Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late is the third iteration of the indie visual novel/2D-Fighter from developer French Bread which was first released in Japanese arcades all the way back in 2012. An update in 2017 added four new characters, a bunch of new modes and gameplay tweaks for console versions, and this latest iteration adds yet...
Come for the Dragons, stay for the Kunio
Being a Kunio fan in the West is tougher than the mean streets Kunio and his friends come from. We've had to endure butchered localizations and dozens of titles being missed because they were simply deemed “too Japanese for Western consumption”. In fact, even nowadays, few Western gamers might realise the...
By the numbers
Though it certainly occupies a niche, it’s tough to dispute the level of clout and influence held by Arc System Works. The studio positively thrives on 2D fighting games, with franchises like Guilty Gear and River City being among its more well-known work, and its 30+ year lifespan has seen the introduction of plenty of new games...
Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kobayashi Side Story
Unless you are a hardcore Kunio fanatic, there's a good chance that "Kobayashi who?" might be the first thing that goes through your head as you read this, so it's best we start off this review with a small introduction. Kobayashi Masao is both leader and strongest member of Reihō Academy’s Shitennō –...
Barf once again for the Renegade master
If you have been around video games for long enough to remember the success of Renegade and Double Dragon it is also highly probable you stumbled into one of Kunio’s numerous 8-bit Famicom outings, perhaps even disguised in the West with some hit-and-miss localisation efforts like River City Ra
The world ends with you
Ah, young love! Fixing eyes in freshman class… Inventing excuses to meet your crush… Daring to hope they like you back… Collecting and cataloguing candid photos of every girl you know… World End Syndrome successfully bottles the bristling potential of the summers of youth: before school’s back, perhaps you’ll...
Heaven or Hell?
Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear series first chaos-attacked its way onto the gaming scene back in 1998, immediately making a name for itself amidst the more established giants of the fighting game genre with its beautiful hand-drawn roster of twisted manga combatants, hardcore rock soundtrack and insanely fast, combo-based pugilism...
Don't be Blue
In the world of virtual fisticuffs there are 2D fighting games and then there are 2D fighting games, those series and franchises that are often the richest in mechanics and delicately-balanced subsystems, filled with equally convoluted plots and backstories. On the flip-side, that usually means said games are super-niche in their...
What you Super Saiyan?
Nine months after release on competing platforms, Dragon Ball FighterZ has finally made its way to Switch. Back in January, when our sister site Push Square reviewed the original release, they gave it a glowing 9/10 score, and for good reason. Even by PlayStation 4 standards, FighterZ is breathtaking. So, how does one of...
Ragna the Bloodedge, Yu Narukami and Hyde Kido walk into a pub…
It is hard to believe that Arc System Works’ Blazblue franchise is already turning a decade old. Even more baffling, it took those ten years for one of the series main entries to arrive on Nintendo hardware. Yet as you can probably gander from the title BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is...
No race for second place
When Gotcha Racing arrived on the 3DS back in 2015 it received particular praise for its simple pick-and-play setup, the unexpected depth dictated by luck of the virtual Gashapon car parts and that moreish Micro Machines-esque gameplay. Three years later and on new hardware, will lighting strike twice as Gotcha Racing...
Putting the mobile in ‘Mobile Suit’
When Xenoblade Chronicles X arrived on Wii U, it not only offered an exceptional JRPG experience but also instantly cornered the mecha game niche genre by offering a complete, fully-customisable and satisfying mech-building meta game. One year into Switch's lifespan and not a single developer has tackled the...
A Vita throwaway
Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~ arrives on Nintendo Switch four years after its original release on PlayStation Vita, where it received a rather middling reception at best. Some praised its varied stats, skills and upgrade customisation, while others criticised it for a bland plot and uninspired combat mechanics. So in 2018, how does...
“Tell me about the mice, George”
If you were about to go on a huge exploration of a vast, wild desert, especially one known for housing terrifying sand monsters that can eat you whole, it would be understandable if you considered mice to be an unwise choice for your crew. As it turns out, though, these mice are wonderfully hard workers and your...
Come get some!
Following on from last year’s River City: Tokyo Rumble, Natsume is taking the rough ‘n’ tumble Kunio-Kun out for another spin in a follow up action game. River City: Rival Showdown largely follows the same beats as its predecessor, but refines many of its ideas down into a tighter and more enjoyable experience. Though it still...
Double Dragon is one of the most famous fighting games of all time, but it's very of its time, too. For a side-scrolling brawler in the '80s, it set the bar high with a complex move-set, loads of enemies on-screen at once and a great soundtrack; its status was amplified by some excellent NES ports and the almost compulsory terrible...
Arc System Works may be best known for its hardcore 2D fighters, like Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, but it's also got a softer side, publishing several smaller titles like Shephy and New Frontier Days on the Switch eShop. The latest of these is Boost Beast, an animal-themed match-three puzzler from Yoshi's New Island and
What right does a sheep have to play God?
Taking a deck of cards to pass the time whilst traveling is not uncommon, though with the Switch now taken everywhere it's nice to see various game types emerge on the system. Card games are a genre still as popular as they were twenty years ago, with games like Gwent being a recent success. Offering its own...
It's all black & white
In most traditional board-games, the player holding the black game pieces is the one who performs the first action. This leads many players to gravitate towards playing as black, as it instils a confidence for an offensive pursuit that can intimidate the other player. However, even if you're playing first, your decision is...
Along with the epic adventure of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, explosive action of Super Bomberman R, and one-on-one battles of 1-2-Switch, the Switch's launch lineup hosts some smaller surprises and gentler pursuits. New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers — a cheery town-building simulation from ArcSystemWorks — fits nicely...
Straight out of the '80s
River City Ransom was a fantastic NES brawler that - in many ways - was a pioneer for the then-fledgling genre, and has gone on to achieve something of a cult following. It was actually part of the much larger Kunio-kun series, though this perhaps wasn't so easy to keep track of due to spotty localization and a lack of...
An inconvenient truth
When I was a child, I once told my mother that I wanted to work at a gas station when I grew up. I don't know why this was my aspiration at the time, and I don't remember my mother's response, but I never did live up to that goal. I went on to do other things: I went to college, worked a few different retail and customer...
The Family that Plays Together
You wouldn't be wrong in thinking that the art in Super Strike Beach Volleyball looks familiar. You also wouldn't be wrong in thinking that the art looks like it was ripped completely from games such as Family Tennis 3D or Family Fishing. Make no mistake, this latest all-ages outdoor sport title is part of the Arc...
Do you consider yourself a samurai among slicers? Do you leave no pizza asymmetrically divided in your wake? Then Slice It! might have a challenge made for you. The goal of Slice It! is straightforward. Each puzzle provides a shape or design that the player must cut into a certain number of separate pieces using full cuts from one side to...
Between retail full-lengths like Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, and Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure, and eShop singles like HarmoKnight and Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe, the 3DS has put on quite a sh