Tag Archives: Anime

Utawarerumono: Mask Of Truth Review

So, right off the bat let’s come to some sort of agreement as to how I am going to refer to Utawarerumono: Mask Of Truth as we go forward in this review. I can’t even say it let alone type it numerous times to make reference to it, so from here on in Utawarerumono: Mask Of Truth will be referred to as UMT. It is also only right I admit I never played Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception, so I was already on a bit of a back foot. Fans of UMT’s predecessor will know everything there is to know about the game and are no doubt excited by UMT’s release. As an outsider, I struggled slightly with what the game was all about, so I watched some videos and read a few reviews and thought I’d jump in with both feet and give it a bash.

There is a recap of the previous story right at the start of UMT and I found it quite helpful. If you don’t know anything about UMT, or any other game in the series, then basically I don’t want to spoil it for you in case you choose to play it. UMT and the others are very heavily story driven and are presented to you by means of scrolling text which seems to go on forever, or at least until you press the X button to skip. The anime art style is easily recognisable and was an aspect about the game I was a big fan of.

I felt bad for a little while because I have the attention span of a small fish, so reading through countless pages of scrolling text got old very quickly. I’m not taking anything away from the game, and the strong focus on storytelling is maybe something people are interested in, however, the constant skipping of text to voice acting in a different language quickly made my eyes droop and I lost interest. Every time a new character appeared on the screen it sort of refreshed my attention and I was able to pick up where I nodded off. Overall, I thought the voice acting was pretty good, even if I didn’t understand it. It was clear to tell from the acting though what mood the game was in and the well-written text really did paint a solid picture.

UMT is not for everyone and I don’t think you can get more niche if you tried, that being said the story is massive and spread over three games. It’s not all story and text though, there is a very straight forward turn based battle system that is a very welcomed treat after reading page after page of text. The battle system can be tweaked to your own specs too, in the form of switching off animations, etc. which can be handy once you’ve played enough battles and seen all the animations numerous times. This way you can shorten the amount of time battles take to complete.

I’m finding it really hard not to tell you about the story but I really do think if I was to start I wouldn’t stop and would probably pop a spoiler in by mistake. If I can recommend one thing to those who want to play UMT then that’s to start from the first one, jumping in half way through puts you at a massive disadvantage. I was lucky in the sense that there is a load of walkthroughs, etc. on youtube that will help you no end. Whilst Mask of Deception didn’t get much of a western release you won’t have to go far to find a copy.

This visual novel is a bit of an acquired taste, if you have played a game like it before then you know what to expect. I have never played a game like it and to be honest, intially I thought it a welcome change to the fast paced, high octane games we are used to, but maybe not to this depth. The characters are relatable and ,as I mentioned, the art style is superb, although at times it did feel a little wrong, like it was stepping into the realms of hentai! it never did though, thankfully.

I’m not going to be too harsh on UMT and I’m actually going to say give it a go for yourself to make your own judgement. It’s not an easy game to get into but if I’d have started from the beginning then maybe I would have given it more of a chance, but the relentless X button pressing for the first hour of gameplay just spoiled it for me and I had a really difficult time jumping back on the wagon to finish to the game. To be brutal, if I wanted to read a book with pictures I’d buy a comic, not a PS4 game. It is without doubt that the developers put a considerable amount of time into this game and I salute them for doing just that, I do feel however, that it’s for a certain market and it seems that market is quite small.

Thanks to Atlus and Playstation for supporting TiX

Trailer for new action RPG Code Vein

Bandai Namco have released the first trailer for their upcoming action-RPG title Code Vein, releasing worldwide in 2018.

The new trailer highlights the mysterious and captivating universe along with a quick look at the challenging weapon-based combat found in Code Vein. The trailer also teases the companion gameplay mechanic. As players venture out into the world, they will be able to choose a partner companion from the various residents of Vein. Added strategy presents itself when players choose companions that compliments their play style to give them a fighting chance against the vicious enemies they’ll be up against through their journey.

In the not too distant future, a mysterious disaster has brought collapse to the world as we know it. Towering skyscrapers, once symbols of prosperity, are now lifeless graves of humanity’s past pierced by the Thorns of Judgment. At the centre of the destruction lies a hidden society of Revenants called Vein. This final stronghold is where the remaining few fight to survive, blessed with gifts of power in exchange for their memories and a thirst for blood. Give into the bloodlust fully and risk becoming one of the Lost, fiendish ghouls devoid of any remaining humanity.

