This title was given to the NCG team for review purposes
Back in 1999, the handheld system the NeoGeo PocketColor by SNK was released. SNK is known for their reputable arcade titles, sprite work, and addicting gameplay. SNK, at the time, released a number of ports and original titles for the handheld system. These title’s sold pretty well over seas, but did not gain much attraction in North America, which might be why many Westerners have never heard of the handheld, or even SNK VS CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM – a spin off title from the Capcom vs SNK Series, which was a big hit in the arcades.
SNK VS CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM had a lot of positive feedback from reviewers back when it was launched on the handheld, but we can see if it matches up to modern standards, if the game has aged well enough to meet the expectations of an audience new to the Fighting Game Community (FGC), and players that just enjoy old fighting game titles.
When turning on SNK VS CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM players will be greeted to welcoming fists! The nostalgic presentation of classic SNK/CAPCOM fighting title screens of the mid to late 90’s, awesome animations, and sprite work immediate jumps out at the player. The title sequence has aged pretty well, and this is the same when it comes to actual gameplay. The animation of each fighter represents them well for a handheld from the era, and has not disappointed expectations for a re-release .
That does not mean there aren’t some flaws with the visuals for this port. The main gripe I had is that the game has a small aspect ratio, and the default borders that are supposed to replicate the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Sure you can take these off, and fix the aspect ratio, but I feel like they should of had it full screen to start with, especially since the Switch has such a large screen.
Not much to say other than the sound and music score is excellent for the title since it pulled music from a lot of SNK and Capcom titles in the form of chiptunes. Every hit feels good because of the SFX’s, and with that mixed with the music score. you can lose yourself to some familiar songs.
Gameplay is actually fluent and feels great for this title. It only offers two buttons, one for punch and one for kick, but the button response are fast. Best of all, the game has a tag team mechanic, which some veteran players will be accustomed to. With this mechanic, players can switch between two of the available characters from the SNK and Capcom games, just like the Marvel vs Capcom series, as well as a few unlockable characters.
All in all the game has aged pretty well, everyone who enjoyed SNK and Capcom games will love the mashup. I recommend this title to anyone who has missed it when it was released, as well as anyone who is just a fan of the fighting game genre. My score for this port is an 8 out of 10, mainly because this title is not for everyone, but catered toward long-time fans.
SNK VS CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM is avaiable now for the Nintendo Switch.
Be sure to leave comments below and let us know what you think of the title, or if you will be adding this game to your collection.
Publisher Koei Tecmo America has revealed Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack will be out this year for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC.
This trilogy will include Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX, Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX, and Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX.
You can check out the announcement trailer, screenshots and more info from press release below;
KOEI TECMO America and developer GUST Studios are proud to reveal the upcoming Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack, slated for launch on the Apr. 22, 2021 for theNintendo Switch™ system, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC via Steam®. The three games: Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX, Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX, and Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX, will come packed with a large amount of the previously released DLC for the titles, as well as all-new content for the DX versions — including a special digital artbook, photo modes, and the option to speed-up battles. This release also marks the first time that Atelier Sophie and Atelier Firis will be playable on the Nintendo Switch™, enabling players to enjoy these adventures at home or on the go. The Atelier Mysterious Trilogywill be available for purchase as individual titles or together in a specially priced Deluxe Pack containing all three games.
The first title, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX, follows the adventures of young novice alchemist Sophie Neuenmuller, who discovers she is the owner of an enigmatic book imbued with a soul. This Mysterious Book seems to hold the secrets to the art of alchemy, and as Sophie experiments with alchemy throughout the story, she unravels the book’s forgotten memories and eventually sets out to uncover the strange tale of its origin. The DX version of this game includes a brand-new coming-of-age story for Sophie, as she struggles to step into the shoes of her late grandmother – the town’s reliable alchemist.
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX is the second entry in the ‘Mysterious’ saga, following the adventures of the enthusiastic Firis Mistlud and her loving older sister Liane Mistlud. The sisters have lived their entire lives in the isolated town of Ertona, where Firis uses her unique ability to see where material crystals are buried. By way of a fateful encounter, Firis learns of the Alchemy Exam and decides to take her first step into the outside world, setting off on a grand journey to become a certified alchemist and discover the mysteries that life has to offer! The DX version of the game adds four new vehicles and several exploration items to improve efficiency and speed, as well as seven new quests that lead to unlocking the powerful new foe Palmyra.
