If you know me, even the slightest bit, you’ll know that the Legend of Heroes series has taken over my life in recent months and has become my latest obsession. Thanks to being especially vocal about this on Twitter, and being lucky enough to work with Push Square, I was given the opportunity via Reef Entertainment to interview the president of Nihon Falcom, the series’ developer.
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.
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.
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.
They might have been far and few between in the past, but choice-based games are now becoming a prevalent gaming genre. Described as a “point-and-click thriller”, Gods Will Be Watching is set across six chapters, and is a minimalistic foray asking you to set aside your morals in order to solve a series of puzzles. Based on a mini-game created for a Ludum Dare 26 challenge, Gods Will Be Watching was an intriguing game, if nothing else.
Gods Will Be Watching is initially quite frustrating. There is a lack of instruction and objectives, and the first chapter seems to introduce players to a new level of thinking, rather than any story or gameplay elements. It’s because of this that it’s easy to find yourself at the game over screen fairly often. Once you’ve seen it once, you should become accustomed to it because you’ll be seeing it quite regularly.