Tag Archives: Reviews

Game Review: Hakuoki (Mobile)

20 Dec , 2014,
Arvin
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Something that caught our eyes at Anime Festival Asia (AFA) Singapore 2014 was the English port of hit Otome game Hakuoki for mobile by digital company Gloczus.

The Gloczus, Inc. booth at AFA 2014.

The Gloczus, Inc. booth at AFA 2014.

Here’s our initial impressions:

Content:

Thankfully they left the Japanese voices in the game with English subs, and this would no doubt please many fans. Whilst trying out the demo at AFA, it was impressive that they managed to keep the translation highly accurate whilst maintaining the slight subtleties in Keigo (Formal Japanese Speech).

Some words such as Ronin were left as it is and it shows the quality of the translation.

One thing we've always looked out for is grammar and syntax, and we're glad they delivered on both counts.

One thing we’ve always looked out for is grammar and syntax in a port, and we’re glad they delivered on both counts.

Performance:

Finally fans of the popular Hakuouki have an opportunity to enjoy the game in a convenient format.

The mobile format did not have any loss in performance despite being a port from the original game and we could feel the the effort from the guys in Gloczus that they managed to make the format accessible for all mobile devices without any of the lag found in other mobile games.

We could not feel any corners that were cut whilst playing the game. The large total file size of 1-2GB might keep away some fans but it is not overly ridiculously in this time and age.

It looks really good even on the small screen.

It looks really good even on the small screen.

Payment:

The game uses a microtransaction model which costs about ¥400 per chapter, or ¥2800 for all 10 chapters + 1 additional chapter.

It starts off with a free prologue for you to try out the game, which is a nice demo if you’re wondering about the translation and game quality. It’s pretty affordable considering the quality of the release and this model has been found in other mobile ports of games. However these prices are not finalized and it could be even cheaper because of market segmentation.

Release:

The release date is scheduled for December, and the game will be available in many regions including South East Asia and Europe. However due to complications with licensing, it would be unavailable to fans from the United States. The company is also planning to release the game in Traditional Chinese in Hongkong and Taiwan, with additional plans in China.

Future plans:

Depending on the performance of Hakuoki, they would like to translate the sequels of Hakuoki and other Otome games. It seems like they also would like to bring some other Visual Novels such as a PC version of Neptunia for the male audiences to enjoy.

(Images by Levin Tan)

A Look at Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (The Irregular at Magic High School)

11 Jun , 2014,
Panther
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Mahouka - Shiba Siblings 01

The Shiba siblings, Tatsuya and Miyuki.

A recent anime that has been turning heads since it started has a small mouthful of a title – Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, or in English, the Irregular at Magic High School. Commonly referred to simply as “Mahouka“, the anime has been drawing both good and bad reviews since it began in the spring season of this year. Exactly what about it might cause someone to dislike it so, and others to like it so? Before we begin to talk about that however, let’s have a little background information. All images used in this post are from Episode 7.

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Game Review: Million Arthur

4 Apr , 2014,
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Million Arthur, an immensely popular mobile card collecting game in Japan, has finally hit the app stores of out mobile phones here in South-East Asia. Whether you’re a fan of anime, card games or just like a well fleshed out story in general, there’s something in Million Arthur for you.

Fantastic art is what makes Million Arthur special among the slew of mobile games in the market. Names like VOFAN, BUNBUN, Nitroplus are among those who contributed card illustrations to the game, and they did an amazing job. No one would fault you if you sat in the gallery just admiring your cards in their full glory. It wouldn’t be a surprise if your goal in this game is to collect them all.

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And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Adding to that is a fully animated opening, complete with music, dark foreshadowing and battle scenes, like your traditional anime opening. This is an unexpected treat, a nice deviation from the norm of jumping straight into the addictive gameplay.

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Merlin, what are you doing in the evil mastermind’s light?

The story is quite straightforward. You are Arthur, the knight chosen by Excalibur, rightful ruler of Britain. However, you’re not the only one. There are many other Excaliburs, and many other Arthurs; about a million. Your job is to defend Britain from outside invaders, while fighting other Arthurs to be the strongest Arthur of them all!

But you can’t do it alone. This is where the cards come in. Cards represent knights, loyal to King Arthur (that’s you), each with its own lore and special abilities. You form a deck using these cards, and they become your personal army. Cards have synergy bonuses with each other; having cards from the same faction in your deck will grant helpful bonuses, like increased health or attack.

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C-C-Combo Maker!

Once a deck has been formed (manually or by using the Recommended Deck option), you are ready to take it into battle. The battle system is completely automated. All you have to do is to sit back and watch the battle unfold. When your super meter is full, your chosen Arthur performs a special attack unique to his class, also beautifully animated.

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Warrior Arthur is fully pumped and ready to go!

There is an option for you to combine certain cards together to create all new cards. It’s similar to the function in Shin Megami Tensei IV, where you can combine units you don’t need to create powerful units. It’s an interesting mechanic, so your collection doesn’t flood with cards you don’t want. You can also sacrifice cards to power up your existing cards.

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Girl with Lion + Allen Walker look-alike = ROBOT ALIEN DESTROYER.

The other part of Million Arthur is ‘exploration’. When exploring, you gain gold and experience points, along with the chance of receiving a Knight Card. However, you may also happen across enemy Faeries along your journey, which you can choose to fight or just ignore it for the time being. Defeating these Faeries will net you cards, gold and experience.

