Tag Archives: feature

NCG Review: Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix (Switch)

Hatsune Miku is back on the Switch for Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix.  Loaded with tons of songs from your favorite virtual pop idol, the real question is whether the Switch is a good home for the Vocaloids.

Story

Since this is a rhythm game, no story included! This is a fantastic thing since I feel that the last installment (Project Diva X) fell flat with their attempt at a story.   You can turn on the game and go straight to game play.

Gameplay

Project Diva is a rhythm game featuring top virtual pop idol Hatsune Miku and friends.  To play the game, you need to press buttons in sync with the melody icons on the screen.  The melody icons will follow the vocals or background music of the song.   The melody icons are represented as the buttons on the Switch controller (A, B, Y, X) and incorporate “bumper” buttons (L, R buttons or the joystick swiped in the noted direction).  Depending on the level of game play you select (Easy, Normal, Hard, Extreme, Extra Extreme) the icons will appear to match that difficulty. With higher difficulties, you’ll need to hit more icons with a variation of button presses.  This is the “Arcade Mode” of the game.

As you play, the song is graded by the amount of notes you hit and can range from Cool, Good, Safe, Bad, Wrong.  Your score is based on how your perform the song.  You can pass the song with an average score (meaning you can miss notes or have bad/safe hits) and retry the song as many times as you’d like to aim for perfection or at least an “Excellent” pass (hitting a majority of Cool/Good notes). Missing too many notes or getting a majority of them wrong causes you to fail the song.

Completion of songs will allot you an X amount of Vocaloid Points (VP) which can be used to buy accessories and modules for your Vocaloids.

If you’re looking to add a challenge to the game, you can use modifiers which will speed up, hide, or limit the number of melody icons on the screen.  This is actually a minimal amount compared to previous titles which, in addition to challenge modifiers, included helping modifiers (which gave you a game play advantage for less amount of points earned).

Aside from the Arcade Mode, the game includes a Mix Mode where you use the joy con motion controllers and trigger buttons to hit notes. You’ll need to move your joy cons Left/Right and press the trigger to hit the note as it comes toward you.  This gets you up and moving.  The higher the difficulty, the more variety of notes you’ll have.  I’ll be totally honest, I didn’t really enjoy the Mix Mode very much. I just can’t get in tune with the motion controls. This is an issue I have, not because of the game, but with joy cons and joy con calibration.  If you can get the joy cons aligned just right, the new mode isn’t that bad.

Features

Customization

What really made this game a huge win for me, and what might help veterans of the series, was the ability to switch the melody icons to PlayStation icons.  Miku has, so far, only been on Sony products (PlayStation, PSP, Vita).  I am used to the X, Triangle, Square, and Circle icons that my brain can’t comprehend which console I’m on; I get X wrong every time.  Not having the option in the last Nintendo console installment (Project Mirai) was the main reason I didn’t spend 100+ hours on it.

If PlayStation icons aren’t your thing, there are other options that can help you feel more comfortable with the melody icons such as arrows, Switch buttons, and other options.   There’s a variety of ways to ensure the game play feels comfortable from button timing, sound, and a few other options to try out.

Costumes, or in Project Diva terms, “Modules”, are a staple of the game.  It’s fun to put the singers in wacky costumes with ridiculous accessories or a module that matches the music video of the song you’re playing.  Aside from the classic modules and accessories we’ve seen in all previous titles, you can now modify the hairstyles of the module.  You won’t be committed to the entire module! This gives you more opportunity to mix and customize the Vocaloids.

In addition to more module options, you can create your own t-shirt for your Vocaloids! Miku can now become YOUR biggest fan!  You can use a stylus or utilize the touch screen options to create your own designs for the Vocaloids to wear during their “performance”. However, this feature has a lot of bugs in it, particularly a lot of lag.  Changing the background of a t-shirt stopped the game for a few seconds which caused my inspiration to dwindle and my t-shirt to be made at a later date…

Playlist

If you don’t really want to play the game, but would prefer to just put on a few of your favorite jams and videos, you can create your own playlist.  Pick your favorite songs from the library and let them run in the background.  You can create multiple playlists based on your mood, favorite Vocaloid, or whatever floats your boat.

As awesome as it is to create your own playlist, this is an extremely clunky feature for a few reasons.  You can’t skip to the next song if you aren’t feeling it’s vibes.  While the song is playing you can only pause it, or restart it.  You can play your playlist randomly, but you can’t select which song to start with.  Overall, the playlist is good if you’re not feeling particular and don’t mind letting it just run in the background.

