing you free, you can also dodge cancel out of some holds. You can only store a limited amount of NPC bones. Make sure to bury some to avoid missing out on a particularly good pile of bones while out in the field. To expedite this process, resurrect the ones you want, then go to the bury option, and press Square to "bury the rest." The same goes for "hired" NPCs -- you need to cut some loose every so often. Speaking of NPCs, if you're having trouble with AI companions dying too often, try to build a party comprised of three Amazons, Dwarves, or Fighters in any order. That way they'll be more resilient to attacks, and won't die as often when standing in the fire or walking into traps. If you're in town, press start and select the options menu -- look for "HP Gauge" and select "display." This is the only way to see health meters for non-boss enemies, and will help you pick out weaker foes in the thick of things. The downside is the screen may feel a bit more cluttered. Note that you can aim battlefield weapons. Simply press up or down when shooting a crossbow to aim at a certain height. To aim ballistas, hold square and look up or down. This will come in handy for some of the later boss fights. Go back to the castle occasionally after beating the game. You'll get unique quests that net you a ton of gold just for beating a level. If you're playing with NPCs instead of real players, you can lead them out of danger, traps, and more. For instance, if you dash or run, they often follow-suit -- this is especially helpful when the ground is falling. You can also "capture" a screen to fight on that doesn't feature traps, as the camera mostly follows the host player. You can't pause the game while in a dungeon, but you can use the Vita's "pause/idle" function to put it into sleep mode after pressing the power button once. Note that if you're connected to online play, this will cancel it out until you re-enable it in town. To see how to unlock online play, simply progress with the game for roughly 5-6 hours, or read the next tip. Advanced tips: You may notice that you do not have access to online play right away. This is because you have to unlock it by playing roughly 5-6 hours of the game first. Once you complete the initial arc and best nine stages, you'll have to collect orbs in each level to face the "true boss." Each stage will now feature a second route that you can explore, with new bosses -- these are the bosses you need to defeat to nab the orbs. I will refer to these stages as "B-sides." Once you reach this point you'll unlock the ability to "continue on your adventure" after completing a stage. Selecting this option instead of returning to town will send you to a random level, and will add extra bonuses to your journey. Simply put, the easiest way to level up in this game is to "let it ride," and keep playing as long as you have the item durability. You may have seen a few cooking videos for Dragon's Crown. How do you get the cooking mini-game? By "continuing the adventure" after completing a stage multiple times. After a few continues, you'll find yourself face to face with a variety of ingredients and cooking utensils. Place the food into the pots and pans, stir them, then serve them on your plate to earn bonuses for the next stage. Don't underestimate any character's ability to stay in the air. Most party members can continue to stay airborne with their Up+Square attack, and buying at least the first level of the "common skill tree" dash upgrade is essential. You can augment these normal dashes and attacks with special abilities, like the Wizard's ability to levitate. There are higher difficulties in the game, and this is how they work. The max level you can earn in Normal Mode (default) is level 35. After beating the final boss, you'll unlock Hard Mode (65), and finally, Inferno Mode, which has a max level of 99. If you fight in the game's Arena Mode (PVP), which is unlocked after beating the game for the first time, you can earn gold -- so keep in mind that it's not just a random time waster. When solving rune puzzles, don't forget that the solution often uses two runes that are actually placed in the level, and not from your rune book. If you hit a dead end in the Mage's Tower B-side level, the solution "SFC" will send you on your way. If you're not getting the orb for the Forgotten Sanctuary demon B-side boss, it's because you're not killing him fast enough. If the ray of light comes down, you won't get credit for the kill, and must re-do the level and kill him faster. Level up before coming back. If you don't kill the Dragon B-side boss -- it's the same situation as the demon -- you need to kill him before he falls off the ledge at the end of the fight. Level up, fight him a bit in his initial room (unlock all the chests and the door on the right first) -- then move into the next room after he has roughly 3/4s of his life, and use the various weapons there to best him.
Dragon's Crown tips photo
How to rock the dragon
Dragon's Crown can be a pretty tough game. On top of some devilishly difficult boss fights, you need to fulfill your role, as well as practice good party synergy to really best some of the hardest encounters. Odds are if you have a technical question about Dragon's Crown, I answered it in this article here in the comment section. But for everything gameplay related, you'll find it here.

Jimquisition: Dragon's Frown

Aug 05 // Jim Sterling
Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Oh yes, it's another video about reviews and things. Not quite the usual flavor, but certainly something that cannot be repeated enough. If you're a fan of Vanillaware, you may not be helping by pouring excessive scorn on a ...

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