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Recent reviews by R_Kasahara

Showing 1-6 of 6 entries
No one has rated this review as helpful yet
3.8 hrs on record
This cute puzzle game featuring stretchy doggos and delicious foods is a lighthearted good time. It's relatively short and there aren't a ton of gameplay gimmicks, but I felt like I got my money's worth given the number of puzzles and how well they were made.

If I have one major criticism, it's that most of the game is on the easy side; veteran puzzle gamers will have very little trouble fully completing this title. Some additional modes, such as time trials or the option to restrict the number of moves one can make, would add both difficulty and variety. Still, this adorable game is worth checking out, especially for dog lovers and anyone wanting to play something relaxing.
Posted February 17. Last edited February 17.
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3 people found this review helpful
42.2 hrs on record
The first thing you should know about Ambition of the Slimes if you are considering picking it up is that although it is a strategy RPG, the emphasis is much more on the "strategy" than the "RPG". Grinding will only help you so much; far more important is choosing the right slimes and making the right moves. If this sounds too stressful, then you may want to seek out another game (however, please note that there is an Easy difficulty which I didn't touch-- I stuck with Normal, plus replayed some levels on Hard and did a few Challenges-- so YMMV).

On the other hand, if a strategy-heavy RPG sounds appealing, then you may like Ambition of the Slimes. The core mechanic is guiding your physically weak slimes over to enemy humans and taking them over. The comical animation for this possession never gets old, and a lot of the fun comes in figuring out the best ways to get the strongest human units on your side. Each type of slime has a special attribute or ability, ranging from teleportation to high defense. Some abilities, like Melt, temporarily weaken its target and makes them easier to possess. As mentioned before, figuring out the right strategy for each stage is extremely important, and although I restarted many maps multiple times to try out different approaches, I never felt that the game was unfair.

The game's story, set in a fantasy world where slimes have suddenly gained this new possession ability and are now on a rampage, is fairly light and entertaining for what it is. The graphics and music have the same sort of fun retro aesthetic featured in other games published by Flyhigh Works, and the controls and UI are well designed and easy to understand, for the most part.

My nitpicks are few. The battle art for the humans tends to be samey-- most of them are some variation on either "Skinny Guy" or "Fanservice Gal". Also, there could've been a little more variety in the music, the localization is sometimes clunky, and the ending could've been better.

Still, in the end, none of these put much of a damper on my overall enjoyment of this game. Fans of strategy games and/or quirky Japanese indie stuff should find a lot to like here.
Posted November 18, 2018. Last edited November 18, 2018.
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1 person found this review helpful
21.8 hrs on record
Short review: *Mute best girl. Also, the mention of "cake-baking" in this game's description should be taken QUITE LITERALLY.

Slightly longer review: If you, like me, played Analogue: A Hate Story and wondered just how a spaceship like the Mugunghwa ended up the way it did, you'll want to play Hate Plus. Given that this is a prequel (of sorts), there are fewer surprises; it's more like the rest of the story is finally being told.

Much like Analogue, most of the story is in the form of data logs written by various residents on board the ship, from commoners, to the ruling class, to the security AI *Mute, with commentary from either *Mute or *Hyun-ae, the computerized waifus from the first game. Some of these passages, like the assault scene, can be tough to read, but all of them help give context to the political and cultural situation on board the ship prior to the events in Analogue. Save files from Analogue can be imported as well, so you can pick up from whatever ending(s) you chose in that, bypassing Hate Plus' opening questionnaire.

If there is one thing I didn't like about Hate Plus, it was the time constraints. There is a mandatory, real-time twelve-hour break separating each route's three "days". I had either somehow forgotten or wasn't aware of this when I started the game, so when I did, shortly before a trip, it became an annoyance. I plowed through the *Hyun-ae route as quickly as I could (without cheating) before going out of town, and didn't do the *Mute one until a few weeks after I had come back. For similar reasons, the cake part was incredibly irritating, and left me with a bitter feeling. In short, I would've had a higher opinion of this game if it was more mindful of the player's time.

Despite these frustrations, if you've played Analogue before and liked it, I do think Hate Plus is worth playing, even if only to complete the story. If you haven't played Analogue, do yourself a favor and play that first for the best experience possible.
Posted September 23, 2018. Last edited September 23, 2018.
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3 people found this review helpful
36.9 hrs on record
I was originally going to mark this as "Recommended" (with caveats), but the more I thought about it, the more my experience leaned toward "Not Recommended" (again, with caveats). This game has some fun moments, but taken as a whole, it's not really all that good. Here's my impressions:

Positives:
- A pretty decent story! The romance subplot is laid on a bit too thick, and some parts can be hard to follow, but overall, the story is all right. The type of story it tells reminds me a little of those in Tales games, complete with a big emphasis on party member interactions.
- Speaking of which, the characters are generally likeable, and grow and change in a believable way as the story goes on.
- The battle system is fun, and battles have reasonable pacing. It's also nice to be able to start any battle over again instantly after being wiped out.
- (somewhat minor endgame spoiler) The True End can be reached without replaying much of the game. Just load the save you make after the Normal End, which slightly changes the order of events around the final boss fight.

