Thursday, 10 October 2013

Am I to believe the mainstream press?


Another opinion piece incoming! Yep, with the release of Beyond (Yeah Ive been looking forward to it for ages, big whoop) theres been an influx of reviews on all manner of mainstream gaming websites. Nothing new there. The scores also vary wildly, PushSquares 8/10 seeming to buck the trend and offer a genuine opinion on the title, which is to be expected when you consider its a Quantic Dreams title. Whats baffling is that a fair amount of reviews have expressed negativity at the fact it doesn't play like your average game and have marked it down accordingly. Can this be how the industry is nowadays? With people wanting different experiences who get what they desire and then lambaste it for being different?
 "There are days where the gaming community disappoints me, and this has been one."
Ginko, PushSquare.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Ahoy matey's welcome to my gaming retrospective of 2 forgotten titles of anime/manga Titan One Piece!.

Spanning over 10 years One Piece has had it's fingers in all kinds of media pies. Movies, toys, clothes, energy drinks and yes video games!.  

There was a point when over in the western world we were given One Piece but unfortunately 4Kids were the providers!.
A dodgy dub & even stranger censorship choices (sanji who smokes now constantly eats lollipops and every sword happens to be rubber) saw that One Piece didn't do to well over our shores.  

For the die hard fans they stuck with the fan sub and in the recent couple of years we have seen somewhat of a resurgence of One Piece with release of anime box sets and even games. 
Most notable ones are the Pirate Warrior series. Using the Musou layout and engine both sold considerably well and have a large fan base.  

Unlimited Cruise 1 & 2 also released over here but with not as much love, myself personally didn't like the series either.

But what other games could you be playing featuring our favourite pirate crew?. Here are 2 fine examples of overlooked games which are fantastic not only for anime related games but games in general! 


 Made for the US audience by DIMPS (Sonic Advance series) and released around the height of popularity for One Piece by 4KIDS. Players control loveable pirate Monkey D Luffy on his quest to become the Pirate King.  

The game follows the story from the beginning at the East Blue Arc (starting with Alvida often left out) and finishes up at the Loguetown town arc. 

Luffy is the only playable character throughout the game but the other members of his crew (Zoro, Nami, Sanji & Ussop) appear as summons.  

It's a fantastic little 2D Platformer along the lines of Dragon Ball Advance, instantly playable offers quite a challenge and the bosses are fun to fight. 

Each boss has a different tactic to it making the Arlong fight different to that of the Smoker fight. 

What most impresses me is the attention to characters with mini bosses for forgotten characters like Helmepoppo and Jango!. 
Iv been through this game personally a few times and I love it everytime, setting a high score and seeing it on Luffy's wanted poster always pleases me.  

The only downside is that it never got a sequel in any form!. I can only imagine what the levels based in the Grand Line would of been like. 
Plus it would of been great to see all the Strawhats side by side. I understand at the time they didn't want to pass where the viewers would be but I think now would be a good time for a 2.5D game from East Blue to Marineford!. I can only wish! 


Jumping forward a few years and we have the DS title GIGANT BATTLE. 
Based over the Sabaody Arc to the Marineford Arc (there are bits here and there from other arcs e.g characters and items). 

Featuring one of the largest playable cast you'll see with characters from every faction from The Straw Hats to The Marines to The Shichibukai and even Whitebeard himself!. 
Along side them you have a huge selection of support characters and further more even minor characters in the background of stages effecting gameplay e.g Franky Family and Minotaurus.

With pick up and play gameplay along the lines of Powerstone or Super Smash Brothers. It's easy enough to pick up do a couple of missions and put down. 

Colourful settings true to the vision of One Piece and fairly decent writing beings this tight package together nicely. 
This game performed that well it even saw a European release long after OP had died and thus kick started a relationship between Europe and One Piece once again. 

There is a sequel to this but unfortunately it never left japan. This maybe down to them wanting to push Pirate Warriors or they felt it was too late in the DS's life cycle and chose to work on Unlimited Cruise instead but that is purely guess work.  

