Thursday, August 27, 2015

#TeamHandheld Report - 08/27/2015

I've done lots of jumping around since the last Report, so there are four games I'm covering this time. I have also shared a few tweets from the #TeamHandheld nation talking about what they've been playing recently. Feel free to join in for the next Report.

Now Playing

Steins;Gate (Vita)

I don't watch a lot of anime. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I don't make the time to follow any of the series that are out or keep up with what's good. That said, When I first heard people talking about the Steins;Gate anime series, it drew my attention because of how crazy and over the top the sci-fi story sounded. I ended up picking up the Blu-ray and fell in love, but now it's time to allow that love to bleed over into the visual novel that just hit Vita.

The star of the series is Okabe Rintaro, or the mad scientist Hououin Kyouma, as he prefers to be called. While J. Michael Tatum isn't back performing masterfully as Okabe, everything else that was great about the anime returns including Okabe's fantastic dialogue. The wild story, the endearing characters, and the mind blowing twists and turns the plot takes are all here. Much like the anime, it starts a little slow, but the character building that takes place during this ramp up is never boring and is extremely important in making the ending sequences much more powerful. If you like amazing stories that will really mess with your head, I highly recommend checking out Steins;Gate.

-A fantastic, mind blowing thrill ride-

Curses N' Chaos (Vita)

If there's one thing that Curses N' Chaos gets right, it's the chaos. This arcade action title lets you pick from Lea or Leo and then tosses you onto a single-screen stage where you must fight off wave after wave of enemies. Things get hectic pretty quick, so you'll have to use everything you have at your disposal to clear each level. Gold that you earn along the way can be used between stages to upgrade items, which will help as things get tough quickly. I felt like I was only making incremental progress, but never enough to feel a noticeable increase in skill or power. Things were definitely chaotic, so if you like repetitive action or old school arcade gameplay, Curses N' Chaos will be your thing. If you want something with a little more meat on it, I'd consider passing.

-Its chaos may be its curse-

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX (3DS)

I've kinda become addicted to rhythm games recently. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F and F 2nd on Vita have been a couple of the games I've been playing on and off over the last little bit, so I was curious how Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX would hold up. For me, I really enjoyed the shake up Project Mirai offers. Along with being a little easier to complete each song, the chibi-style characters and the ability to use buttons or the touch screen really helps. There is additional content where you can take your chosen character out on the town to buy new outfits or to get items to decoration their room, so it's more than just a straight rhythm game. That said, the rhythm game portion is what held my attention more than the other areas.

While I don't know anything about the song selection outside of the game, I found all of the ones I played to be very catchy and fun to watch the animated scenes going on in the background. If you're looking for an extreme challenge, this might not be for you, but I found it very welcoming. I gave up on DIVA F 2nd pretty early on, because I couldn't just casually play a song without fear of failure. Admittedly, I'm no expert when it comes to this genre, but I still love music and like to enjoy the music while playing, so having a more laid back experience is great for me. This is easily my favorite of the three Hatsune Miku games I've played so far, but that's not a slight against the others. I don't really need the extra sim stuff, but it doesn't take away from the experience and others will probably love it to death.

-Better for casual play, but still really solid-

Xeodrifter (Vita)

I was super excited to check out Xeodrifter after having missed playing it on 3DS earlier in the year. A smaller scale Metroid style game, this looked to be the title that could help hold me over until Axiom Verge finally releases on Vita (yes, I'm still holding out hope for that happening). Unfortunately, I found this one to be a little too bare bones for me. The first couple bosses were rough and the upgrades were novel, but not really fun to use. The first item I got was the submarine function which simply let me dive into the water that had been gating my progress, and the second allowed me to phase between the foreground and background. While a neat concept, the poorly spaced checkpoint system had me repeating the same section over and over again until I lost patience. I hear the game is short, but there would need to be a LOT more content in the next few areas to really make this worth battling through. I think I'll continue holding out for Axiom Verge to hit Vita.

-One dimensional-

Upcoming Games

Amnesia: Memories (Vita)

Not that I don't have enough on the visual novel front to play, but now I get to check out some otome goodness.

Persona 4: Dancing All Night (Vita)

This game is...*gagged and pulled away by PR*

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (Vita)

I've only put this aside because of my addiction to Steins;Gate, so I will dive back in soon, I promise.

#TeamHandheld Updates

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