Wednesday, 31 December 2014

JRPG Jungle's Top 5 Games of 2014!

Happy holiday season to all! Since 2015 ends very soon (a mere few hours for me), this means the beginning of a new year and most importantly for anyone reading this, new games will be coming soon (cough Persona 5 cough)! But this year was also full of some unforgettable games, so before the year is done, I think it's only fair to remember them.

Here are my top 5 games of 2014, all released this year! Enjoy and leave your own list below.

5. Freedom Wars (PS Vita)


Admittedly I haven't owned Freedom Wars for much more than a month, but it has taken over my Vita quickly enough in a short amount of time to make this list.

In Freedom Wars you are granted a 1,000,000 year prison sentence for rudely losing your memory and thus wasting resources. One may think this game centers around chipping away at that sentence and in some ways it does, but more of the game is about your character's experience in the Panopticon and the missions you partake in to protect it. Your goal is to be a valuable resource to your Panopticon and this fast-paced third-person action JRPG makes it fun with its challenging abductor enemies, use of shooting mechanics and the unique thorn mechanism which allows your to drag down enemies or climb to a more advantageous shooting point. Partnered with the amusement gained from getting a 10 year prison sentence for being silent for too long, Freedom Wars is a worthwhile addition to the action genre.
(Side note: I need this Beatrice Nendoroid in my life. New Years Resolution: Buy more figures!)

4. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD (Playstation 3 and PS Vita)


Final Fantasy X as a standalone game is one of the must play JRPGs for all fans of the genre, for many reasons. The refined turn-based battle system, Tidus and Yuna's love story and the conflicts between life, death, religion and a world that needs saving make this game stellar. Throw in some HD visuals, an updated soundtrack and X-2 and this HD remaster is worth playing the game again to remind yourself of just how good it was.

The HD remaster includes trophies, the international content from both X and X-2 (Eternal Calm for X and the ever-so-fun strategy Last Mission for X-2) plus a new slice of story in the form of Final Fantasy X -Will-.

Missed out? Don't worry, it's coming to PS4 in Q2 2015.


3. Ar nosurge (PS3)



Nothing has caught my eye in a long time like Ar nosurge's stunning trailer and it seemed like a game I had always dreamed of. Although its production wasn't the most polished, Ar nosurge has a strong cast with a passion to build a brighter future for their planet and its people. Its battle system is also highly addictive and if you enjoy games such as Persona which have social sim elements, the Genometrics system and its visual novel feel are rather enjoyable and in-depth.

New Years Resolution? Learn enough Japanese to play Ciel nosurge (its untranslated prequel) and hunt down a physical copy of the the breathtaking soundtrack.


2. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (PS3)


While I haven't fully finished the story, the P4 side of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax has me hooked and ready for the rest (I'm only putting it off so I can finish Persona 3 and the original Arena game). I feel strongly about mentioning this game because between me and my partner, it is our most played game in the house. Arc System Work's games never seem to disappoint in giving a slick and unique battle system and with its roster including more Persona characters plus game changing Shadow forms of nearly all characters, fighting game fans and Persona fans need this game.


1. Child of Light (Most platforms)





While I write about mostly Japanese RPG games originating from Japan, Child of Light is at its roots heavily inspired by games such as Final Fantasy VI and plays like a JRPG and was the most innovative game to come out in the genre this year.

Simply put, Child of Light takes the beautiful visuals, touching story elements and turn-based systems of a JRPG but only takes the cream. The game is innovative by taking the battle system and turning it into a perfect balance of active and turn based and the story and music made me feel like I was inside the best story book I've ever read. It's a must play for fans of JRPGs and great games alike.


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Honourable mentions:

  • Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection for making me giggle and being one of the few localised Idol games this year.
  • Persona 4 Golden for being my first platinum trophy.
  • Conception II for making me forget I'm playing a dating sim and subsequently making me feel shameful once I remember that fact.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for showing me MMOs can be super fun and can take up my entire annual leave period.
  • The hilarious touch mechanism added to a lot of Japanese games.
  • Square Enix and Atlus for understanding how to empty my wallet (along with their backlog of Final Fantasy and Persona games that I need to finish)

And of course....

THE WONDERFUL GAME STUDIOS, LOCALIZATION STAFF, DEVS, STAFF AND PUBLISHERS WHO KEEP US GAMING!
AND THOSE READING THIS!

Happy 2014 everyone. Let's make 2015 even better.

-Tara/JRPGJungle

Edit note (2018): a few formatting and grammar edits have been done so I can link this in a more recent article. :)

Friday, 14 November 2014

A World Away - Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star (PS3, Review)


So you haven't played Ciel nosurge or any of the Ar Tonelico games, but have an interest in Ar nosurge - this is where I began my journey with Gust's Ar nosurge: Ode to An Unborn Star. Its stunning trailer instantly piked my interest with its striking visuals and moving music, prompting me to walk into its world with no prior knowledge, just with high expectations of these things being woven into a complex story. To put it simply and honestly, I was ready for Ar nosurge to be my next favourite game. Realistically, Ar nosurge has a tendency to spoil itself with a lack of overall polish in various areas such as translation and field design, but definitely filled the brief on the story and the stunning anime cutscenes I was hoping for. In my 50+ hours of gameplay, it managed to surprise me with just how deep its social elements had me feeling strongly attached to the main cast of characters and always left me ready to advance the story and bring myself further into its world. Even though its not the best game of this year, Ar nosurge's emotional story and strongly willed characters have certainly earned a special place in my heart.