Like the original it's still highly playable, very addictive and has a wealth of content for you and your Nakama to trove over!. It's easy enough to play on Japanese and there are plenty of people on forums and walkthroughs which should see you through this wonderful title.

These are just two examples of One Piece titles I have played and enjoyed immensely. 

Having recently finished the story of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 it feels good to look back at previous overlooked titles. 
The future of One Piece looks bright with the anime being released by Funimation over here on DVD & newest release the 3DS RPG Romance Dawn releasing in November in Europe. 

Plus in Japan they have Unlimited Cruise Red which looks like One Piece crossed with Monster Hunter so I am holding my breath for that one!.   

As a parting gift for you budding pirates before you set off to the Grand Line to find the One Piece here are a few Honourable and Dishonourable mentions One Piece style!

The Whitebeard!:  Jump Ultimate Stars - Nintendo DS 

Not strictly a One Piece game but a Jump! Smash Brothers style game with all your favourite jump anime characters. Luffy vs Goku vs Naruto with Ultimate Muscle characters interfering? It's all possible here!.

It didn't release over seas but there is a translation patch on the net well worth playing!. 
There is a wealth of general anime related goodness and more than enough nods to One Piece (a move turns Luffy into Afro Luffy!) one of the best games you can play on DS!  

The Blackbeard!

One Piece:Gear Spirit - Nintendo DS 

Hot on the heels of the success of the Bleach fighting games on DS we have One Piece's answer to them!.

Using a 3D looking engine you are given a clunky looking game with clunky controls. Unresponsive moves and balancing issues (I understand in fairness but Luffy and Chopper shouldn't be equals in strength) cause this to be one of the weaker titles.

It lacks content and the story mode is near enough a none starter. 
The only redeeming factor to this is that it's the only OP game iv played where Shanks was playable. Pity I had to suffer this game for that experience!.  

There you have it my Nakama till next time I'll see you on the Ol' briny!

We are! we are! We are on a cruise! 

 P.S as mentioned Romance Dawn releases in Europe November time. I'll be reviewing it unfortunately I doubt Namco-Bandai will be sending me a promo so it will be a week or so after release 

As always you can contact me here on the blog, on twitter @andicpunx or email

Retrospective: Chaos Legion (PC/Ps2)

The Internet keeps dropping its connection so I'm finding it really hard to research some games! I'm going to leave it now till tomorrow and type up a retrospective on Wordpad today. What game to do? I don't know to be honest. My mind went blank when I started to ask myself that question. Ive been hoarding N64 & Dreamcast games of late as I'm considering doing some retrospectives from back then, to put the RETRO in retrospectives I suppose. With not owning a WiiU at the moment & the 3DS line up of interesting games drying up lately theres been a lack of Nintendo content of late from myself so hopefully some N64 gameplay over the next couple of weeks will beef up the Ninty stuff till something good comes along. Till then, today's piece is going to be on a PC/Ps2 release. The long lost cousin of Devil May Cry - Chaos Legion

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Retrospective: Shox (Ps2)

Back to business with the blog now after a few days of taking it easy. No idea still on the missing posts but luckily Andi archives his posts so I was able to repost it for him yesterday. I stopped doing that when I got the blogger app on my phone but I'm considering going back to the old way of writing up & saving via Wordpad and just copying it to Blogger in case it happens again. So whats today? Well I thought Id do something different. Last night I finished up Yakuza 3 & did a little bit more of Majin (might have a review for that on Sunday) but there was still a bit of time before I was gonna hit the sack so I fired up the Ps2 and jumped on an old favourite that I'm going to look at today. The game I'm going to look at isn't an eastern title, but it is Niche. I don't know of anyone else who's played it at least but its one that should be looked at if arcade fun is your forte - Shox

Monday, 7 October 2013

Gaming Roundup!

