One Controller Port Podcast – Episode 52: Curse of the Gera Police

This week I talk about Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX and some more Dragon Quest Heroes II.

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One Controller Port Podcast: Episode 41 – Lots of Sword Art Online

This week I talk about Sword Art Online and some of the video games surrounding it, as well as the gap in English language Japanese news coverage of video games.

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Valkyria Revolution: Making the Best of a Bad Situation

Valkyria Revolution is not well-liked. I’ve seen few who think this attempt to re-invent the brand as an Action RPG amounted to anything. By the nature of its design, it’s a repetitive game that almost completely destroys any preconceived notions of Valkyria as a strategy franchise. It seems like it has no business holding the name. But deeper within Valkyria Revolution, one particular aspect of the series remains – managing morale. This overtakes the entirety of the story as well as the gameplay, building the whole experience on the back of this singular element. Though from the beginning, it’s not clear that this is the case.

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Bloodstained: Weighed Down by the Baggage of Castlevania

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Kickstarter has been great for developers launching spiritual successors to their dead franchises. While they may not be able to continue the beloved worlds and characters these series offered, they can at least keep working with the core design and bring the fans with them. It also acts a fresh start – letting developers experiment and create new elements without being tied down by franchise expectations.

In the case of Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained, it’s unabashedly Castlevania to an extreme.

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Love Ruins Everyday Life in Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment

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Role-playing games usually lead the main characters as far away from the starting town as possible. They explore distant regions and visit new villages while rarely looking back. That being said, it isn’t too uncommon for a game to have a home base or main area players come back to. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment isn’t too far from the latter structure with a central city the characters return to after each expedition. However, I’ve never seen a game bring forward the day-to-day aspects of living as much as Hollow Fragment.

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When Worlds Collide in Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment

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From the 38 hours I’ve played of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, it seems like the definition of an average game. The battles are simple, the structure is repetitive, the zones lack compelling designs and excessive enemy placement can slow your progress to a crawl. Yet no single element of Hollow Fragment keeps it from being enjoyable. The one thing that might have stopped me from continuing is that every female character has magnetized breasts that latch onto to the protagonist in cutscenes. Still, outside of the lazy design and fan service, SAO has a unique taste because it’s essentially two games crammed into one.

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Freedom Wars Review

A bit of a forewarning, I didn’t play any post game or online content for this game as an update error corrupted my game file.

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A good chunk of the Vita’s Japanese library is made up of cooperative monster hunting games. Freedom Wars is yet another take on the formula popularized by Capcom’s Monster Hunter series. However, the game stands out thanks to its player movement, variety in mission structure and focus on story and characters.

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