If you’re not feeling the playlist, you can also just play individual music videos in the game menu.

Song list

The most exciting part of the game is its massive playlist! The base game will give you 101 songs to play, but the title will include up to 141 from additional DLC song packs.  There will be 6 DLC packs with 6 songs in each.  The song options are just incredible! However… If you are not new to the Project Diva series, the 100+ song options are pretty much all the songs you have played multiple times before.  There are only 10 new songs to learn, master, and love.

Practice

Veterans to the game have probably spent countless hours trying to master songs.  From my experience, there has always been that one technical zone I could never hit and I just didn’t want to go back and play the entire song over again just to master it.  In the song menu you have a chance to Practice a song.  You can run through the entire song, or find the place in the song that trips you up to practice.  This is an awesome feature because my patience is limited and I can only play a song so many times before I get tired of it.

Graphics

Project Diva Mega Mix is like a port of Future Tone, which a port of the Arcade version.  The Vocaloids look beautiful and clear, which is a major upgrade from the PS4 versions. Overall, the game looks fantastic.

Verdict

Pros

There are a lot of new features to the game that I wish I had before.  The ability to practice (without having to be a super fan with hacked this- and-that on the PC) technical zones that trip you up is a major plus and something I with I had in the F series.  Since this is on the Switch, the ability to change my melody icons to PlayStation icons is a huge relief; I can actually play the game! I am certain this a feature veterans will appreciate. As I mentioned before, Project Mirai just ended up collecting dust because I hated the icons.

Although all of the songs are from previous titles with minimal new additions and the total exclusion of Gumi, it’s nice to have all of my favorite titles in one game without having to switch between consoles.

Cons

As much praise as I give the game for adding PlayStation melody icons, I just can’t, for the life of me, get comfortable with the controller.  Since PlayStation button layout has the press buttons parallel, it was difficult to get my hands adjusted to the non-parallel layout of the Switch.  My hands hurt and hitting the bumpers kind of sucks on my left hand.  I felt the most comfortable playing with the joy cons detached from the console, but I feel like this ruins the portability aspect of the title.  Even mix mode, for me, was difficult to enjoy because the joy cons and calibration of controllers are just, overall, awful on the Switch.  However, this isn’t an issue I have with just the Mega Mix title, it’s with a majority of my games overall.

A lot of the new features are very clunky.  The playlist option is clunky and the customization options are slow.  They definitely needed just a little bit of extra work to make them running and functional.  These features just didn’t feel like they were very thought out.

There is no story, which is a plus, but the reward factor of the game isn’t satisfying.  When you start the game, you already have a majority of the songs unlocked and ready to play.  I felt no reward for beating a song and no desire to grind to get all the collectibles.  Sure, you get to skip out on songs that you wouldn’t enjoy normally, but what kept me so hooked to previous titles was going through and unlocking all of the songs and earning enough points to buy every single Module, accessory, and gift option. It’s pretty easy for me to put Mega Mix down.

I’d rank the game as a 7 out of 10.  There are plenty of new features, but none of these have been perfected. It’s awesome to have all the songs in one portable platform, but Switch felt very uncomfortable and difficult to adjust to.  Not only that, but I just didn’t feel rewarded with my overall game play.  I can beat a song and try to get a better score next time, but my effort doesn’t unlock a thing.  This may because I’ve played this game so much on Sony products but I feel this might be something veterans to the title can relate to.  Newer players may not have this struggle.  There are tons of perks if you’re new to the series and will likely be an incredibly enjoyable experience for first timers.

Have you picked up this title? What did you think? Is this your first title from the Project Diva series?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

NCG Review – Persona 5 Royal

I remember the teaser trailer: the same cast, but a new female character? Would the game get a release with a female protagonist like Person 3? Would Yuusuke finally be my partner in romance?!  Most of us were likely pretty disappointed to find out that the re-release of Persona 5 would not include a female protagonist, but instead, a new character for your team.

persona-5-royal-kasumi-yoshizawa-all-out-attack-finish

I can see why a female protagonist would not work out for a variety of reasons; the entire story would need to be overhauled and that may have been more work than the team wanted. For example, the Kamoshida arc just would not work with a female protagonist because his character would address the female protagonist differently. Kamoshida would need a complete overhaul and the initial bonds between characters would not make sense. However, that is purely my personal opinion.

The real question is, would it be worth it to pick up the game just to have a new character on your team?

