Muramasa: the Demon Blade


Japan, the Genroku era. As a power struggle unfolds over possession of the legendary Demon Blades, two warriors come to the forefront: Kisuke, a ninja with no memory of his past, and Momohime, a girl possessed by the spirit of murderous swordsman Jinkuro. As both go in pursuit of the power of the Demon Blades, they find themselves pursued by forces both human and supernatural.

Having been won over by the superb Odin Sphere (which I will review in the near future), I was eager to get my hands on more Vanillaware titles, with Muramasa being the obvious next choice. The third entry in an ever-increasing library of action RPGs with sumptuous artwork, Muramasa is an enjoyable experience, if lacking in the longevity of its predecessor. Continue reading “Muramasa: the Demon Blade”

Saya no Uta


Ever since the accident that killed his parents, nothing has been the same for Sakisaka Fuminori. The experimental neurosurgery that saved his life also altered his perception of the world, making it appear to be a hideous rotting hell peopled by vile monsters. Repulsed by the very people he once called his friends, Fuminori turns to the one person who looks normal – a beautiful young girl named Saya. But who – or what – exactly is Saya anyway?

The latest Nitroplus game to be translated into English by the excellent JAST USA, Saya no Uta was a much anticipated addition to my collection. The only question was, would it really be able to deliver on the hype, or would all the build up just lead to a disappointing anticlimax? Continue reading “Saya no Uta”

Final Fantasy XIII-2


Three years ago, Lightning Farron led a mission to save the world of Cocoon, and then vanished. As far as most people are concerned, she sacrificed her life in the final battle, but her sister Serah knows differently – she remembers Lightning returning alive. Now living a new life on the surface of Pulse, Serah continues to dream of Lightning, but has no idea how to go about finding her – at least until the day a boy named Noel turns up. Claiming to be from the future, Noel has a message from Lightning, one that will prompt Serah and Lightning to travel through time in an attempt to safeguard the future of Pulse and Cocoon, and bring Lightning home once again.

After the pain of Final Fantasy XIII, it might seem that only a masochist could possibly want to play a sequel, but as someone who hails from a generation conditioned to at least try everything labelled “Final Fantasy”, it was inevitable that I would have to try this one. As it turned out, FFXIII had set the bar so low that it was very easy for this game to do better. Continue reading “Final Fantasy XIII-2”

Luminous Arc 2


For years, the alliance between the Kingdom of Carnava and the witches of the Rev Magic Association has made the world a peaceful place to live, but all that changed with the arrival of the vicious Beast Fiends. Now, Fatima the Shadow Frost Witch has betrayed her compatriots to advance some dark goal; can young knight Roland unite the remaining elemental witches and put a stop to Fatima’s nefarious plans? Continue reading “Luminous Arc 2”



Which girl would you choose?

32-year-old Vincent Brooks is content with his life. He’s got a decent job, a steady girlfriend by the name of Katherine, and really, he’d be happy enough if things never changed. So it’s no wonder he’s uncomfortable when Katherine starts talking about getting married and raising family – but is that any excuse for a one night stand with the engimatic and beautiful Catherine? As nightmares take over his nights, and resolving his cheating ways occupy his days, can Vincent hope to find a way out of his predicament?

From Atlus, creators of the popular Shin Megami Tensei, comes Catherine, a quirky and unique game that combines elements of two different genres – the visual novel and the block puzzle. It’s an unusual marriage of styles, and yet one that provides an addictive and compelling experience. Continue reading “Catherine”

Final Fantasy XIII


The citizens of the floating world Cocoon live an idyllic life, sheltered from harm by the mighty beings known as Fal’Cie. But the hostile surface world of Pulse has Fal’Cie of its own, and they are not averse to invading Cocoon and binding unsuspecting citizens to their will. Marked by the Pulse, an eclectic group of strangers are thrown together on a quest that will decide the fate of both worlds, and threaten all that they hold dear.

There was a time when Final Fantasy was a franchise that made you sit up and take notice. Each new entry in series was an epic journey in its own right, a hotly anticipated guarantee of tens if not hundreds of hours of satisfaction. But over time, the cracks began to show. Endless FFVII spin-offs of variable quality appeared left, right and centre. Final Fantaxy X-2 was a door opener for the cheap cash-in sequels, and by the time Final Fantasy XII finally appeared on the market, no one really cared any more. But FFXIII was to be the first time the franchise made the jump to the PS3 – surely it couldn’t be all bad? Continue reading “Final Fantasy XIII”

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy


The battle between Cosmos, the goddess of good, and Chaos, the demon of evil, rages ever on, but this time, the battlefield is somewhat different. To shine in the darkness, the crystals of the FF worlds need the power of rhythm – can the heroes of Final Fantasy fight this new, musical battle?

With 2012 being the 25th anniversary of the birth of the Final Fantasy franchise, it was for certain that Square-Enix would be doing something special to mark the event. Even so, their choice of celebration initially seemed a little odd – was the best way to commemorate the endless trundling of their mighty cash cow to release, of all things, a rhythm game? Continue reading “Theatrhythm Final Fantasy”

Full Metal Alchemist 2: The Sacred Star of Milos

Elric Brothers: Blood and Lava

When a previously unremarkable prisoner stages a dramatic escape with the help of alchemy, the Elric brothers are at the forefront of the action. Following up on this lea, the brothers are dispatched to the border town of Table City, where the native Milosians live in poverty, stuck between the powers of Amestris and Creta. With tensions high between all sides, can the Elric brothers hope to untangle a dangerous mystery relating to the past of both the town and its people? Continue reading “Full Metal Alchemist 2: The Sacred Star of Milos”

Shin Weekly Round-Up: April 1st

(written March 30th)

This week, the pressure of juggling work, PhD, online courses and learning all of maths causes Karura’s writing ability to reach new lows. Forgive me for the poor quality of this post.

Reviewed this week: Ano Natsu 12, Another 12, Aquarion Evol 13, HxH 24, Mirai Nikki 23, Mouretsu 12, Natsume Yuujinchou 12-13, Symphogear 12 Continue reading “Shin Weekly Round-Up: April 1st”