Ar nosurge begins in the world of Soreil, a spaceship that citizens are living on thanks to the destruction of their previous planet. Soreil's world is plagued by a fear-filled divide between species and the citizens experience even more trouble thanks to power hungry individuals who don't care who they have to destroy to get what they want. The main cast fight for the greater good in this story and the overall story is coloured strongly with shades of trust, the coming together of races, the acceptance of differences and deepness of relationships, all with a pinch of risque humour.

The story follows two pairs - Delta and Casty, and Ion and Earthes - who provide a look into different, intertwining parts of the story. You play as the male members of these duos, helping guide your female partner to success. Maybe this says something about the JRPGs I've been playing of late or the actual level of quality in the game's character design, but I was particularly impressed by the hot-headed tsundere Casty and the strong-willed and kindhearted Ion as the game's main female characters. Without giving too much away, it was wonderful to play a game with strong female characters who had their eyes set on some pretty ambitious goals with strong morals and a drive to make things better for everyone around them. All the other characters compliment both pairs well with their own beliefs and personality quirks, which make for amusing dialogue, even in unvoiced scenes.


Working alongside the strong story are Ar nosurge's mostly optional social sim elements, mostly in the Genometrics system. The Genometrics system links your duo's female character's heart to their male partner's heart and allows you to get to know both the NPC and your own heroine at a deeper level while working towards earning highly useful song magic for battle. These Genometrics scenarios play out like a dream sequence and have a visual novel feel, due to the choices you can make having an effect on the outcome of each scene. Since these Genometric 'Dives' are designed to help you get to know each character's heart more intimately, these sessions are raw and emotional, consequently helping you get to know the deeper, more hidden sides of each character. The two heroines have a lot of different sides to their personalities to unlock and the Genometrics are well paced enough to keep things surprising and interesting until you've completed them all.
There's also the Purification system to help get to know the two heroines further all while in lesser clothing. It's a lot more tame than it sounds, which I personally was thankful for as it is used to also equip status boosts to your duo. Don't be totally fooled though - Ar nosurge does throw in the occasional fan service moment, often when you least expect it.


After earning Song Magic and boosts from the social system, they're put to use in Ar nosurge's battle system. At the beginning each battle, you will pick the Song Magic you want to charge during battle. The battle system takes elements of active battle systems by having the player choose between different attacks that all have a limit of use per turn and can be used consecutively to create combos and 'break' your opponents next attack. Each turn you don't use your Song Magic (the overdrive attack of the game), it charges and becomes stronger. The stronger it gets, the closer you are to using it to wipe away all waves of enemies in one hit, earning some pretty sweet EXP bonuses and other perks in the process. Although the battle system can be guilty for being repetitive after 20+ hours of game time, it does hold a good balance between being outwardly simple but more complex if you pay more attention to things such as breaking your enemies attack. I spent most of my battles striving to annihilate my enemies with Song Magic in order to level up my characters and because each chapter of the story matched my level well, the system continued to remain challenging throughout my entire campaign with it. The only downside is there isn't much of a variety in enemies, but the game makes up for this by giving you more waves of enemies to defeat as you progress.

Ar nosurge also boasts a secretly complex equipment upgrade system and item synthesis. If you were wondering why I said 'secretly', it's because there is barely a tutorial on how to use it (if at all). I didn't work out just how useful equipment was and where all my newly synthesized items had been going until very late in the game, meaning I probably could have been a lot stronger and have been completing battles faster if it was explained to me. Ar nosurge has a tendency to forget to explain itself sometimes or be too fast in its explanations - it does provide small tutorials, but only the very basic fundamentals of the game.

I managed to work out most of the games mechanics, complete most genometrics, complete the main story and a few side activities in 50 hours. The back of Ar nosurge's cover says there is over 100+ hours of content and I tend to believe that - I still had a lot I could have done by the time I finished. It has roughly five endings, including two possible true endings. To add to that, there are also various levels of genometrics and purification conversations to complete and shop synthesis conversations that can actually take hours of time. I often found myself leaving shops with recipes left over to synthesize and new conversations left just because there were so many. I did enjoy the optional nature of these things because I was enjoying the main story a lot, but it's nice to know there is more content to complete if I do want to come back to it.


Ar nosurge is at its core a good game, however there are some glitches and parts of the game lacking detail that I unfortunately couldn't ignore. One of the first things I noticed immediately in Ar nosurge was that its visuals were not very detailed and character models were sometimes jumpy in cutscenes. It does make up for this during its high quality animated cutscenes and generally good character models, but it often means that the landscapes being traveled really don't have a lot to offer. To add insult to this, these landscapes are often filled with groups of multiple NPC characters that are visually exactly the same. I also found translation inconsistencies (things such as the spelling of names were frequent offenders) and a glitch I encountered twice that didn't want me to use a large amount of attacks in a specific area and instead took me to a permanent loading screen, which was annoying after not saving for an hour. Other great elements such as music, animated cutscenes, an enjoyable story and mechanics allow me to overlook these things for the most part, but I feel like these things could put off more casual or newers fans of JRPGs considering there are plenty of games and other JRPGs without these problems.

(Review edit: A new patch was released two days ago (read more here) for Ar nosurge and may possibly deal with the in-game terminology inconsistencies I mentioned. I began writing my review before the patches release and therefore have not seen the changes, so please keep that in mind while reading!)



