Review: Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk

Nippon Ichi’s latest release Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is a first-person dungeon crawler where you play Tractie – that is, the Tractatus de Monstrum – a mysterious book with a soul trapped inside, able to communicate by filling out its pages. Tractie is under the control of a witch named Baba Yaga, or Dronya as she goes by in the village of Refrain. The titular labyrinth is a no-go area for humans, so Dronya decides that Tractie is going to explore on her behalf, and throws it down the well that serves as the entrance to the labyrinth.

You’ll need to report back into Dronya after fulfilling a set requirement in order to progress the game. Early on this is a bit frustrating, as it means you have to abandon your position in the labyrinth to get back, but eventually you’ll learn a skill called Mud Exit which creates a one-use portal to teleport back to, making exploration much easier.

Read the rest of my review on Push Square.

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Review: Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier

Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier is set between Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes – the two most recent movies in the franchise.

With the power of PlayLink, up to four players can decide the fate of humans and apes alike, as we take control of Jess, the head of a human settlement, and Bryn, an ape in a mountain tribe. If playing along with the PlayLink app isn’t cutting it for you, fortunately you can also use multiple DualShock 4 controllers. In fact, playing this way is preferable, as you’re not threatened by connection problems if your wi-fi isn’t behaving. Still, the option for PlayLink is there should you need it.

Read the rest of my review on Push Square.

Review: Chaos;Child

Chaos;Child is the latest visual novel brought to us by developer 5pb, and the fourth main entry in the ‘Science Adventure’ series. Chaos;Child sits in that series with acclaimed titles like Steins;Gate and this game’s predecessor, Chaos;Head, but don’t worry too much about having experience with either. Ultimately, playing those will add depth to Chaos;Child, but it’s perfectly enjoyable and works as a standalone game if you haven’t played the others.

Read the rest of my review on Push Square.

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Review: Blue Reflection

Blue Reflection is the latest offering from Gust, the developer who previously brought us the Atelier series. A brand new IP, Blue Reflection focuses on the story of Hinako, a former child ballet star who starts a new high school. She discovers that she’s a Reflector, the game’s version of a magical girl, along with her new friends, Yuzu and Lime. As the story unfolds we learn of a parallel world, The Common, where monsters feed off emotions. Hinako and her friends must use the power of friendship to defeat the evil Sephirot and save the world.

Read the rest of my review on Push Square.

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Review: Dark Rose Valkyrie

Dark Rose Valkyrie is the latest Japanese role-playing game presented to us by developer Compile Heart and publisher Idea Factory. It’s set in an alternate version of 1929 Japan where Black Garnet, a meteorite, has hit the Earth and caused a virus that transforms the public into deadly creatures called Chimera.  The protagonist, Asahi Shiramine, is the captain of Task Force Valkyrie – a special unit created by a military agency in order to defeat these beings.

Read the rest of my review on Push Square.

Review: Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is the latest game in the Hakuoki series, and is billed by developer Idea Factory as a “remastered telling of the beloved 2008 series”. Set in historic Japan, the game follows the protagonist as she’s taken in by a group of samurai while looking for her father who has gone missing. Being an otome game (literally translated as “maiden game”), the protagonist is, naturally, surrounded by attractive men – twelve of whom she is able to embark on romantic storylines with.

Read the rest of my review at Push Square.

Review: Touhou Genso Wanderer

Rogue-like role-playing release Touhou Genso Wanderer follows the story of adorable protagonist Reimu Harukei. Reimu becomes entranced by the ‘golden sphere’ that soon-to-be antagonist Rinnosuke Morichika is holding, and tries to steal it from him. Clearly under the sphere’s spell, Rinnosuke fights back, and Reimu soon finds herself away from her home, trying to find her way back and battling the clones which have been borne of the sphere’s dark power. The whole thing feels a little trope-y, and starting the game feels like setting off down a well-worn path, so it’s a good job that it has a lot to throw at you to try and keep you interested.

Read the rest of my review at Push Square.