The gripping conclusion to the MysteriousTrilogy, Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX, follows the tale of alchemist twins — the reserved but caring Lydie Marlen, and the eccentric and carefree Suelle Marlen. The young twins work alongside their father at the family atelier, but due to his inexperience in alchemy, they rarely see any customers. While working hard to hone their skills, the duo uncovers a mysterious looking painting, and as they reach out to investigate, the girls are drawn inside a world bountiful with rare materials perfect for alchemy! This fateful discovery is just the beginning of the twin’s adventure, leading them to their joint goal — to run the best atelier in the country! The DX version of the game introduces a new painting that connects Lydie and Suelle to the world of Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists. In order to help Lady Nelke develop the city, the twins will have to embark on new missions and fight against perilous new enemies!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Corpse Party is easily one of my favorite horror games with its jump scares, ambient background noises, and chilling story. The story follows a group of students who are spirited away into another dimension and trapped in a haunted school filled with hate, agony, despair, and murder. Corpse Party plays as a survival horror action game mixed in with visual novel elements. You follow multiple characters as they try to survive the horrors of Heavenly Host Elementary School. There are four installments to the Corpse Party series, Corpse Party: Blood Covered (PSP), Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (PSP), and Corpse Party: Blood Drive (PS Vita/Nintendo Switch), and a last installment, Corpse Party: Dead Patient (PC) which released in October 2019. Having already played all of the previous titles, I was stoked to jump back into Corpse Party: Blood Drive on my Nintendo Switch.
Blood Drive takes place a few weeks after the events of Book of Shadows where Ayumi and her friends believe they have destroyed Heavenly Host and Sachiko’s curse. They discover that not only does Heavenly Host still exist, the curse of Heavenly Host is spreading into the real world and has become more malevolent than ever. Tricked into thinking the Book of Shadows can revive her dead friends, Ayumi goes back into Heavenly Host to retrieve the Book of Shadows and, once again, try to destroy Heavenly Host for good.
I highly recommend playing Blood Covered and Book of Shadows before playing Blood Drive, or, at least reading the story/watching a walk through beforehand.The events in Blood Drive constantly refer to the events of Book of Shadows so you might feel a bit lost without the prior knowledge. If you opt to skip out on the former games, Corpse Party: Blood Drive does an OK good job or reiterating the previous story to you, but it might be difficult to follow on its own.
If you’re new to the series, game play is very straightforward but does not hold your hand past earlier tutorials. You have no map. You pretty much wander around the school until you hit the right point for a cut scene or obtain the correct item. It is important to read the dialogue because that is the only way you’ll find clues to the next location or object you will need to obtain. Picking up from visual novel aspects, your interactions also determine the fate of your character. Talking to the wrong spirit or picking the wrong action can lead you to a bad ending. Choices must also be made on the fly as you only have seconds to decide your next course of action. Failure to make a decision in time will result in the automatic selection of the bad choice and ultimately the “Wrong End”.
Heavenly Host itself is also a complete danger zone. If you’ve played the previous titles and missed out on Blood Drive, the school no longer simply poses obstructions and ghosts to stop you from proceeding. You can’t run haphazardly through the hallways because there are shards of glass, piled of debris, holes, and living flesh organisms that inflict damage to your character. Running is also limited. Running too much can cause your character to run out of breath and stop completely to catch it –which is terrible when you’re running away from something. My major upset about the game is not only the missing map feature, but the inability to control the camera. There are many scenarios where I’ll lose my character behind a wall or struggle to see the obstacles in my way.
The game doesn’t hold back on the horror either. Frequently, you’ll find yourself afraid to go into classrooms or walk down certain corridors because of a lurking entity. If you happen to run into a bad situation, getting a “Wrong End” will never be a pleasant experience. The writers did a wonderful job describing and depicting the torture and gore your character would suffer at the hands of an unforgiving ghost. Not only that, but Corpse Party offered a lot of jump scares. Yes, they were cheesy, but when the face appears in the hole you are looking through you can’t help feeling a shudder.
Blood Drive isn’t played as a continuous story, either. You go through Chapters, each chapter containing one part of the story. You can re-visit the chapters through the home screen. This is a nice touch, in case you want to go back and find anything you may have missed.
Blood Drive on the Nintendo Switch looks fantastic! The animation looks great on the Switch and the character models are much cleaner. With cleaner graphics, it makes the obstacles of Heavenly Host a bit more difficult to avoid because they don’t stick out as much as they did in the Vita version. Otherwise, the port to the Switch is absolutely stunning!
One thing I never really liked about Corpse Party games is the audio. At times you can sense the director was trying to inject a sense of distance between characters based on sounds (i.e. voices coming from the distance), but this doesn’t work very well with the way the graphics are presented. There’s a contradiction between the characters on screen and where the voices come from. Some instances, the characters will be standing next to each other on screen, but their voices will indicate one is nearby and the other is across the room. It’s a weird quirk in the series, but I think it’s something that would have worked best if it was an audio-only telling.
Pros: The port over the Nintendo Switch is absolutely stunning! If you haven’t played the title on the Vita, it is absolutely worth picking up on the Switch.
Blood Drive isn’t my favorite entry in the series (you can read my original review to get my thoughts) but it does come with a lot of jump scares and horrific scenarios.
Cons: There was no fix to the audio and camera angles can irk your nerves while playing.
I would give the Switch version an 8 out of 10.
Have you played any Corpse Party titles? Is this something you would pick up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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.”
AI: THE SOMNIUMFILES
Digital (PSN, NSW, STEAM): September 17, 2019
Retail (PS4, NSW) : September 24, 2019
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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