Despite its lack of polish, at the end of my time with Ar nosurge I've found myself wanting to go back and plainly wishing I had more time to complete all of its endings. The characters and story of Ar nosurge was full of strong ideas and there is definitely a good game to be found behind it's imperfections. While Ar nosurge may not be the most remarkable or groundbreaking JRPG of the year, it's fun combat, genometrics system and moving story with memorable characters is worth the time of anyone who is already interested in playing the game.

Score: 7.6/10
I can't wait to play the Plus version on Vita!



All photos for this review are from the game and are not my own. They were sourced from Ar nosurge's official website.


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Will you be picking up Ar nosurge? Team Casty or Team Ion?
I'd love to hear your thoughts, so comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle. Thanks for reading!

Edit note (Jan 2018): I did some clean-up to this review as I'm linking it in a much newer article. The score remains the same, I mostly just fixed up some horrid grammar and overuse of certain words, but most of it is at its core the same (I could've done much more :3). Also, this was a good game that I want to play again sometime and I still haven't picked up the Vita version. Oops.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Persona 4 Dancing All Night Changes Up It's Development Team + New Trailer


Following the Tokyo Game Show release of Persona 4: Dancing All Night's new trailer (featured below), it came to the attention of fans that the upcoming PS Vita game seemed to be delayed until 2015. The game's director and producer Kazuhida Wada has now addressed the game's current state on the Persona blog, revealing that Persona 4: Dancing All Night is now being primarily developed by Atlus' Persona team. Original developers Dingo who have worked on the Hatsune Miku rhythm games are still involved in the project, providing assistance as needed.

The reason for this change wasn't revealed by Kazuhida, although he did state that with this "All hands on deck" approach, they are aiming for an early 2015 release. The statement from the Persona blog was translated on Gemastu's website and can be read below:
To everyone looking forward to Persona 4: Dancing All Night, we’re very sorry to have kept you waiting! 
Moving forward, Persona Team will be taking primary responsibility for the development of this game while still receiving assistance from Dingo, with all hands on deck working as hard as they can to finally bring this game to you.We’re working as best as we can with the aim of launching as early as possible next year, so please be excited.For this trailer, we shared a new arrangement and characters, but next time we plan to deliver more in-depth content. Thank you very much for your patience
Persona 4: Dancing All Night 
Producer & Director 
Kazuhisa Wada

While we wait, the new trailer for Persona 4: Dancing All Night features a first look at new Persona 4 characters added to the game, complete with dance moves that fit their personalities (Chie's Kung Fu dance moves are a highlight!). For excited fans, the game is available for pre-order on Play-Asia.



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Are you looking forward to Persona 4: Dancing All Night?
We'd love to hear your thoughts, so comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Finally Gets A European Release!



Creeping up to the North American release date, it was looking like European Persona 4 Arena Ultimax fans may have to import the game if they wanted to play. But Sega has instead come to the rescue, announcing they will publish and release Persona 4 Arena Ultimax both physically and digitally in November for the European region, according to Eurogamer's post.

While the game isn't region locked in North America for any fans who don't want to wait till November, I'm sure this solves some importing costs and troubles for some people *raises hand*.

Meanwhile, North American fans can look forward to the game's release on September 30th for PS3 and Xbox 360, which can be pre-ordered via Amazon or Play-Asia.

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European fans: Will you be waiting for the EU release or importing the game from the US?
We'd love to hear your thoughts, so comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle. Thanks for reading!

New Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus Trailer Shows Off The Game And Reveals Release Date


In a recent trailer showing off the game, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus's North American release has been given an official date. Fans of the busty action game can expect it to be released on October 14th 2014 for PS Vita.

The official trailer can be watched below.




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We'd love to hear your thoughts, so comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and start a discussion!

The Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy Is Making It's Way To Steam


From as early as this October, PC gamers will see Final Fantasy XIII make it's way to Steam, according to a blog post on Square Enix's official European blog. The original game in the series Final Fantasy XIII will hit Steam on October 9th, with the other titles appear on the platform by Spring 2015.

Anyone interested in pre-ordering Final Fantasy XIII will also be pleased to hear they will receive 10% off if they order through Steam.

Final Fantasy XIII introduces the trilogy's hero Lightning and the floating world of Cocoon in a quest to save her sister who has been branded with a mark from Pulse, Cocoon's enemy. The game also features an active battle system, differing from a majority of the Final Fantasy series turn-based games.

For more on Final Fantasy XIII, check out our other posts on the series.

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Will you be revisiting Lightning and friends?
We'd love to hear your thoughts, so comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle with your thoughts!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Tales of Zestiria's Japanese TV Spot Trailer


Complete with awesome music by Superfly, gameplay footage and anime cutscenes from the game, here is a 15-second Japanese TV commercial for the upcoming games from Bandai Namco's popular Tales series, Tales of Zestiria.


Tales of Zestiria is due for release on January 22nd 2015 on Playstation 3 in Japan. While there is no official US or European release dates, pre-orders are available in both regions at this point.

Pre-order Tales of Zestiria (Japanese, US and Europe editions available): Play-Asia

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Are you keeping you PS3 for Tales of Zestiria or have you moved onto next-gen? We'd love to hear your thoughts, so comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle with your thoughts!

Friday, 12 September 2014

JRPG Jungle's Review Process And Policy (Current)

Everyone has different opinions and that's okay. But sometimes it does help to at least understand where a person is coming from and in the spirit of this, this a written policy and process for JRPG Jungle's reviews. While JRPG Jungle hasn't been around as long as other sites, after reviewing games for over six months and realising the preparation required for a good review, this policy post feels important to get the most out of our reviews and to keep them to a good level of quality (if not better!).