Story

For those new to the series, Persona 5 follows the Protagonist and his group of friends as they infiltrate Palaces (places of an individuals distorted desire) and force corrupted people to have a change of heart – confess to their bad deeds. The player maintains a regular life, going to school, taking exams, working part time, etc. (basically, however you want to play) while infiltrating palaces after school.

persona-5-12

Persona 5 Royal switches up the story quite a bit. The new character appears in the beginning and her role in the game starts to reveal itself. For the most part, the core of the story is the initial release of P5, but there is a variety of additions on the side. If you played the game before, you will be able to identify where the story goes off track to fit the characters in. If you are new to the game, you would not be able to tell the difference.

Fortunately, the female character is not the only new character in the game. We also have a chance to meet Jose, the white haired robot-boy who resides in the Thieves Den and Mementos as well as some other faces.

Gameplay

I will be honest; I was not interested in picking up Persona 5 Royal because I was not up for playing the game again. My first play through took me 1 year and 100+ hours before beating the game, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fit this into my schedule (I really do wish I had that sort of time to dedicate to games!) However, the new features added to the game are worth another play through.

P5 Royal has eliminated many things that I found downright annoying in the first game. For starters, when a Shadow is defeated, I can skip the entire results screen animation. My original play through, I mashed X in hope that the game would just go… a little bit faster… Although commentary from Morgana can really get on my nerves, it is now helpful when it comes to bargaining with Shadows. I usually went in not knowing which way to respond. Morgana gives you a hint to the temperament of a Shadow so you can better guess how to get them to join your team – without resorting to one of the various walkthroughs. I also hated the limitations Morgana had on your actions at night. Rather than only being able to sleep after visiting a Palace/Mementos, the protagonist has options that expand the character skills in the cafe before going to sleep. This is helpful when it comes to building skills since visiting a Palace/Mementos is basically your activity for the entire day in the original version.

xPersona-5-Royal-Game-Show-Answers.jpg,qx57356.pagespeed.ic.DMwnFsoo_a

Battles have been modified to encourage you to use the baton pass. I never used this feature in my first play through because the button to trade off was not so easily accessible. And even if it was, I did not have much motivation to use it. And bullet usage! I never used my gun because ammo ran out too fast and it was basically, pointless.  Bullets re-load and you’re no longer wandering through the palaces ammo-less.

The game has also added special Shadows that act like bombs. Defeat them and they explode, damaging the surrounding Shadows. The battles are strategic, but also too easy.

The Velvet room also has an additional challenge mode. The protagonist and team battle personas for prizes, aiming to get a high score for more in game item swag.

Persona-5-Royal-Challenge-Battle-1152x648

The Thieves Den is a side location to kill time. You can view videos and other achievements. This part is not that exciting, but the part I do like is playing Tycoon. Tycoon is a card game you can play with the other characters. So far, I have spent an absurd amount of time trying to master the game.  The more you progress, more things get added to the Thieves Den.

tycoon

The new character, Jose, mentioned above also adds more to Mementos. Reflecting back, there were many things I did not care for in the original release. The additions bring us back and add a little more to the tedium. I did not enjoy going through Mementos. The collector in me needed to unlock all sections of the map for hidden treasures, grind for cash, and level up, but the player side just wanted the story to progress. Jose brings more activities to Mementos by asking the protagonist to collect flowers. X amount of flowers will buy special items and each of the items are definitely worthwhile! SP replenishers help when you want to grind through a castle.

Persona-5-Royal-Jose-1152x648

More characters means more social links means more side stories and more persona types to unlock which means there are new skills you can use throughout the game! P5: Royal gives you so much new content that while you are comfortable with the interface and know what you need to do, the game still feels “new”.

Persona 5 Royal_20200306154638

Audio/Graphics

I cannot say I have noticed much difference in audio in and graphics. The game, overall, maintains its attractive style, snazzy UI, and P5 soundtrack.

Verdict

Pros: There is so much new content to the game; it is worth going back, going down old routes, but also visiting new ones. P5 Royal removes all of the mechanics that felt tedious and annoying from the original release, making a second play through (or even a first play through) more enjoyable.

Cons: Some of the new additions to the game do not really do anything. I like the addition of Jose and the Thieves Den, but his role does not really do much. It’s the same game, but with more things added to it.  If you’re not a huge fan, a second play through may not be desired.

I would rate this a 9/10. At its core, Persona 5 is a fantastic game. It was still fun to play, all of the things I hated, mechanic wise, were removed, and you get another chance to play through the game and make different decisions!