*Luckily Andi archives his posts! This is his post from Friday!*

Come one come all to my gaming round up. Consider these mini reviews/buyers guide, as Geoff has stated we are independent run in our spare time & off our own funds. It's takes a great deal of time to write a review and even more so to play a game to the amount you can review it with correct experience.
My aim with this is to tell you what is currently in my console/PC/handheld why I'm playing it and why I think you should too!

 DISGAEA D2: A Brighter Darkness

First time in the main Disgaea series (excluding the Prinny games) we have a direct follow up. Following the events of Disgaea 1 Laharl and the gang are back once again shaking heaven and hell!.

SRPG heaven with a comedic twist! When it comes to Disgaea I'm weak, I can't help but love every game in the series (including Visual novel Infinite).

Personally from what I have played it has to be the best one to date. Up to where I am the story has been slow but still serves it's purpose and has plenty of comedy. HD sprites look amazing and there is a wealth of new features for vets and newbies alike. Example are mounting creature characters (Laharl on a dragon ftw) to combat training and old staples such as item world.

Inazuma Eleven 3: Lightening Bolt

Third entry in level 5's RPG/Football series. For those unfamiliar think Pokemon but instead of battles they have football matches to solve everything from global domination to bullying at school.

What I have to point out that despite this being a 3DS title it is intact a DS port. For some reason it takes forever for us to get Inazuma and unfortunately since we got the 2nd in the series they managed this one, a special edition of it and a 3DS series Go!. It looks great & plays fantastic but it is just a DS game and is priced as such.

Not being a football fan I would usually ignore these titles but the lure of kicking balls of fire and a "gotta catch them all" style team development has made me a fan. Battles use a brilliant system using stylus only and when your hard work pays off during match you feel amazing.

The dub as in previous games is horrid, for example team Inazuma is a Japanese based team but voiced as a team of London cockneys!. The story is a lot more mellow compared to the last instalment which featured aliens destroying schools!.
World tournament of football is taking place and they are looking to make a Japanese national team. Cue Mark Evans, team Inazuma and every other character from the previous games.

Unfortunately I'm not far enough in the story to say much more than that but I hear it does tangent off a little later on!. A fantastic game and well worth carrying around with you in your 3DS, I cannot comment on street pass as I have yet to pass anyone with the game :(
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2

Another sequel I'm currently playing, it's another notch in the successful musou spin off series (gundam & fist of the North Star are other notable games) based off the manga/anime One Piece.

Pirate based going ons based in the world of Monkey D Luffy & his Straw Hat Pirate crew, his objective is to find One Piece (a treasure) in which will make him "Pirate King".

Here we have a typical musou/warriors game play of you versus thousands, capturing bases & fighting enemy officers. This is a game for Warriors fans and especially One Piece fans.

I'd recommend this more for fans of the series, even though it doesn't follow cannon and is an extreme what if? Story, a lot of the story impact will be lost if you don't know the characters. There is a gallery and info about all the characters so you can read up about them there but for me it's the strange bedfellows knowing these characters as I do that keeps me playing the story mode.

Another addictive aspect to it is coin collecting. You find them in levels and get better ones by completing secret objectives. They make your characters stronger and are shiny so I want them all!

Overall it's tight package geared more towards fans of the traditional Musou gameplay as it's just battles no adventure stages this time around!.

That's what I'm playing mainly at the moment, there are others but Geoff has already covered them (KH & Soul Hackers) or in the case of Anarchy Reigns I'll be making a follow up article to Geoff's Madworld article.

I should be more active for the next couple of weeks as I have no review work on so expect to see a touch more of me in the coming weeks!.

Contact me on Twitter: @andicpunx or email

1st Month retrospective & PSA

Public Service Announcement: Some posts are missing from the blog! Why this has happened and how the issue has arisen is completely unknown. At the moment it just seems to be localised to both posts on Friday, but I'll be keeping a closer eye on things for a little while now.  Id like to think it wasn't the admin account being compromised. Its a mystery and I'm hoping to find out whats gone on, Ive already enquired with Blogger/Google. I don't wanna be calling in Mulder & Scully though...

