DRAMAtical Murder may very well be the most well-known BL (boys’ love) game in Japan – it’s even inspired an anime adaptation and stage play! The third game from developer Nitro+CHiRAL, DRAMAtical Murder was originally released in 2012 and received a fan disc as well as a PS Vita port that removed the graphic 18+ content. Now, the game is finally available to purchase in English thanks to JAST BLUE as part of their ongoing endeavor to localize Nitro+CHiRAL’s complete game catalog.
Since I’d never played the Japanese release beyond the first few hours of the PS Vita version, I couldn’t wait to see if DRAMAtical Murder lived up to all of the praise!
If there’s one thing I like nearly as much as playing Monster Hunter, it’s looking at the series’ amazing art! TheMonster Hunter Illustrations books are gorgeous artbooks for people like me who can’t get enough of exactly that. As of this October, Udon Entertainment has localized the third book in the series, Monster Hunter Illustrations 3.
The Wonderful 101 is among the company of Pikmin 3 as one of a handful of Wii U games that actually attempted to utilize the gamepad in different ways. That made them seem like they couldn’t be translated to single-screen systems, but the developers have managed! And that’s a great thing, because now with The Wonderful 101 Remastered, more players have the chance to pick up one of PlatinumGames’ most unique titles.
Developed by PlatinumGames and originally released in 2013, The Wonderful 101 is an action-adventure game where you control a slew of superheroes called Wonderful Ones (of which there are, unsurprisingly, 100) to fight aliens. With its cartoony art style and isometric view, it looks and feels a bit like Viewtiful Joe plus Pikmin, which makes sense considering both Viewtiful Joe and The Wonderful 101 were directed by Hideki Kamiya and produced by Atsushi Inaba.
In addition to standard attacks for the main Wonderful One you’re currently controlling and a group attack to direct your current minions, The Wonderful 101 Remastered‘s gameplay consists of drawing various symbols with the right analog stick, mouse, or on the Switch touch screen or Dualshock touchpad depending on the system you’re playing on (the remaster is available for PC, Switch, and PS4). This initiates different Unite Morphs, which are Power Rangers/tokusatsu-style weapons created by assembling all of the Wonderful Ones.
For the most part, these symbols can be drawn relatively easily with the analog stick or the touch screen – in my case, I played on the Switch, usually in handheld mode, but I found it too cumbersome to do the touch screen input in the heat of battle. In fact, The Wonderful 101Remastered has a pretty high learning curve, and I pretty quickly found things surprisingly tough on the normal difficulty despite being familiar with the “Platinum standard.”
It doesn’t help that when playing on the Switch on portable mode – one of my favorite ways to play games these days – everything is much too small, from the characters to the text as well the popup menu that has replaced the Wii U’s second screen. The Wonderful 101 is definitely built for the big screen, which makes sense since it originally came out on the Wii U. Plus, it has the perfect Saturday morning cartoon feel!
Adding to the Saturday morning cartoon feel is the game’s levels, which are divided into operations. You’re scored on each operation, encouraging replays, and between each operation, you can purchase upgrades and new abilities. There are some new additions to the menu such icons that indicate upgrades that are recommended to purchase, but the remaster wouldn’t suffer by having a better introduction to the surprisingly complex gameplay mechanics.
Unfortunately, after a handful of hours with The Wonderful 101 Remastered, I still didn’t really feel like I had my head around the gameplay, unlike PlatinumGames titles such as Bayonetta or Nier Automata where I quickly clicked with the combat. The characters and dialogue, however, are humorous and endearing, and each new antic brought a smile to my face.
If you have the patience to stick with it long enough to get the hang of the fast-paced gameplay, you’ll be rewarded with a lighthearted, arcade-style experience. It may take me a while to chip away at it, but as a fan of PlatinumGames’ unabashed style and dedication to creating unique experiences, I’m going to do my best to see The Wonderful 101 Remasteredthrough!
Here it is, my very first light novel review! You may have guessed as much from the trademark surprisingly long light novel title, Hello, I am a Witch and My Crush Wants Me to Make a Love Potion! (どうも、好きな人に惚れ薬を依頼された魔女です。). The English translation was released by Cross Infinite World earlier this year, and when I saw it was a heartwarming fantasy romance featuring a witch, I had a feeling it would be exactly the kind of cozy read I’ve been looking for this year.
The ability to play the Nintendo Switch in both handheld mode and docked means it’s my go-to console to bring when traveling, visiting friends, or when I’m called in for last-minute entertainment at a work function. But while it’s super portable, the folks at Human Things decided to see if they could make Switch could be even more portable by shrinking the dock down to less than 10% of its original size. The result? The Genki Covert Dock!
2020 has been a great year for boys’ love (BL) game localizations so far. First, we had Togainu no Chi ~Lost Blood~from JAST Blue, and now MangaGamer is following with Room No. 9. Room No. 9 is significant as developer parade’s latest BL title, following No, Thank You!!!, which, when MangaGamer released the English version five years ago, it was the first major BL game localization since Enzai: Falsely Accused back in 2006. Seeing as No, Thank You!!! was a very enjoyable title, I’ve been very interested to see what parade’s next game would be like.
It’s time to review yet another JAST Blue boys’ love (BL) visual novel localization! After being thoroughly engrossed by Sweet Pool (there are still scenes that remain vivid in my mind a year later), I couldn’t wait to see what Nitro+chiral’s first release, Togainu no Chi ~Lost Blood~ had in store for me. I soon found out that that would be another bleak narrative with a solemn protagonist and serve of Fight Club, post-apocalyptic Tokyo, and drugs added to the mix.