Score

Have you picked up P5 Royal? Do you plan to? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

NCG Review – AI: Somnium Files (Switch, PC, PS4)

Basic Info

“The mind never lies…

In a near-future Tokyo, Special Agent Kaname Date is on the case of a mysterious serial killer. Date must investigate crime scenes as well as dreams on the hunt for clues. From the mind of Kotaro Uchikoshi (Zero Escape series director), with character design by the Yusuke Kozaki (NO MORE HEROES, Fire Emblem series), a thrilling neo-noir detective adventure is about to unfold.”

TITLE AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES
RELEASE DATE Digital (PSN, NSW, STEAM): September 17, 2019
Retail (PS4, NSW) : September 24, 2019
PLATFORM(S) PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch™, Steam® (PC)
PRICE Standard Edition: $59.99/ €59.99

Special Agent Edition: $89.99/ €99.99

PLAYER(S) 1 player
GENRE Adventure
WEBSITE http://spike-chunsoft.com/ai | Steam Store
RATING ESRB: M/ PEGI: 18 / USK: 16
LANGUAGE(S) English/Traditional Chinese text, Japanese audio/English audio
DEVELOPER Spike Chunsoft, Co., Ltd.
COPYRIGHT ©Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Licensed to and Published by Spike Chunsoft, Inc.

Story

A woman’s body is found with multiple stab wounds and missing her left eye.  She is bound to a merry-go-round in a long abandon amusement park. When the main character, Kaname Date, arrives he immediately recognizes the woman. Shoko Nadami, the ex-wife of his close friend and mother to the young girl he is housing.

You mission? Solve the mysteries around this murder. Can you find the truth behind the incident and capture the killer?90

Throughout the game you play as Kaname Date.  With no memories from 6 years prior and missing his left eye, Kaname Date encounters Boss.  Boss helps Date get hired at the Metro Police as a detective in the Advanced Brain Investigation Squad (ABIS) and replaces his left eye with Aiba, an artificial intelligence directly wired to his brain.  Aiba, who has been with Date for 6 years, assists him with his work as a detective by providing him with instant information, x ray vision, the ability to see long distances, and predict actions that will get Date out of some sticky situations.   Aiba also acts as Date’s avatar when he needs to “Psync” into another person’s consciousness within Somnium (the subconscious world of another character).  Along with Aiba, Date investigates Shoko’s murder to find her killer.c00

There are many twists and turns as you meet new characters and learn their connection and/or involvement in the murder. One story line, based on your choices in Somnium, will play out in a completely different way compared to another route.  Some characters will live in one line, and some characters will die in another.  Can you make it to the “true” ending?

Gameplay

AI: Somnium Files is a mash-up of visual novel and puzzle game.  The basic story line carries core elements of a visual novel, however, rather than reading text on the screen you’re given an opportunity to interact with the room and characters around you. This is all presented to you in a limited way (your character cannot get up and walk around the room or explore new areas on your own), but you have the ability to look around you and take in the environment.01

In additional to visual-novel elements, you’ll be presented with the ability to “psync”.  The concept of this is diving into the sub consciousness of another character and unlock a repressed/hidden memory, which you will need to do in order to further your investigation.  During the Psync, you need to solve puzzles to find the secret hidden in a characters sub consciousness.  In order to solve the puzzle you interact, through Aiba, with the items in an area.  Unlike the limited presentation of the “investigation” aspect of the story, you can control Aiba and move her through the Somnium space.  How you interact with the objects is the key to unlocking the “mental blocks” put in place.  A Psync can only last for 6 minutes (game time), but each interaction you make with an object depletes the remaining time you have.  There are TIMIEs you can use which will decrease the amount of time spent on an action but there are also Negative TIMIEs which will increase the time for your next interaction.  Interactions with the objects are not obvious and you’ll end up burning through time to find the correct interaction.  Fortunately, you get 3 retries but sometimes finding the right order of interaction will take you more than 3 attempts.  There are some actions you perform that will have a Negative TIMIE in order to progress so on your next action so you need to figure out how to maximize the use of your time.10

How you complete the puzzles in Somnium determines the path of story.  Based on which “Mental locks” you open, the story will proceed down that path. Not every Somnium puzzle has separate paths, but ones that have two will lead you down a different story line.AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES_20190417131431

What really sets this game apart from similar titles is that you do not have to repeat the entire story to take a different path in the game.  Instead, you can go back to a “psync” and replay it. This increases the replay value and doesn’t make the game feel so tedious, which tends to happen with visual novels if you don’t know where and when to save.

Visuals/Graphics and Audio

Most visual novels can be very bland and fall flat when it comes to animation and graphics, however, the all dialogue of the game is voiced over which makes the story that much more engaging.  Characters are also animated when talking, moving their arms, making facial expressions and simple gestures, and this is a nice touch since it brings the characters to life.13

Verdict

Pros: Unlike most visual novels, the game doesn’t fall flat.  The story line itself is enough to keep the player intrigued and curious to know all the secrets of the game. Although frustrating at times, the puzzles are challenging.  You’re given hints on what you need to do, but finding the next action isn’t obvious. Although graphics aren’t “triple A” status, the animation and voice overs give enough to the player to bring the story to life.  While in Somnium, when performing an action, rather than the game telling you you’ve made a bad choice, the dialogue between the characters becomes ridiculous, either with Date and Aiba mocking each other or making jokes at Date’s expense.

Cons: The only real qualm I had with the game is the lack of opportunity to save before jumping into a Somnium puzzle.  Save points in games are incredibly important to me because I have to jump on and off of a game (hours of sit through game play? Not in my adult life!).  Sometimes a “Psync” will just start (it will be obvious when it does but almost unexpected) and I do not have the chance to save the game before jumping in.  You cannot save before or during a “psync” so I’m either stuck putting my game in “Sleep Mode” until I can play again, or hope that AutoSave will take me back where I left off.

I would rate this game an 8 out of 10.Score

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and even though the Somnium puzzles took me a few attempts, I found myself going back to unlock different story lines without much hesitation or feeling “too drained” to keep going.

Have you heard of this game? Will you pick up this title? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

A List Of Everything from the “Nintendo Direct 9-4-19”

  • Overwatch Legendary Edition: Tracer, Mei, Hanzo and all the other colorful characters from massively popular online game Overwatch are coming to Nintendo Switch. The fast-paced multiplayer game is scheduled to hit Nintendo Switch on Oct. 15. Pre-purchase in Nintendo eShop starts today.
  • Terry Bogard Comes to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Releasing in November, Terry Bogard from the classic SNK fighting franchise Fatal Fury joins Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a playable fighter. Terry Bogard is part of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass, which includes five Challenger Packs as they are released, each with one DLC fighter, one stage and multiple music tracks. The Fighters Pass can be purchased at a suggested retail price of $24.99, with individual Challenge Packs available for $5.99 each.
  • Banjo & Kazooie Join the Battle: Starting today, Banjo & Kazooie from the popular Banjo-Kazooie series of games are joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The new fighters are part of the third Challenger Pack DLC (sold separately). In addition to the characters, players will also get to enjoy the Spiral Mountain stage, as well as music tracks from the classic games.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition: MONOLITHSOFT’s epic Xenoblade Chronicles game, which originally launched in 2012 on the Wii system, is destined to be reborn on Nintendo Switch as Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. The game, which chronicles the adventures of Shulk and Fiora, is scheduled to launch for Nintendo Switch in 2020.
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online: Super NES games are coming to Nintendo Switch – and they are free for anyone who has a Nintendo Switch Online membership! Starting tomorrow, Sept. 5, 20 classic Super NES games will launch for the Nintendo Switch Online service:
  1. Super Mario World
  2. Super Mario Kart
  3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  4. Super Metroid
  5. Stunt Race FX (Available for the first time since its original Super NES release!)
  6. Kirby’s Dream Land 3
  7. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
  8. Star Fox
  9. F-ZERO
  10. Pilotwings
  11. Kirby’s Dream Course
  12. BRAWL BROTHERS
  13. Breath of Fire
  14. Demon’s Crest
  15. Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics
  16. SUPER E.D.F. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE
  17. Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
  18. Super Puyo Puyo 2 (Available for the first time in the U.S.!)
  19. Super Soccer (Available for the first time since its original Super NES release!)
  20. Super Tennis (Available for the first time since its original Super NES release!)

All of these Super NES games can be played with online functionality on Nintendo Switch Online, including multiplayer gameplay in select games and voice chat via the Nintendo Switch Online app*. Suspend points and an easy-to-use Rewind feature that lets players replay sections of the game will also be available at launch. More Super NES games will join the collection in the future, adding to the growing library of classic games available to Nintendo Switch Online members, including more than 40 games from the original Nintendo Entertainment System. To access the games, Nintendo Switch owners must have an active membership to the Nintendo Switch Online service.