Saturday was the 1 month anniversary of the blog! Yes I had some Sake like I said, even got some for Andi but whether he ended up stumbling around his house from the rice wine I do not know. A month is not quite long enough to throw a sexy party in celebration but its worth looking back on. With the daily view count slowly rising its been a more successful month than I originally hoped, more than likely due to Andi's inclusion on the team. I have been looking at adding other authors to expand coverage and news, but the couple of offers Ive sent out have yet to receive a reply. Today I'm going to look back on a few articles from the month that have either been well received by readers or have seemed to be a traffic magnet. Lets begin!
Project Diva F Review ( Post / Review )
There couldn't be any other post really to start with. This review was the reason I started writing on the Otaku blog. It was so well received, even by those with no interest in the game, that I decided to keep writing and Otaku Gamers Blog was born. The view count for the review on PushSquare is also staggering, currently sitting at 2,542! No doubt with me pushing the review out so soon after release and PushSquare themselves not hosting a review helped with its popularity. I recently went back and had a read of the review and to be honest I still wouldn't change a thing in it. It also opened my eyes up to just how much effort a review is. At least a few hours of work is needed. While my other reviews since, Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll (Review) & EDF 2017 Portable (Review), haven't been anywhere near as successful - Ill still continue doing reviews. If you've still yet to read the Project Diva F review, go and have a read. Its pretty much the only mention of Hatsune Miku on the blog considering how awesome she is!
Andi's debut post (Post)
Andi's first post was a scorcher on the view stakes, almost causing the blogs view count for the day to hit triple digits! While it was supposed to be a write up for a single game it became somewhat of a Suda51 gospel. The word count on it also puts my reviews to shame it seems! Anyone interested in playing some of Suda's back catalogue would be wise to reference Andi's post considering he pretty much details almost every game! A few days after the post I picked up a copy of Shadows of the Damned due to the post and recommendations so take a look and see which Suda games tickle ya fancy to go back and try! You could always tweet Andi for a recommendation if your not sure which suits you.
 Who's the perverted one? (Post)
The most viewed post on the blog and one of the best pieces Ive wrote so far. It tackles an issue that's been grinding my gears for a while and has no doubt been something most Jrpg gamers have come across themselves at the hands of certain gamers. If you've ever suffered abuse at the hands of other gamers over the Jrpg's you play, this post explains just how wrong they are with simple logic and details why. Ive received quite a lot of positivity from readers concerning this post which is always good. Not had anyone disputing its points yet though...
Otaku Mobile Games (Post)
Oddly enough this seemed to be a fairly popular post, up there with the previous 2 posts mentioned in view counts. No doubt people are intrigued by what they can do to Otaku their phones it seems. Have you tried Moe can Change! yet? I bet you haven't. While I had only mentioned a few games, It is probably going to be the first of many posts in the coming weeks with regards to Mobile gaming. With it being popular in Japan, we wouldn't be much of an Otaku gamers blog if we didn't cover some of the titles that make there way to our app store, plus theres no doubt people out there that see phones as a viable gaming platform. In the future I do have another post similar to this planned and also a bumper one for Jrpg's as Ive managed to get hold of a few to try.

While I've only mentioned these few posts, I'm still proud of the work that's been done so far. I was hoping that with me opening the comments section up to anonymous users a few weeks ago we'd receive some direct feedback here but it doesn't seem to be used by anyone. So whats in store for the future? Well things seem settled now so not much else will change. Hopefully some more authors will join to get more news & game coverage to the readers, but aside from that there isn't really any other plans in the pipeline for the coming weeks. The game releases will be picking up again soon so reviews will start to become more frequent seen as its been a couple of weeks since the last one. Any suggestions or ideas from the regular readers? I know we have some! Let me know here in the comments or, as always, on my Twitter @MadchesterManc