A review on JRPG Jungle is comprised of two things: the written content and the score given to the game. Both work together to help the reader correctly digest our thoughts on a game. Time is precious and we are currently spoiled for choice in the gaming department, so our reviews are created to help inform you before you waste the time that you could have been spending on a better game. The paragraphs below detail how exactly we come to these finished posts.

Our Review Methods

JRPG Jungle's review methods are currently simple. I buy the game as close to the release date as possible, I play it, finish it and I aim to have completely finished playing the game within 5-10 days (which can be intense for some JRPGs, but I will manage!). Then I spend a few days writing, rewriting and editing the game's review a million times until it is ready to be published. Then you read it and hopefully it helps or entertains you in some way! :)

The goal is currently to have all games reviewed within two weeks of receiving the game (Note: this method is yet to be put into practice, but I really hope it works and I can keep it that way!).

Written Content

The written part of a review is where we detail what the game is, putting it's good points and bad points into the spotlight to give an accurate impression of how we felt about it. On top of relaying opinions, the review's written content also aims to detail some of the gameplay with as little spoilers as possible to give further insight into what a reader can expect from the game.

The written content is aimed to be at 1000-2000 words, which should be enough to cover most aspects of a game both accurately and concisely.

Scores

The score is what a lot of people get hung up about on other sites, so it's important to state that our scores are simply meant to be a summary of the thoughts written in the review and also how the game compares to other reviewed games on this site.

All games are given a rating out of 10 and are reviewed using a 100 point scale. A 100 point scale means that scores can range from 0.0-10.0, using the one decimal point to give a more precise score. Games do not start with a score of zero and then gain points, it is something done at the end of writing the review based on what is written in the review and how it compares to other games in the genre.

Since this a new policy, I can't put examples of what games would apply to each score. This will be done over time, so bare with me!

Note: Due to the lack of consistent review methods at the time, any review score written prior to this post shouldn't be compared to games scored after this policy was in place.

Updating Reviews

We live in an age nowadays when games can be issued patches that fix change bugs or even change difficulty levels in a game, giving a different experience to what one would have experienced on Day One compared to a year into the game's life cycle. Because of this, we do reserve the right to update our reviews at anytime in order to keep game reviews current and fair. However, we will always put a note on the review that notes this for the readers sake.

Genre Knowledge

JRPG Jungle is a video game site dedicated to Japanese games, with a focus on JRPGs. At this point I'm the only one reviewing games on here and it's unfortunately not possible to know everything about every game. Some games have prequels that I haven't played, others have anime or visual novels etc. etc. and I'm not always able educated on these before playing a game.

On each review that has things like this, you can expect a small list detailing the experience I have in this genre/series for the sake of transparency.

Disclaimer

Finally, our reviews and scores aren't influenced by any monetary compensation, foul play or professional relationships with game companies or their representatives.

JRPG Jungle aims to always give honest reviews and content for the awesome readers that come here!

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Any questions or suggestions for this review policy can be left below or emailed to jrpgjungle@gmail.com. In the meantime, I hope this helps and please keep enjoying our content. Thank you!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Persona 5's New Teaser Trailer Reveals That It Will Also Come To PS4


Persona fans can rejoice, as Atlus has revealed a new teaser trailer for Persona 5. The first teaser trailer for Persona 5 feels like it was forever ago and revealed the overall tone of the game but not much else. In this new teaser trailer, we are mainly shown the protagonist (pictured), plus the new big city setting for the game and I'm sure some subtle hints on what else will feature in the game. Probably the biggest reveal in the trailer was that Persona 5 will be coming to the PS4 as well as the PS3, since it was originally only announced for the latter console. The trailer can be watched below:


In a blog post about the trailer's reveal and the series' fans, Persona 5's director Katsura Hashino also had a few things to say about Persona 5:

"While it was sudden, during the conference that was held by SCE earlier today, they showed a trailer for the Persona series’ latest main numbered title, Persona 5. The setting is reversed from the previous title, as the title will depict the lives of youths living in a setting of a big city.
I apologize for only being able to show so little, but it would make me happy to know that you all have been able to get a glimpse of the game’s atmosphere.

Persona 5 was announced last year, and in addition to the release for PlayStation 3, we’re currently developing a PlayStation 4 version to release simultaneously in 2015. Furthermore, it’s very regretful that we’ll keep you guys waiting (I’m sorry ; ;), but I believe we’ll have a great game that will remain in your hearts."
(Translation and quote from Siliconera's original article)

Persona 5's release is currently set for 2015. The game is also available on Play-Asia for keen-bean fans to pre-order. The site features this product description:
"Set in a high school kind of setting, players will be entering a world where social problems and hardships of today are being discussed and features characters that are being held back by the rules set by society. Being a “slave” in sense, trials should be overcome by players that "are bored and discontent with their lives" and set out in a quest for freedom from the certain appalling state they are currently in. Though offering fresh kind of concept, Persona 5 has made sure to offer a familiar sense of atmosphere for long-time fans of the series and an interesting twist for new players that will altogether spell out one of a kind gaming experience."

Pre-Order Persona 5: Play-Asia 

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What will you be naming your P5 protagonist? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle to start a discussion!

Friday, 29 August 2014

This Month's PSN EU/AU PSN Releases, JRPG Style! (29/8/14)

Photo from Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment
Hello hello!