  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System Controller: To recapture the original feel of Super NES games, a wireless Super Nintendo Entertainment System Controller will soon be available as a special offer only to Nintendo Switch Online members**. Once the controller is available for purchase, it will be possible to order up to four controllers per Nintendo Account at https://www.nintendo.com/super-nes-controller/, at a price of $29.99 each.
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore: The game that brought together the worlds of Fire Emblem and ATLUS is coming to Nintendo Switch. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is the Nintendo Switch version of the acclaimed RPG that originally launched on the Wii U system. This new version of the game contains a new song that wasn’t in the original, new story elements and the ability to take it on the go! Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore launches for Nintendo Switch on Jan. 17.
  • Tetris® 99 – Ver. 2.0 + DLC Update: The digital version of the Tetris 99 game is getting an update! Tetris 99 Invictus mode is here … but it’s not for the faint of heart. Players can’t even play it unless they achieve TETRIS MAXIMUS status, which means getting first place at least once in the traditional online mode of Tetris 99. In addition to Invictus mode, Daily Missions will be added to Tetris 99 for everyone to enjoy. By clearing these missions, players will acquire in-game tickets to exchange for a variety of custom themes. To show off accomplishments, new player icons will be added as well! Beyond all this, the second wave of content is coming for those who purchased the Big Block DLC. In 2P Share Battle mode, share Joy-Con controllers for a two-player game against each other and the CPU. In Local Arena mode, friends can get together in person to battle via new local wireless multiplayer. The version 2.0 update and new paid DLC for Tetris 99 will launch tomorrow, Sept. 5. Also, a physical version of Tetris 99 will be available starting Sept. 6, and will include all Big Block DLC plus a 12-month individual membership to Nintendo Switch Online at a suggested retail price of $29.99.
  • Pokémon Sword / Pokémon Shield: New details (and two new Pokémon!) were revealed for the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games, launching exclusively for Nintendo Switch on Nov. 15.
    Polteageist is a ghost-type Pokémon, and makes a home for itself by hiding among dishes at hotels and restaurants. Its body is made of tea, and it may even let a trusting Trainer have a taste of its tea. The flying- and water-type Pokémon Cramorant will swallow absolutely anything that looks hearty enough. It has an exclusive ability called Gulp Missile. While using Surf or Dive in battle, it will counter when attacked.
    Players will be able to travel through the new Galar region in style. In this game, players can outfit their main Trainer in tops, bottoms, outerwear, gloves, new hairstyles and even a little makeup. During their journey, players can camp any time at Pokémon Camp. While there, players can play with Pokémon and get to know them better. In the new Wild Area, players can visit other players’ camps as well. Up to four players and their Pokémon can hang out at a camp together. Pokémon Camp is also a great place to cook up some Curry on Rice. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, there are many types of delicious Curry on Rice that can be registered to the Curry Dex.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: Link’s latest adventure is almost here! In The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, players can place chambers earned in the adventure to create custom Chamber Dungeons. Finished dungeons can be saved to a compatible amiibo figure in The Legend of Zelda series or Super Smash Bros. series so they can be shared with friends. A new Link amiibo figure inspired by the style of the game will launch on Sept. 20, the same day as the game.
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3: Every floor of the haunted hotel in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a different theme, including the pyramid setting of Tomb Suites, a disco floor and a pirate-themed restaurant. In the newly announced ScreamPark party mode, two to eight players can battle against each other as a Luigi team and a Gooigi team even with only one Nintendo Switch system.*** The teams will compete to see who can defeat the most ghosts, collect the most coins or break the most targets. Luigi’s Mansion 3 opens the doors of its haunted hotel on Oct. 31.
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Players join the Deserted Island Getaway Package by Nook Inc, and start a relaxing new life full of creativity, charm and freedom in this next installment in the Animal Crossing series, launching for Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020.
  • DAEMON X MACHINA: This new action-mech game launches on Sept. 13, but players that want to take those powerful mechs for a spin can try out the free demo version of the game starting today. In the Prologue demo, players will pilot their mechs through the beginning of the game, and all progress earned will carry over to the main game. A key feature of the demo is the ability to play in local co-op mode with up to four players***.
  • Super Kirby Clash: To defeat bosses this wicked, it’ll take a whole team of Kirbys! In this free-to-start multiplayer*** action game, players can choose from four unique Roles and join up to three other players to take down tough bosses. Puff up power by crafting weapons, or use Gem Apples, which can be earned as in-game currency or purchased using real-world money, to recharge Vigor (a resource that recharges over time), unlock new quests or trade for weapons, armor, support items or stickers. Pass a Joy-Con controller to a friend to play locally, and if you have a Nintendo Switch Online membership, you can even play online****! Super Kirby Clash launches exclusively in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch later today!
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition: This critically beloved and fan-favorite role-playing game is available on Nintendo Switch beginning today! With the power of Nintendo Switch, players can slay monsters and unleash magic with up to three other friends at home or on the go.
  • Return of the Obra Dinn: The critically acclaimed, stylish indie game is coming to Nintendo Switch this fall. As an insurance investigator for the East India Company, players must board a ship, explore its surroundings, turn back time with the Memento Mortem pocket watch and record logical deductions to solve the ship’s mysteries.
  • Little Town Hero: In this new RPG from Game Freak, the developers of the Pokémon games, players must battle monsters and gather support from townspeople, all while staying within the borders of a single town. Little Town Hero, which also features music by Undertale creator Toby Fox, makes a stand on Nintendo Switch on Oct. 16. Little Town Hero is available today for pre-purchase in Nintendo eShop.
  • Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise: A sequel to the cult classic Deadly Premonition is headed to Nintendo Switch. When FBI agent Aaliyah Davis opens an investigation into an old serial-killer case, she also opens a door to the unknown. Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise boggles and beguiles on Nintendo Switch in 2020. The original game in the series will launch in Nintendo eShop as Deadly Premonition Origins starting today!
  • Rogue Company: Introducing Rogue Company, a 5-v-5 online**** shooter from Hi-Rez Studios. In this new IP, players can play against friends or instantly match up online with a similarly skilled team in a variety of objective-based modes. Mercenaries can be fully customized to match the player’s style. Rogue Company sneaks up to Nintendo Switch in 2020.
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast: May the Force be with this Star Wars classic. Kyle Katarn, agent of the New Republic, is our only hope to stop a rogue Jedi. Get your lightsaber at the ready, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is coming to Nintendo Switch on Sept. 24.
  • DOOM 64: There are at least 64 reasons for fans to get excited about classic first-person shooter DOOM 64 coming to Nintendo Switch, with the ability to play it anywhere being one of them. DOOM 64 launches on Nintendo Switch on Nov. 22.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition: As Geralt of Rivia, players have a massive world to explore at home or on the go. In this version of the game, all DLC and story expansions are along for the ride. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition comes to Nintendo Switch on Oct. 15.
  • Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection: Become the most feared pirate in the Caribbean in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and then transform into the ultimate assassin hunter in Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. That’s two action-packed games from the award-winning Assassin’s Creed series for one great value! All past single-player DLC is included, as well as new features like touch control and motion aiming. Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection launches for Nintendo Switch on Dec. 6.
  • Dauntless: Battle for survival at the edge of a savage frontier in the online, free-to-play action-RPG Dauntless. Whether they’re a veteran looking to take slaying on the go, or a rookie ready to forge a legacy, players can craft hundreds of gear options and team up with others to take down boss-sized Behemoths. The Nintendo Switch version of Dauntless launches this year and features full cross-play, cross-compatibility and feature parity, so players on Nintendo Switch can join a global community millions strong and, for the first time ever, take their Slayers on the go.
  • Trials of Mana: A remastered version of this fantasy adventure will come to Nintendo Switch on April 24, 2020. This new version of the classic game features fully voiced characters and upgraded graphics. Players who want to play the original can enjoy it as part of the currently available Collection of Mana game for Nintendo Switch.
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: In addition to playing classic multiplayer events with Mario, Sonic and all their friends, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 also features a single-player story mode, new minigames and 10 retro-style events. These new events are displayed in old-school 2D graphics, perfect for retro fans around the world. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 goes for the gold medal on Nov. 5.
  • New amiibo – Three new amiibo figures in the Super Smash Bros. series – Incineroar, Chrom and Simon Belmont – will launch in stores on Nov. 15.
  • NBA 2K20 – In two days (Sept. 6), players can take to the court in NBA 2K20 for Nintendo Switch.
  • The Outer Worlds – Explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power in The Outer Worlds, bounding to Nintendo Switch soon.
  • Just Dance 2020 – Bust a move to some of the hottest music hits today in Just Dance 2020, headed to Nintendo Switch on Nov. 5.
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered – The critically acclaimed and fan-favorite RPG can be taken anywhere when it launches for Nintendo Switch on Sept. 20.
  • Devil May Cry 2 – Starring iconic video game character Dante, classic action game Devil May Cry 2 launches for Nintendo Switch on Sept. 19. Pre-purchase in Nintendo eShop starts today!
  • GRID Autosport – Vroom! The high-speed racing game GRID Autosport comes to Nintendo Switch on Sept. 19. Pre-purchase in Nintendo eShop starts today!
  • Vampyr – Players who have a thirst for … moody third-person action-RPGs are in for a bloody treat when Vampyr launches for Nintendo Switch on Oct. 29.
  • Call of Cthulhu – Answer the call in this survival horror RPG game when Call of Cthulhu launches for Nintendo Switch on Oct. 8.
  • Farming Simulator 20 – Hop on a tractor, bite on some straw and pick up a Nintendo Switch system. Farming Simulator 20 plants itself on Nintendo Switch this winter.