Code Vein will be released in 2018.

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One Piece: Burning Blood review

One Piece: Burning Blood taps into the absurdness of its source material to deliver an action packed, creative, and pleasantly in-depth 3D fighter. However, this is clearly a title for those already engaged with the anime, for everyone else it trends a bit too close to bizarre and its minor flaws will be felt more keenly.

With the anime, One Piece, telling the tale of a bunch of superhuman pirates with peculiar looks and even more peculiar abilities, it’s no wonder it proves an ideal setup for a 3D brawler. Here the large roster of unique characters have a place to shine, showing off their variety of over the top combat techniques and their complex interconnected narrative that links the characters together. It’s oddly compelling stuff, and Burning Blood does a great job of focusing its own story on a specific arc of the anime so not to completely overwhelm newcomers.

This concept of accessibility is further evident in how the mechanics are taught to you. The story mode is the only option available to you when you start the game, and as you follow the events of the Paramount War as the anime’s primary protagonist Luffy, new attack and defence techniques are gradually introduced. By the end of Luffy’s adventure you’ll be fully aware of the complexity of Burning Blood’s combat system, including guard breaks, support character buffs, switching between characters mid-battle, and the numerous yet intuitive attacks and special moves.

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It’s a combat system that’s complex enough to offer strategic scope but simple enough to be intuitive. Meanwhile, with fights taking place in sizable 3D arenas, controlling spacing and mastering the dodge become important skills.

In fact you’re encouraged to learn multiple disciplines as the adventure unfolds. Sometimes a fight is a simple brawl, whilst others task you with staying alive for a certain amount of time against a far superior foe. Some battles will require you to frequently break your opponent’s guard and slowly chip away their health, whilst others encourage aggressive speed. It’s a nicely varied set of objectives revolving around combat.

However, there are clearly some balancing issues. Some missions feel like their result is entirely down to luck, with your opponent’s utterly destroying your health bar in a single hit and taking hardly any damage themselves. Getting stuck on such battles is highly frustrating and can easily ruin your immersion and enjoyment. Fortunately the most infuriating of these battles are largely restricted to optional missions. The camera also has a tendency to frame larger characters horrendously, completely obscuring your view. Mind you, the cinematic angles it achieves during special moves is tremendously effective at immersing you and highlighting the excellent, and faithful to its source material, aesthetic.

One Piece Buring Blood 3

As you play through the Paramount War you’ll unlock additional modes and characters to use outside of the story. Additionally, once you’ve completed Luffy’s adventure, three new characters are unlocked for the Paramount War story, allowing you to witness the same events from a different perspective. Here’s where the variety begins to suffer, with many of the cut scenes reused and only the fighters changing. Fortunately the other modes offer something new, however, with the roster locked behind complete the story mode, you may find your choice of characters restricted unless you persist. In-game currency can, fortunately be used to purchase characters but at hefty prices.

Combat outside of the story mode is more structured. You choose three characters to bring into battle and can switch between them on the fly to utilise shred attacks and preserve your fighters health through lengthy battles against the AI, local opponents, or online. Beyond your standard verses modes and their leaderboards and stat tracking features, is the more creative Pirate Flag Battle. In this mode you pick a pirate faction, and every online duel you complete works towards capturing points on a map. It’s a neat social feature that helps encourage online play, although its longevity will very much depend on if the community stays with it.

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Indeed, One Piece: Burning Blood is a fun and well-designed 3D fighter that makes great use of its source material. However, it struggles to balance its positive aspects with its negative ones, providing a focused story that’s easy for new comers to digest, but compromising on variety; and offering an immersive cinematic camera, but occasionally obscuring your view when larger characters are in play. Meanwhile, keeping content and characters locked away hurts the verses mode. But if you’re a fan of One Piece then Burning Blood is a wonderfully faithful brawler of one of the most intense story arcs of the anime.

Thanks to Bandai Namco Entertainment and Xbox for supporting TiX

One Piece Burning Blood launch trailer

One Piece Burning Blood, based on the popular Anime & Manga, brings fast-paced, 3 vs 3 melee combat to Xbox One this Friday, June 3.

Engage in massive brawls by strategically choosing your team of characters and swapping them out during the heat of battle. Use Logia Moves for unique abilities and the powerful Haki blow to break through enemy defences, while Devil Fruits are the source of massive Special Attacks.

Featuring a multitude of different game modes, One Piece Burning Blood is also the first ‘One Piece’ game ever to be released on an Xbox console.

Check out the trailer below: