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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2018 Challenges: January Recap

For January I’ve been focusing a lot on my personal goals for the year rather than too much related to the 2018 Challenges, so progress has got off to a slow start. Having said that, I am really pleased with the small amount of progress I’ve made (and a great start to my personal goals also!), so here’s what’s been going on.

Watch 30 ‘First Watch’ films

So I’ve actually equalled my total from 2017 on this front, but I’ve watched something on my First Watch list. Celebrations all round! A review is in the pipe-line (recurring theme), but I watched The Pianist. Hooray!

Watch all of Naruto

Perhaps my weakest area, I’ve only watched 2 episodes of Naruto. I was afraid I wasn’t going to like it, but I really do, so me being behind isn’t down to lack of enjoyment, it’s mostly just a lack of time and having to prioritise my free time to other areas.

Watch 30 anime series

So for January I haven’t actually managed to complete any anime series. I’ve started a lot of ongoing shows and something from my To Watch list from MAL. I’m hoping to really turn this one around come February.

Platinum 12 games

Well and truly on schedule for this one. I platinumed Telltale’s Batman after it came free on PS+. A platinum review is forthcoming!

Make 3 cosplays from scratch

I’m having a really hard time planning my cosplays this year. My next couple aren’t going to be entirely from scratch though a lot of the elements are. My main issues are that I’ve not got a lot of conventions lined up, so I’ve not really got anything to plan for which makes things a lot harder.

Watch 50 films in the cinema (and write a review for each film)

I think this challenge might potentially be the one I struggle with most this year. I’ve watched 9 films in the cinema so far but have only written reviews for two of them. I struggled enough to get those reviews out as I felt really out of practice writing a film review, it somehow feels like a totally different process to writing a game review, which I suppose it is in many ways. I do want to get them done and catch up with myself, so again, these 7 reviews are going to be hitting the site imminently.

 

As always, you can follow my progress on Twitter by following me or on #cs2018challenge.

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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30 Days Of: Gaming, Day 27

Day 27: Most epic scene ever

This was really hard to narrow down! But I made a choice (in the end)! Final Fantasy XV spoilers ahead.

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Final Fantasy XV has some really great moments but the train scene, for me, really stole the show. There’s this whole feeling of not really knowing what’s going on which makes you feel really uneasy throughout the whole sequence, and then when everything finally clicks, you’re left to deal with the consequences of your actions, and accept the fact you just pushed dear, sweet Prompto off of a moving train (*coughbestboycough*). To be honest, I could probably give a reason for each scene in FFXV for being my favourite thing ever, but the train scene is the one that stuck with me the most and really left me in shock as well as giving me a whole other boatload of feelings.

30 Days Of: Gaming, Day 23

Day 23: Game which you think had the best graphics or art style

I really love the art style of Danganronpa. I know mostly it’s just an anime style (which I obviously like, go figure), but I especially enjoy the punishment scene animations and the garish, over-the-top death sequences.

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Purely from a spectacle of realistic graphics, the game that’s probably blown me away the most is The Last of Us. I remember my mum coming into my room and asking me if I was watching a movie, but up until that point I hadn’t really considered that the graphics were that realistic and just stort of took them for granted. Once I’d had it pointed out to me by an outsider I definitely appreciated just how mindblowing the graphics were, and took in every single detail.

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