 

NCG Review: The Caligula Effect: Overdose (Switch, PS4, PC)

Wanting to forget about the pain of our daily lives is something a majority of us are familiar with, after all, we spend countless hours glued to our phones mindlessly browsing through social media or playing games.  But what would happen if a sentient being created a world for us to live in and be forever happy? Would you want to live in this paradise?21.png

The Caligula Effect: Overdose takes us into the world of Mobius where the lines of fantasy and reality are blurred.  Will you want to live in Mobius?

Story

Created by the sentient vocaloid program, μ (Mu), Mobius is a place for people to forget about their everyday problems and re-live a blissful high school life.  In a setting where fantasy and reality are blurred, the “Go Home Club”, who have awaken to the falsehoods of Mobius, attempt to escape this false paradise.

To be honest, I wasn’t quite familiar with the premise of The Caligula Effect, but I had watched the first couple episodes of the anime and completely forgot about it.  After picking up the game I decided to revisit the anime series.14.png

I played the game for about 5 hours before jumping into the anime series, which was a decent amount of time spent on the game.  In many instances, I usually say the game is better since there is a lot of time to build the story, however, I hate to admit that the anime captures the emotional impact of the game in a clearer and more concise way.

While playing, I found it difficult to balance my interest in the story with the variety of game play elements.  When presented with story line topics, the game fell flat.  The characters want to escape Mobius, but in game there’s an overall apathy about actually trying to escape.  The characters don’t quite come off quite as strong in the video game.

Gameplay

What makes the Caligula Effect: Overdose stand out is the unique combat system.  Although battles are a turn-based, you have the option to customize your battle.  You can pick from your character skills and attack with a single character up to three times.  What’s really cool is that the game will go into a prediction mode and you can watch how the actions and battle moves will play out before you commit to them.  In addition to seeing how moves will play out, you have the option to adjust the timing of your moves.  You can adjust the timing of a hit to be delayed or for the character to attack sooner; it’s like crafting your own battle.  You can do this for each character on your team and strategize your attacks based on the character skills.  Of course, predictions are not 100% accurate and sometimes will not indicate when the opponent will be defeated.  You have to pay close attention and take some risks when designing your battle. Overall, this was an element I really enjoyed since it takes basic “turn based” game play to a different level.08.png

The Caligula Effect: Overdose is your basic RPG game so you have the options to complete missions and side quests.  Accessing side quests is a bit unique since it’s based on your relationship with NPCs.  All the students walking around are the people that inhabit Mobius.  Based on your social connections and reputation you can talk to them and learn about their problems and struggles.  When you reach a certain level of friendship you’ll learn more about what is troubling them and will have to help them resolve their issues. To take it a step further, you can access a sub menu called “LINE” and communicate with the friends you have made by sending texts.  However, the prompts are repetitive and even if you’ve already asked the question the prompt will reappear.  Responses are all generic and you can get the gist of the character personality, but there are so many characters to chat with it’s easy to get overwhelmed and bored with this function of the game.06.png

Audio

μ (Mu) is the creator of Mobius so it’s fitting to have her songs performing in the background.  It’s her music, after all, that influences the characters and keeps them brainwashed.  You get a really fun J-pop track playing throughout the level.  While the songs are all fun and catchy, I didn’t feel inclined to stay in a particular area too long since the chorus is on permanent loop throughout the level.

Verdict

Pros: The battle system is a lot of fun and the game offers a variety of game play elements to delve into.17.png

Cons: The story doesn’t hit quite as hard during game play.  After a while the music can start to irk your nerves.

Overall score:

I’d give it a 5.  It isn’t a must-have, but might be something worth picking up on sale. You might have a better time catching the anime instead.Score

Have you played this game? What did you think? Are you a fan of the anime?

Let me know in the comments!