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Tokyo Xanadu Ex+ (Review)

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Playing Tokyo Xanadu eX+ is an odd experience. On one hand, it hits many of the right JRPG notes, but more often than not, the largest feeling is "Get on with it already." Not to say the game is bad - it actually is pretty good on many points - but the absolute drag of pacing is most similar to other recent JRPGs which likewise would have been infinitely better served at a faster pace.
In a recent trend of many JRPGs, Tokyo Xanadu eX+ follows a typical high school slice of life, followed by a small dungeon crawl, then rinse and repeat. The game starts off with the main guy Kou, who sees a cute classmate get chased by some thugs. Not far down the road, a demon portal opens up and everyone is sucked in.
As far as beginnings go, it's okay, but there won't be any fighting for quite a while, which starts to point towards the pacing problem. This opening sets up the idea cool enough of a hidden world beyond our perception, with only a few people (including the cute girl) …

Sudden Strike 4 (Review)

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Sudden Strike 4 is a real-time strategy title that takes place during World War II and includes single-player campaigns as well as multiplayer features. It's the franchise's fourth stand-alone installment, one that comes about a decade after the third, so we can expect great improvements in campaign features, gameplay and visuals. Does Sudden Strike 4 deliver a quality experience?
In Sudden Strike 4, players control the movements and actions of their troops and tanks across the battlefields and streets of Europe to mow down enemies and destroy their assets. There are three campaigns with about two dozen missions, including a tutorial that teaches the basics. Players can choose either the German, Soviet or Allied campaign.  The German campaign takes players through Western Europe and Western Asia and includes historic conflicts like the Battle of the Bulge, Battle of France, and Battle of Stalingrad. The Soviet campaign includes the Battle of Berlin, Battle of Moscow, and also …

School Girl/ Zombie Hunter (Review)

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The story focuses around five ladies as they battle their way through, the adorably named, zom-zoms. The best parts have almost nothing to do with any overarching plot, it’s the inane dialogue exchanges where it really shines. Everything is presented in a deliriously fashioned B-movie sheen. The cast is split between generic, shy types and ultra-vain, over-the-top badasses. The one thing all of them have in common is their desire to escape the school where they’re stranded. Also, that they really don’t like wearing clothes. 
 The combat is comprised of third-person, EDF-styled gunplay, a one-button melee attack, and the ability to use various items like grenades and tripwires. It’s incredibly bare bones, but it’s also very functional. The missions each offer different objectives, but they all amount to the same basic premise: Kill a bunch of zom-zoms.
If you ever find yourself overwhelmed by enemies, you can tear off your clothes and throw them as a distraction. This is never not fun…

Demon Gaze 2 (Review)

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Demon Gaze II takes place several years after the original, and while some characters from the first entry return, the story of the game is largely separate.

The story begins with the player trapped in a cell after being captured on a mission. After a sequence of events, you learn that you are part of a rebel group tasked with freeing Asteria City from the clutches of Sirius Magnastar — a demon gazer who has used his powers to brainwash nearly all of the city’s inhabitants. Fortunately, you were also made a demon gazer during your time in captivity, so it falls on you to stop Magnastar’s ambitions.

If there is one thing that Demon Gazer II has going for it is it’s streamlined design. Everything is clear cut and simple, and this fact is made immediately clear with the game’s story. We don’t have to wait to get clued in on what’s going on. Players are immediately told who the enemy is, what he’s doing and what’s needed to stop him — no guesswork required.

This streamlined design is prese…

Tokyo Tattoo Girls (Review)

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We don’t generally think much about tattoos out west, but in Japan there’s still a significant stigma around them, because for the longest time tattoos meant yakuza. You had one, you were one in the eyes of most people in decent society, and that was the end of your change to be taken seriously in non-criminal circles in Japan. It’s an attitude that’s fading because modern kids love their tattoos, but to this day, if you’ve got a tattoo, then you’ll be denied entry into any number of hot springs and resorts throughout Japan if you’re not able to cover it up.
So within the context of Tokyo Tattoo Girls, the fact your role in the game is as a tattoo artist covering these girls with ink is not just a weird bit of fetish fanservice, as some might interpret it to be. It actually represents a subversive, deeply underground part of Japanese culture that is very much like the western underground punk or grunge movements; the deliberate appropriation of symbols and things that “decent” people…

Cursed Castille (Review)

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Cursed Castille is a remake of the few year old Maldita Castilla that was released on PC and Ouya. For the uninitiated, you play as a knight who goes on a journey after monsters start appearing across the land. It's a typical 2D action game that is unashamedly inspired by Capcom's classic Ghosts 'n Goblins. Its simple gameplay is complemented with solid controls as all you do is run around, jump, and attack. Along the way, you'll discover a variety of weapons that can drastically change your strategy. For example, knives can be thrown to cover a wide area while axes are launched in an arc. Similarly to its inspirations, Maldita Castilla EX is extremely challenging so make sure you're ready for tons of controller-throwing moments before you give it a download. Overall, the simple yet tough gameplay may be occasionally frustrating, but there's no denying how satisfying it is once you become a master swordsman.

It goes without saying that Maldita Castilla EX: Cur…

Spintires: Mud Runner (Review)

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Put simply, your job is to drive trucks across the various landscapes to pick up and deliver loads of logs to the different lumber mills. Planning clearly wasn’t a strongpoint for the lumber company, since they’ve built the mills a mile away from the logging camps and forgot all about building roads connecting the two. So it’s down to you to traverse the landscape to keep the mill stocked with lumber, so it can be turned into, well, certainly not anything that will make your future journeys easier. Thick mud, rivers, hills, trees, swamps, and even simple puddles all need to be dealt with if you’re to get to your destination safely with your cargo and truck intact. It sounds easy enough, but the fact of the matter is that MudRunneris a complex and punishing game where one false move can do away with an hour or more of work.
The reason for this is that all those things I mentioned just now are genuine obstacles. A puddle should be easy for a truck to barrel through, right? Usually, yes.…