For a start, I'm sorry posts have been sparse! I've been working on two reviews with any blogging time I've had, so I haven't been able to keep up with JRPG news this week, which by the way, I hate! What if I missed a sweet game announcement? O.O

Anyway, since I didn't post the PSN update last week, I thought I'd show off what PSN's offerings for the entire months were instead. So if a few of these games look familiar, that's why. But there have been some awesome releases as of late, with games such as Tales of Xillia 2, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment and Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth1 (in case you don't follow @JRPGJungle on Twitter, I'm on a Neptunia kick right now.) being released in these last few weeks. Looks like the game drought is starting to clear, thank goodness!

Enough talk. Here are this month's PSN EU and AU offerings:

New Releases
  • End of Serenity (PSP)
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth1 (PS Vita)
  • One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3)
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (PS Vita)
  • Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3)


Free Demo

  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited (PS Vita)

DLC
  • Dynasty Warriors Xtreme Legends Complete Edition (PS3 + PS4 + PS Vita) - Various Free and Paid DLC
  • Everybody's Golf (PS3 + PS Vita) - Various DLC
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth1 (PS Vita) - Various DLC
  • Mugen Souls Z (PS3) - Various Free and Paid DLC
  • One Piece Unlimited World Red (PS3 + PS Vita) - Various Free and Paid DLC
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (PS Vita) - Costume Pack
  • Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3) - Various Free and Paid DLC
Deals

  • Persona 4 Golden (PS Vita)
    (Side note: this is my favourite game, so naturally I highly recommend it!)
  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle - Joestar Offer
  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle - Prestige Edition - Add-On
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors - Grand Line Edition
  • Mugen Souls Z
  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention
  • Blazblue: Continuum Shift Extend
  • Toukiden: The Age of Demons
  • Demon Gaze
  • Atelier Rorona Plus + 3 DLCs
  • Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland
  • Atelier Totori Plus: The Adventurer of Arland
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection
Avatars

  • Tales of Xillia 2
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My release of the week: Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth1
Comment or Tweet @JRPGJungle with yours!

Did I miss something important? Or maybe you found a game on PSN that you think fellow JRPG fans would enjoy? Comment below, send a tweet to @JRPGJungle or email jrpgjungle@gmail.com to let me know!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A Week Worth Of Fantasy Life News: Two New Trailers Detailing Multiplayer and Classes Plus Release Dates

Last week, there were two new trailers released for Level-5's upcoming 3DS JRPG Fantasy Life. The first trailer details what the game is about and details the lives/classes featured in the game. It can be viewed below.


The second trailer touches on the original trailer's content while revealing the multiplayer functionality to the game. The trailer can be watched below.


Notably, the original Fantasy Life game in Japan didn't originally feature multiplayer functions, instead released a second version of the game with the multiplayer functionality called Fantasy Life Link!, which seems to be the version that is being localised for Western audiences.

For those interested in the game, release dates have also been announced. For Europe, fans can expect the game on September 26th. North American fans can look forward to Fantasy Life on October 24th. The game will be released for Nintendo 3DS consoles.

Pre-order Fantasy Life (Europe): Play-Asia
Pre-Order Fantasy Life (US): Amazon, Play-Asia

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What's your favourite thing about Fantasy Life so far? (So far, I can't get enough of the music score!)
Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

Have a story about a Japanese game or something else you think we should cover? Email jrpgjungle@gmail.com to let us know!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Guilty Gear X2 - Reload Coming To Steam

Last week, digital publishers Kiss Ltd. announced via Twitter that they are bringing Arc System Works' Guilty Gear X2 - Reload game to Steam. The game will be released September 5th. The original tweet can be viewed below:


Guilty Gear X2 - Reload was originally released in Japan 2003 and in Europe 2004. The game expanded on the original Guilty Gear XX game by adding balancing changes to all characters, two secret characters and a fully voiced story mode for console players. No other details have been released related to the Steam release, so keep an eye out for the game in September.

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Which Guilty Gear game would you bring to Steam? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

Have a story about a Japanese game or something else you think we should cover? Email jrpgjungle@gmail.com to let us know!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Deals Ahoy! (Australian Edition): Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection Is $29 At JB Hi-Fi!!


To my surprise a few days ago, I found Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producting Perfection for $29 at JB Hi-Fi. Last I checked it was something like $50 (this was around release day), so this is a really good deal!

I don't know how long the deal is for, so I suggest picking it up as soon as you can. I've been playing it for the last few days and it's quite fun, particularly if you're looking for something light and humourous after a long day at work like I was!

You can find the deal on JB Hi-Fi's website or at one of JB Hi-Fi's stores.
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Will you be picking this up? Or did you find some good deals you'd like to share? Comment below! Or you can tweet them @JRPGJungle or email them to jrpgjungle@gmail.com

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Chibi Blazblue Game "Clone Phantasma" Will Be Out August 21st In The US



With a different feel compared to the original Blazblue series, Arc System Works will be releasing the chibi brawler Blazblue: Clone Phantasma on August 21st (so in a few days) on the Nintendo eShop. Blazblue: Clone Phantasma will feature a Story Mode and a Challenge Mode that has you battling as many enemies as you can to unlock characters. Speaking of characters, Clone Phantasma will feature 10 characters from the original Blazblue series in chibi form.

Blazblue: Clone Phantasma will cost $5.99 for US Players. The official website can be viewed here.

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Which Blazblue character will look best in chibi form (I would vote Tager, but he doesn't seem to be in the game :( )? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

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Monday, 18 August 2014

Be Afraid - Corpse Party: Book Of Shadows Released In English On iOS Worldwide


Ever wanted to play the high school horror game, Corpse Party? Now you can! Xseed Games has localised 5pb's Corpse Party and it is available now on iOS worldwide. The localised game has been previously available on PSN, but this is it's first appearance on iOS.

Corpse Party revolves around a group of Kisaragi Academy students who find themselves trapped in the Heavenly Host Elementary School, an alternative dimension that was sealed by a mystical charm. In order to escape, the students must unravel the the mystery of the Elementary School or be doomed to join the corpses trapped inside the dimension before them.

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Will you play Corpse Party? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

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Two New Etrian Odyssey Untold II Music Tracks Revealed By Atlus


Originally revealed by Etrian Odyssey Untold II: The Knight of Fafnir's producer and director Shigeo Komori to Famitsu, Atlus Japan's official Youtube has revealed two new tracks for the upcoming game.

The first track is a quaint labyrinth track titled "The Sea Trees of the Ancient Remains".


And the second track is a more pumped-up battle track called "First Campaign Battlefield".


Soundtrack titles translated originally on Siliconera's original post.
Etrian Odssey Untold II: The Knight of Fafnir is due for release on Nintendo 3DS in Japan Winter this year.

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Which of these tracks was your favourite? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

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Recommended Reading - Kotaku's Take On Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines


Being unable to read Japanese as of yet sometimes leaves me with a problem: I would love to tell you guys about a certain game, but there's not enough English information for me to go off and the small amount of Japanese I do know probably isn't reliable enough to post about. Instead of giving sub par information about Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines (a recent PS Vita game released in Japan that will be released in the US eventually), I'd like to send you to read this great Kotaku article by Richard Eisenbeis.

The article covers mainly the game's breeding mechanics and why it makes the gameplay expereince special and unique for each and every player of the game. After reading it, I really want to try it....Which kind worries me. I just bought Conception II. Is there such thing as too many 'in-game' children?

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Friday, 15 August 2014

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Rated By The Australian Classification Board - Could This Mean It's Coming To PAL Regions?


Persona 4 Arena Ultimax has been rated by the Australian Classification Board, suggesting that the game could come to Australia and possibly other PAL regions, including Europe. While no confirmation has been made by Atlus or Arc System Works, it would be rather strange to have a game classified if there were no intentions to release it. The rating can be viewed at the Australian Classification website (or here).

This wouldn't be the first time the Australian Classification Board has revealed an unannounced game. Atelier Rorona Plus was rated by the Board around a week before it was officially announced.

Even if this game doesn't get announced for PAL regions, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax can still be imported and pre-ordered by fans from these regions as the game has been announced as region free.

Pre-order for PS3 or Xbox 360 (in English): Amazon, Play-Asia
Pre-order for PS3 (in Japanese): Play-Asia

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Are you also crossing your fingers for an European/Australian release? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

This Week's PSN EU/AU New Releases, JRPG Style! (15/8/14)



No Japanese new releases, but you can pre-order Tales of Xillia 2. That's legit exciting and I'm regretting having not finished the first one.

Other than that, it's a quiet week but that's kind of the norm right now for games. Here is what the EU/AU PSN has to offer this week!

DLC
  • Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition - Various DLC
  • Mugen Souls Z - Various DLC
  • One Piece Unlimited Red World - Various DLC
Discounts



  • Child of Light (PS4 and PS3)
  • Soul Sacrifice Delta (PS Vita)
  • Dynasty Warriors GUNDAM Reborn - Complete Bundle (PS3)
  • Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition (PS4, PS Vita, PS3)
  • Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arise (PS3)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (PS Vita)


    • Pre-Orders

      • Tales of Xillia 2
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      Did I miss something important? Or maybe you found a game on PSN that you think fellow JRPG fans would enjoy? Comment below, send a tweet to @JRPGJungle or email jrpgjungle@gmail.com to let me know!

      Sunday, 10 August 2014

      Margaret Has Been Confirmed As A Playable Character In Persona 4 Arena Ultimax + Official Release Date and New Japanese Trailers

      After rumours surrounding a recent Persona 4 Arena Ultimax poster, Margaret has been confirmed as another playable character for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. Players of Persona 4 will remember Margret as the game's Velvet Room resident, who will join her sister, Persona 3's Velvet Room resident Elizabeth in the Persona 4 Arena Ultimax character line-up. Margaret will be available in the game via DLC, though it has not yet been revealed whether she will be free in the first week like the Adachi and Marie DLC.

      In the game, Margaret will use the Personas Yoshitsune, Cu Chulainn and Ardha in regular combat and her burst arrack will feature the Persona Lucifer. Here are some photos of Margret in action (courtesy of Famitsu):





      Also in recent Persona 4 Arena Ultimax news, the release date for North America has been announced as September 30th. No European date has been announced, meaning that European fans may have to import the game this time around.

      (Side note: I will be importing the game from Amazon and trying to get the DLC to work on an Australian Playstation. According to Google, this is possible so if I'm successful, I'll post an article here on how you guys can do it too!)

      Finally, here are the latest character trailers from Japan featuring Akihiko, Aegis and Mitsuru.





      Pre-order it! (English version released 30th September for PS3 and Xbox 360): Play-Asia, Amazon

      Pre-order it from Japan! (Japanese version released 28th August for PS3): Play-Asia

      Check out JRPG Jungle's other Persona 4 Arena Ultimax coverage here!

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      Will you be downloading all the DLC characters for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

      Have a story about a Japanese game or something else you think we should cover? Email jrpgjungle@gmail.com with details for consideration!

      Friday, 8 August 2014

      Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- For PS4 Will Be Released In Japan December This Year


      Famitsu Magazine has leaked that Arc System Works is due to release Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- for PS4 and PS3 on December 4th 2014 in Japan. This will be the first Guilty Gear game to launch on PS4 and also Arc System Works' first game for the PS4.

      Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- is also due for release in North America in 2014. One could speculate that Japan's release date could possibly give us an idea on when we can expect to see the game in the West, but no official date has been indicated by the game's publisher Aksys Games as of yet.

      Pre-order Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- in English: Play-Asia, Amazon

      Pre-order Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- in Japanese: Play-Asia

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      What are you looking forward to most in Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

      Have a story about a Japanese game or something else you think we should cover? Email jrpgjungle@gmail.com to let us know!

      Deals Ahoy!: This Week's Humble Bundle Is Full Of Japanese Games!


      Want to get a bunch of new games and do something nice for charity? Humble Bundle allows you to do just that once a week, offering a bundle of games on a pay-what-you-want basis and giving more games the more you pay. This week's bundle has a fitting theme for this site: Japanese games!

      There's something here for everyone: you have JRPGs, casual fun games and robots. You can pay-what-you-want for the first three games, but it's only $10 if you want everything that's on offer. A list of the games included is below, plus a link to the bundle.


      • Unholy Heights
      • One Way Heroics
      • Gigantic Army
      • Ys Origin
      • Misurugi Kamui Hikae
      • PixelJunk Shooter
      • Astebreed


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      Did you find some good deals you'd like to share? Comment below! Or you can tweet them @JRPGJungle or email them to jrpgjungle@gmail.com

      Thursday, 7 August 2014

      This Week's PSN EU/AU New Releases, JRPG Style! (7/8/14)




      Ever wanted the weekly PSN update tailored to your Japanese gaming needs? Our weekly PSN update has you covered! Not much to report this week, but One Piece and Mugen Souls have at least been consistent with adding DLC for the last few weeks. Also worth noting, for those looking for a new game to play, the Winter Sale is still going. Happy shopping!

      DLC

      • Everybody's Golf - Various DLC
      • Mugen Souls Z - Various DLC
      • One Piece Unlimited World Red - Various DLC

      Discounts

      These discounts will finish next week (14th of August), so if you want these games, get them before they're full price.
      • Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars
      • Mind Zero
      • One Piece: Pirate Warriors
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      Did I miss something important? Or maybe you found a game on PSN that you think fellow JRPG fans would enjoy? Comment below, send a tweet to @JRPGJungle or email jrpgjungle@gmail.com to let me know!

      Omega Quintet Box Art Revealed

      Amazon Japan has updated their listing for Compile Heart's upcoming Idol JRPG for PS4 Omega Quintet with previously unseen box art for the game. This box art includes both the standard and limited editions of the game, with each featuring different artwork.

      Below is the Standard edition, which features Otaha and Kyouka from the Omega Quintet Idol group. The boy on the cover is the game's protaganist, Takuto:



      And this is the limited edition cover, featuring a very sweet photo of all of the Idols:



      For those wondering, the limited edition copy of Omega Quintet includes the PS4 game, a Special Booklet, Special DVD and a Drama CD, along with the limited edition packaging.

      Pre-order (Import from Japan): Play-Asia

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      Who is your favourite Omega Quintet idol? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know! (I like Nana and Kyouka best so far.)

      Have a story about a Japanese game or something else you think we should cover? Email jrpgjungle@gmail.com to let us know!

      Monday, 4 August 2014

      Looking Good! - Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Trailer


      In my other Digimon post, I asked if anyone had played Digimon Rumble Arena. Well, I now feel the need to mention the PSOne game Digimon World before talking about another new and exciting Digimon game. Digimon World was a pretty brilliant JRPG for it's time that allowed you to raise your own Digimon while rebuilding the Digimon community and really brought the Tamagochi experience to life. This is one of the many reasons I'm excited for Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. You can check out the trailer for Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth below.


      Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth excites me most because it's being aimed at adult Digimon fans, making it perfect for those who are now adults that grew up with the series. It has been described as a Cyberpunk RPG, including training, adventure and battle with multiple Digimon. The game also includes the ability to travel between the Digital World and the Real World, which is another common theme taken from the anime.

      The game is set for release in Japan next year on PS Vita. There is currently a petition to have the game localised for the West, so if you're keen for the game I highly recommend signing it (I did!).

      Pre-order (Import from Japan): Play-Asia
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      What were your favourite Digimon games? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

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      Digimon All-Star Rumble Coming To The West Soon!


      Did you play Digimon Rumble Arena as a kid? If you did, then you understand the intense race to Digivolution first in a battle with friends. If you didn't play Rumble Arena on PSOne, then you can experience what a Digimon battle game has to offer in Digimon All-Star Rumble.


      Digimon All-Star Rumble promises to remain true to it's title by featuring an all-star cast of Digimon from different series of the original anime. It also features the all important Digivolution, which allows players to Digivolve their Digimon into a stronger form during battle, giving the Digivolved player a serious edge against competitors.

      The game offers battle with up to four players, so if you're a Digimon fan or you're looking to revisit your childhood, this looks like a fun game to play with your friends!

      Digimon All-Star Rumble will be available on PS3 and Xbox 360 Fall 2014 (aka. soon!).
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      Which Digimon are you looking forward to fighting with? Comment below or send a tweet to @JRPGJungle and let us know!

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      Sunday, 3 August 2014

      This Week's PSN EU/AU New Releases, JRPG Style! (3/8/14)

      From Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds

      Are those two localised games I see released on the PSN this week? Why yes! This week you can either enjoy two new games or look at the Winter sale. Here's what's new!

      (Side note: I haven't posted on here in like 4 days. Boy does that feel strange. Good to be back!)

      • Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3 and PS Vita): I'm throughly confused here as I posted about this release weeks ago! But the date says it was released 30/7/14 and it's in the new releases. I can't be crazy - other sites also reported it's release on PSN earlier. But here's a quick description anyway:
        Atelier Rorona Plus is the first game in Atelier's Arland series. Rorona is working with a master alchemist to pay off her parent's debt when she is challenged with the possibility of the alchemy shop closing if she does not prove herself. The game revolves around three years where Rorona attempts to complete the tasks to prove her worth.
      • Phantom Breaker Battlegrounds (PS Vita): Phantom Breaker Battlegrounds is a side-scroller/beat em' up game by 5pb. The game features 18 characters and two unique fighting styles to explore.
      DLC
      • Atelier Rorona Plus - Various DLC
      • Destiny of Spirits - Destiny Orbs 1000
      • Mugen Souls Z - Various Paid and Free DLC
      • One Piece Unlimited World Red - Various DLC
      Discounts

      Oh me, oh my, it's Winter Sale time! Not a lot of Japanese games to talk about, although half price on these games is never a bad thing!:
      • Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars
      • Mind Zero
      • One Piece: Pirate Warriors

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      Did I miss something important? Or maybe you found a game on PSN that you think fellow JRPG fans would enjoy? Comment below, send a tweet to @JRPGJungle or email jrpgjungle@gmail.com to let me know!

      Thursday, 31 July 2014

      Persona 4 the Golden Animation Episode 3 "I Have Amnesia, Is It So Bad?" Review

      Best. Screenshot. Ever.
      Now that the "New Game Plus" context has been confirmed, this episode's preview including beach scenes made me worry that Episode 3 was going to be a 'filler' episode full of fan service and not much plot. These expectations quickly vanished during the full episode, where we see the beginning of Marie's desire to grow as a person despite her memory loss. Partnered with the ever wonderful cast of Persona 4 and "I Have Amnesia, Is It So Bad?" ends feeling like the most significant episode we've seen so far, full of many great moments that are both touching and humourous that Persona 4 fans won't want to miss.


      After Marie's poetry scene (which I'm assuming there will be a new one each episode) and the opening, the Persona 4 gang suggests going to the beach and bringing Marie along for the trip. Like when Marie appeared inside the TV in the first episode of the animation, Marie has been inserted into the beach scenario from Persona 4 Golden the game for the purpose of developing her character and showing Persona 4 Golden's special events simultaneously. Some fans may not enjoy the inconsistency between these scenes in the game and in the anime, but considering this is an anime and requires a lot more screen time than your average social link in Persona 4 Golden, it's understandable Marie has to be put into scenarios she wasn't in before as she requires more character development than the rest of the characters. I also can't help but think the beach scenario was probably considered as a prime opportunity to get some Marie fan service in, but hey, I don't see anyone complaining.


      The beach offers opportunities more than just fan service by including some comical scenes and some actual plot development. My personal favourite scene from the beach scenario this time was the hilarious scenario involving Kanji and "the birth of Venus". I love that during these scenarios the Persona 4 group always stick together to try and help each other out, even if there's no getting out of the problem. Marie's presence adds the opportunity for some character development, with the other character's natural curiosity to her becoming daunting due to her memory loss. This causes Marie to question her normality and while Marie's reactions in this scenario probably weren't the most mature, they needed to be done to kick off her personal growth.

      But the highlight of this episode is really Marie posing the question to each of the main characters of Persona 4 what it's like to have faced themselves. Facing yourself is at the heart of Persona 4 and the scenes involving Marie asking the cast questions on this provide some humourous moments that are very typical to each character. More importantly, we see some heartfelt lines that really portray the different kinds of strength in each character perfectly. This scene is a great reminder for fans about why the Persona 4 series is special and will also be good for fans of the anime as it shows how the last series' events have helped them grow into the happy and strong characters we see this time around. Partnered with fire crackers, smiles and laughter, it truly is this season's most heartwarming moments so far and is probably my favourite scene from both of the Persona 4 Animation series.


      Notably, I found the animation in this episode to be much more consistent in quality than the last few episodes, which was much appreciated. I was very happy to be focused more on the actual story this time around than distracted by the shows production!

      With Marie's growth evident in the last few moments of the show, the promise of finding her memories feels as though it is the true start to the series. After a touching episode. Persona 4 the Golden Animation ends with Episode 3 feeling like it's finished it's preparations and is ready to hit us with Golden's true plot properly in the next few episodes. I'm excited for the next one!

      Score: 8.5/10
      This series has managed to improve episode by episode so far, with this one providing a wonderful balance of humourous and heartwarming scenes.

      Episode 3 of Persona 4 The Golden Animation is available now to members of Crunchyroll's Anime Streaming Service. If you're not a member, you can either wait less than 12 hours to watch the "The Perfect Plan" or purchase an ad-free monthly membership.

      Persona 4 The Golden Animation is also available to stream via AniplexHulu and Daisuki.

      Read more about Persona 4 on JRPG Jungle!

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      Want to share your opinion? Comment below! Or you can tweet @JRPGJungle or email jrpgjungle@gmail.com with your thoughts or constructive criticism.