Archive for July, 2014

Fan service without pleasure

July 9, 2014 - 2:00 am No Comments

Fan service without pleasure

There have been few reviews of Monster Monpiece going around. It may be because its a very niche card/strategy game that was likely passed off in favor of larger games, but more likely it
is the fact that there are aspects of the game that are problematic to say the least.  Go to the comments section of any review and you’ll likely find a deeply embedded flame-war taking
place. For the record, our own Jerimiah Mueller found that “the imagery tainted what could have been
an enjoyable game
“. Personally, I’m inclined to agree, having enjoyed the game, but feeling deeply aware of how distastefully juvenile it felt. Tellingly, publisher Idea Factory felt the need
to make alterations to the artwork, as well as remove the ability to take screenshots of the game on Vita.

While it is easy to get stuck on the subject of Monster Monpiece and count its problems, it feels more symptomatic of a larger problem and the state of the industry. Monster
is an extreme case of fan service, a term that covers everything from overlong pans of mechas to “gratuitous titillation”. Developer Compile Heart is no stranger to it either, with
their work with Record of Agarest War and Hyper Dimension Neptunia nearly defined by it. By definition, fan service is gratuitous and…

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Battle Princess of Arcadias Review: Last Exit to Capital Town

July 1, 2014 - 2:00 am No Comments

Battle Princess of Arcadias Review: Last Exit to Capital Town

Battle Princess of Arcadias (8)

Title: Battle Princess of Arcadias
Price: $29.99
System(s): PS3
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher (Developer): Nippon Ichi (ApolloSoft)
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Violence and Mild Language

Beloved subjects, the kingdom is in turmoil. We’re besieged by monsters. Hostile kingdoms surround us on all sides. Our ruler is an incompetent waterfowl. Action must be taken. The land cries out
for a hero. A hero that shows a lot of leg, and has a personality like if cotton candy could somehow do cocaine. No, that isn’t nearly enough leg.

Battle Princess of Arcadias (5)

Battle Princess of Arcadias is a side scrolling brawler from ApolloSoft that’s heavy on strategy and RPG elements, as well as kawaii baroque styling. The first thing you’ll notice
about the game is its art style. The second is how prominently grinding for XP factors into gameplay. The third is how you stop noticing discrete things as Battle Princess of Arcadias hurls
itself at you in a furious bukakke of disparate gameplay elements unceremoniously cobbled together into a great, unwieldy Frankenstein’s Monster of awkward technicolor violence.

A Tale of Two Brain Cells

You are Plume, sister of the king and Battle Princess for the kingdom of Arcadias, a title that means you dedicate your not inconsiderable energies to vanquishing the realm’s enemies. But you won’t
be acting alone. There is the aforementioned King Sigurth, who was turned into a goose by a cursed statue and is a bit put out by the whole thing, though he’s holding up nicely considering the
circumstances. There’s Raltz, your new squire, who is replacing your previous squire Dahnel, who died in the opening scene in a feeble attempt to lend some gravity to the proceedings. There’s Yuni,
the level-headed sorceress. Not to mention Rudolph, the captain of the Princess Brigade. (Which is a brigade assigned to the princess, not a brigade made of princesses.) Then there are the other
Battle Princesses that include Marianne, Jurkka, Dieche, Violone, Odette, Kilios and a great deal more, many of whom are playable at various points.

The sheer volume of characters on display rivals Game of Thrones, though in terms of characterization Battle Princess of Arcadias is much more like Star Trek, where every alien species is
defined by one predominant personality trait….

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