Archive for the ‘PS4’ Category

Ryu’s Musings – Dark Rose Valkyrie (PS4)

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by Ryu Sheng | No Comments

DRVA1_PackArt_PR_2DLanguage: Audio: English & Japanese; Subs: English
Developer: Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory
Format: PS4
Type: JRPG
Demo Box: PS4 Pro
Synopsis: 1929 was the year of the Chimera Virus outbreak. Defend the world from Chimeras as Asahi, the new leader of Japan’s covert military agency (ACID) in Dark Rose Valkyrie. Featuring the talents of Tales of scenario writer Takumi Miyajima and and Tales of character designer Kosuke Fujishima, this action RPG for the PlayStation4 system features real-time combat as well as an overdrive mode to gain the edge in battle. As the story develops, you must seek out the traitor through a visual novel interview system in your unit before it’s too late.

Take the fight into Overdrive! Characters can transform into their stronger split personalities mid-battle, but be strategic – too many transformations will lead to Fatigue. Customise Combos! Customise attacks for each character, and do more damage with Riot Combos. A Traitor Amongst You Depending on your choices, one team member will betray you. Find the traitor in visual-novel style interrogation sequences, and change the game’s ending.

Two of Japan’s ‘greats’ come together for this game: Kosuke Fujushima the creator of Ah My Goddess, and Takumi Miyajima script writer for Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Abyss. Together with the team from Compile Heart they set out to make a great JRPG. Did they succeed? Let’s see….

You play as Asahi, a new recruit to a special unit being deployed to fight a virus, that turns people into monsters. How team is mostly cute girls wielding giant oversized weapons that are created from elements of the virus, as a result they have their own risks when being used. This aspect alone made me cringe, especially since I’ve been playing God Eater of late.

The games premise, while nothing new, is always a fun one to play. Initially this one was as well, however as time goes by it fell into nothing more than being a slog, chasing after the same 2 monsters. Initially this was fine, you needed the time to get acquainted with the vast amount of characters, their abilities, and settle into the story.

However it fast became apparent that that was going to to be the majority of the game, it ends up becoming boring.

As a result this ended up feeling like the game was being padded out, if you were to remove this padding the games play time would probably have been cut by a good quarter or so. Now admittedly there were plenty of twists in the story, some of which actually came as a surprise. But I don’t feel it was rewarding enough for the amount of time it takes to unravel.

The side missions are generic filler ones, collecting materials, killing the same monsters over and over, very unsatisfying. What’s more is you have to do these missions to progress, so in a sense they’re no longer side missions.

Another thing I found disappointing was the lack of ‘life’ in the world. With the exception of the base area every where else is void of anything other than entrances to dungeons and monsters. It lead me at times to wonder what the fight was over, since apparently the city your based in is already dead as a dodo.

Battles here are, initially engaging and fun. Reminiscent of Trails of Cold Steel I felt, with it’s side bar for order and combat mechanics. However it doesn’t play out like ToCS, it’s a semi real time thing, where time is constantly moving, until its your turn, then it pauses until you do something. This can, and does, lead to some amazing combat scenes where you’re entire party will batter the crap out of a mob, all at once. It looks, and sounds amazing and is highly satisfying.

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Sadly scenes like this don’t happen enough for my liking. Which is weird since the aim of combat is to get as many people involved as possible, since thats how you make bonus exp. What’s worse is that the combat skills aren’t explained very well, leaving you fumbling around a bit initially. This isn’t a huge problem given the number of fights you’ll be going through, but the player shouldn’t have to fumble around for this info.

Another aspect I found irritating, and felt it was done to drag the game time out, was not giving you AOE abilities till around the 35-40 hour mark. On easy mode this isn’t so much of an issue given how easy it is to kill mobs. However on any other difficulty it becomes a huge problem, given how easily they (the mobs) can swarm and kill you; some in one shot.

Was there anything good? Absolutely, the story and visual novel aspects of the game kept me going despite all the crud. The graphics of the visual novel were superb, which given it’s the creator if Ah My Goddess that’s not a surprise. This mixed with the excellent writing of Miyajima lead to a set of amazing characters whose interactions, while cliched, were fun to follow.

The find the traitor aspect was interesting, especially since you never know who the traitor is, as it’s random. This means you’re favourite character could turn out to be the traitor one game, and another character the traitor the next.

For me this lead to some insecurity over the characters, never know who was the traitor was a thrilling and exhausting time!

Thats not to say this aspect of the game doesn’t have it’s flaws, because it most certainly did. the most notable being that the number of questions you can ask is limited by the girls trust level, which I found odd. Thankfully there’s elements that help to mitigate this problem, so it’s not to bad, just annoying. And as like the traitor it’s all random.

Then you have weapon and outfit customisation, which is pretty indepth. Of course being a JRPG you can end up in panties! The customisation did take a bit of getting used to, but once you get used to it it’s actually a pretty fun system.