Neutral:
- Inoffensive yet generic music. Expect second-tier Uematsu/Sugiyama knockoffs for the tunes.
- The mix of 3D graphics (for the battles), 2D character portraits (for many cutscenes), and sprites (for everything else). This may bother some, but I was fine with it.
- Overworld and dungeon designs. Once again, these were suitable for what they were; no more, no less.
- Plenty of JRPG/anime cliches, especially in terms of characterization. If you don't like JRPGs, or anime, this isn't going to be the game that changes your mind.
- Lots of items. There are many that you will probably never, ever use, but I guess it's nice to have options?
- Generic sidequests. There's NPC requests, a battle arena, a Legendary equipment hunt during the True End, and one or two other such things.

Negatives (here we go...):
- The uneven difficulty curve. This game starts off way too easy, then ramps up after a little while to "just right", then stays at that until towards the end when it becomes "just right, except for the bosses who are more difficult than you'd expect". A certain endgame boss is especially frustrating.
- The localization. It is often long-winded, contains a handful of typos and grammatical errors, and is hard to parse at times. This game's translation could've greatly benefitted from an editor.
- The voice acting. For the most part, it is fine, and would've gone in the "Neutral" category if it wasn't for... the... long pauses... between some lines. This is especially frustrating if you understand Japanese (or at least more than the meager amount I know) and/or want to appreciate the actors' performances. Fortunately, most if not all of the voiced lines can be skipped without having to hear the whole thing.
- The animations. The 2D sprites have just enough images for walking and idle animations, and that's about it. The 3D models scream low-budget and their movements lack finesse.
- Unimaginative achievements. Being a JRPG, you'd think there would be achievements for completing certain sidequests, obtaining special items, reaching story milestones, and so on. However, all of the achiements are some variation on "go x number of steps", "spend x amount of gold", "defeat x number of enemies", "use x number of Energi (basically magic spells)", or "get x number of treasure boxes".
- There is a spoiler in the end credits that indicates a certain character's presence in the True Route. This character is never seen in the Normal Route, only mentioned by name.
- As stated earlier, the romance subplot is laid on a bit too thick. On a related note, some scenes that were clearly intended to be humorous come across as bland at best, and mildly disturbing at worst.
- This is a minor thing, but King Augustine's portrait faces are drawn kind of oddly. A stern king's wrinkles shouldn't look like that!

In general, if you play a lot of JRPGs, there's nothing in Alphadia Genesis you haven't seen before, and you might be better off checking out other games. I thought it was all right for what it was, and enjoyed my time with it, but it's not the sort of thing I can recommend to someone unless they're looking for a very specific sort of JRPG. Only buy it if it's on sale at a good discount and you have no other JRPGs in your backlog (ahaha) and absolutely must have a new one to play.
Posted September 16, 2018. Last edited September 24, 2018.
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No one has rated this review as helpful yet
7.3 hrs on record
If you are someone like me, who is bad at shmups but enjoys them all the same, I highly recommend this game. There's a good range of difficulty settings that offer enough challenge so that it never gets boring-- even Easy can get frenetic. Playing multiple runs levels up your overall ranking, which in turn gives you points which can be assigned to various optional perks, from weapon upgrades to extra lives and continues. Not only will you get better with each run, but the game can become a little bit easier with future ones, if you wish.

On top of that, the music and graphics are great, the bullet patterns are intricate and gorgeous, and the shooting and controls simply feel right. I do wish that there were separate achievements for the different difficulty settings when beating stages, but that's my only real complaint. Overall, this feels like a game that was designed by someone with a lot of love and respect for danmaku shmups, and is one that casual players should be able to enjoy as well.
Posted January 15, 2018. Last edited January 17, 2018.
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5 people found this review helpful
44.0 hrs on record
Been playing this on and off for awhile now. It has the potential to be a great little casual puzzle game, but it's not quite there. While the unlockable characters satisfy a decent variety of play styles, it's not worth starting off with set weapons and items most of the time, especially since they can be randomly picked up at shops without having to spend precious star blocks. The difficulty curve is also unforgiving as opposed to challenging, plus the game has been noticeably buggy since launch (and a few of the biggest issues have gone unfixed to this day).

Protip: if you're a Mac user running 10.7.5 or older, avoid this like the plague if you don't want the game to crash on you all. the. time, which is has been doing to me since the most recent patch, all the way back in May. I haven't bothered trying it out on the other, newer computers/OSes I use for gaming; it's probably better on those, but what's the point when the game has other damning issues?

UPDATE (Jan. 29, 2016): Earlier this month, I finally upgraded my laptop to the latest version of Mac OS X available, 10.11.2. Sad to say, the game still crashes, though at least it can now run without taxing my CPU :P
Posted November 9, 2015. Last edited January 29, 2016.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 entries