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Arthur’s most dreaded enemy: the schoolgirl!

Both of these actions require points; battles need Battle Cost (BC) and exploration costs Action Points (AP). When you level up by gaining enough experience points, you are given 3 points to allocate as you see fit to either BP or AP, raising your maximum point total. The other way of increasing your maximum points is by adding friends. Each friend you add also gives you 3 points, similar to a level up.

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Friendship is magic, magic is power, power means more points!

You will inevitably come across an opponent you cannot defeat alone. Your friends can join in the battle, each contributing his or her amount of damage. When the foe is defeated, each participant is rewarded for joining in.

But there are more enemies than these random encounters. In the story mode, you get to fight predetermined bosses, all while experiencing the fully voiced dialogue between characters, in Japanese of course. The characters are well developed, with very interesting personalities.

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Someone’s in a Lot of trouble.

However, no matter the outcome of your story battle, the end result would never change. Most of your battles leave Arthur winded and tired, even if you one-shot the enemy, or even if Arthur wasn’t even in the battle. It would have been nice if how you ended the battle affected the following conversation.

There are still features that are to come to the South-East Asia version of the game, like guilds and potentially guild battles, and that may increase the longevity of the game, but even in its current state, it’s still worth your time.

Review: Abbott RevitaLens Ocutec

15 Sep , 2012,
Crimson
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Wearing contacts lenses is part and parcel of being a cosplayer. Unless you’re portraying Joe Average, chances are the characters you pick have eye colors that are anything but the same shade as your own. I know, because I’m a compulsive game & fantasy cosplayer, and characters I gravitate to have increasingly outrageous eye colors like lime green and royal purple.

Of course, keeping those contact lenses clean, comfortable and safe for wear’s a given (and the safe approach’s sticking to one brand of fluids since I’ve got super sensitive eyes), but I’ve never been entirely satisfied with the brands I’ve been using.

So when I was given the chance to review Abbott’s RevitaLens Ocutec solution, I said ‘Hey, why the hell not?’.

The review pack for Abbott RevitaLens Ocutec solution. It comes bundled with a contact lens case, and as a cosplayer, you can never have enough contact lens cases. XD

As it turns out, taking the gamble was a pretty good idea. My eyes didn’t feel dry or irritable, and the lenses felt a whole lot more comfortable going on, and staying on, even after a full 12-hour day at a con.

Yep. I’m using ’em with my iFairys now.

Guess I’ll definitely be using this brand a whole lot more often. ^_^;;

Necomimi: Unboxing hours of nyan~!

11 Jul , 2012,
Crimson
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When Japanese company neurowear first announced the necomimi in their promo vid last year, we were a little skeptical. Like you know, cute model and concept aside, cosplay kitty ears that wiggled and perked up according to your mood was just too good to be true, right? XD

Well, we decided to put in a mail order for one of these babies the minute they were launched (they go for about $120 on eBay), and here’s our review:

Big things come in small packages, or so they say.
What’s more, it’s good, clean fun for Ages 14+!

First thing you see when you open the package is this nifty little instruction sheet.

And here’s what’s inside – your ears, the headband, and a healthy number of other gizmos to get you nyanning.

And there’s only minimal assembly required! XD

Necomimi come ready to play right out the box, though some minor assembly’s required. It’s fairly intuitive process however, and all you really need to do is to pop in four AAA sized batteries, slip on the cat ear shaped sleeves, and strap it to your head to get started.

How it works is that it reads your brainwaves (you’ll need to make sure the ear clip’s fitted to your left earlobe and the main sensor’s placed above your brow for it to function properly), and the ears either move up, or down, depending on your mood.

If you’re relaxed, the ears will droop down, and if you’re thinking about something, the ears will perk up. If you’re in a state of high interest or concentrating intensely, the ears will also start wiggling to boot.

It takes awhile to get the necomimi calibrated (it took only a couple minutes on Crimson, but we didn’t get a reading from Angelus or our pack Elk till some 10-15 minutes later). After that’s done, though, it’s time to nyan~!

We played 20 questions while wearing these cat ears, and true enough, they seemed to work like a charm.

The ears were in a state of high interest each time we mentioned food (key words being ramen and yakitori) while Elk was wearing ’em, and it went the same for comic books (especially Gambit) on Angelus and games (MMORPGS) on Crimson.

We’ll definitely be wearing these ears to conventions a lot more often, especially with customization options and different ear designs from neurowear in the works. We can also imagine this being a real hit with cosplayers, especially those portraying cutesy cat girls or characters from titles like Loveless and Lamento.

Necomimi add a healthy dose of realism to your cosplay for sure, but it’d help if there was a way to mute the sounds made by the motors or a more effective way to streamline the size and shape of the mechanisms.

As it stands, it’s hard to hide the main sensor unless you’ve got really long hair, or are wearing a wig with a long enough fringe (which means these ears won’t work for just any old character), and the battery pack stands out a little too much for our liking.

Of course, that’s not to say you can’t modify the designs on your own (we’re working on steampunking ours up) to suit your look.

All told, it’s a great novelty item and potentially awesome cosplay accessory. If you’re into kitty ear bands, and don’t mind the cost or shipping, you just might wanna check it out.