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So was it a total wash out? No! The overall mechanics are fine, the story was great and fun to watch play out. The problem was with the implementation of the mechanics. And while I’ll admit that as it stands the game isn’t great, it’s not bad. I’d like to see Compile take another go at this one, and hopefully get it right next time.

Is it worth buying? Thats a tough one, the game has already had it’s price slashed from its £55 launch price, to £45 at the moment. At that price it’s not a bad game to pick up, sure it has it’s issues, but i think it comes down to you’re expectations.

Overall i don’t find this to be a horrific game, it’s certainly got it’s issues, but it’s random aspect does mean that there’s a lot of replayability in this game, something we don’t usually see.

Ryu’s Bites: Persona 5 (PS4)

Posted on April 17th, 2017 by Ryu Sheng |

Persona_5_cover_artLanguage: Audio: Japanese & English; Subs: English
Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Atlus (NA) Deep Silver (EU)
Format: PS4
Type: JRPG, Social Simulation
Demo Box: PS4 (OLD)
Synopsis: Persona 5 is a game about the internal and external conflicts of a group of troubled high school students – the protagonist and a collection of compatriots he meets in the game’s story – who live dual lives as Phantom Thieves. They have the typically ordinary day-to-day of a Tokyo high schooler – attending class, after school activities and part-time jobs. But they also undertake fantastical adventures by using otherworldly powers to enter the hearts of people. Their power comes from the Persona, the Jungian concept of the “self”.
The game’s heroes realize that society forces people to wear masks to protect their inner vulnerabilities, and by literally ripping off their protective masks and confronting their inner selves do the heroes awaken their inner power, and use it to strive to help those in need.
Ultimately, the group of Phantom Thieves seeks to change their day-to-day world to match their perception and see through the masks modern-day society wears.

Read the rest…

Ryu’s Musings: Touhou Genso Wanderer (PS4)

Posted on March 15th, 2017 by Ryu Sheng |

touhou-genso-wanderer-478441.6Language: Audio: Japanese, Subs: English
Developer: Aqua Style
Publisher: NIS America
Format: PS4 & PS Vita
Type: Rogue-Like, Dungeon Crawler
Demo Box: PS4 (Old)
Synopsis: One day, Reimu Hakurei is visiting Rinnosuke Morichika at his shop, Kourindo. He shows her one of his prized possessions, the golden sphere. However, when she touches it, it unleashes a mysterious beam of light. Rinnosuke starts acting strange, and a giant tower now stands where Kourindo used to be. The population of Gensokyo has also been replicated by clones who attack people on sight. As the Hakurei Shrine Maiden, it is Reimu’s duty to resolve this latest incident and bring peace back to Gensokyo.
Along the way, she is joined by Futo Mononobe, who has recently set out on a quest to become a first class sage. With her partner in tow, can Reimu make her way through the dungeons of the tower and put an end to this incident?

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Ryu’s Musings – Danganronpa 1.2 Reload (PS4)

Posted on March 8th, 2017 by Ryu Sheng |

Language: Audio: Japanese & English, Subs: English
Developer: NIS America
Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
Format: PS4
Type: Visual Novel
Demo Box: PS4 (Old)
Synopsis: In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, enter Hope’s Peak Academy, a prestigious high school reserved for the nation’s “ultimate” students. Things get a bit twisted when the academy’s students find themselves trapped inside with Monokuma, a maniacal bear who has taken them all prisoner to play his deadly game of despair.

Continue the adventure in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair with a brand new cast of Ultimates. Mysteriously trapped on Jabberwock Island in their own life-or-death game, having fun in the sun with this twisted teddy requires more than a bit of wit to survive.

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Ryu’s Musings: Fate/Extella – The Umbral Star

Posted on January 20th, 2017 by Ryu Sheng |

Language: Audio: Japanese / Subs: English
Developer: Marvelous
Publisher: Marvelous
Format: PS Vita, PS4
Type: VN/Musou hybride
Demo Box: PS4 (Old)
Synopsis: The famous FATE series is reborn in an astonishing new game, Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star! Hyper-fast hack and slash action featuring fan-favorite characters, facing off against dense enemy swarms in large-scale battlefields! Enjoy yet another deep storyline that the Fate series is known for, and sharpen your skills in some of the most intense combat the series has ever seen! Read the rest…

Ryu’s Bites – Grand Kingdom Beta (PS4)

Posted on May 2nd, 2016 by Ryu Sheng |

Time for some Beta Talk!

The past week I’ve been playing the upcoming Grand Kingdom game from NIS America, and frankly, despite the issues the game has, it looks promising! However please do bear in mind this is a Beta game at the minute, so the issues I raise here will hopefully be fixed either at launch or not long after.

The beta is heavily restricted sadly, so I can’t really go into the finer details of certain things, such as classes and how the town works and stuff. Sadly for those you’ll have to wait for the full review. Read the rest…