It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than two decades since the final episode of Cowboy Bebop ended with a bang, but the anime still holds a soft spot for many fans. The genre-bending show was not only hugely enjoyable but also featured one of the best musical scores of its time. One of the most memorable tracks is The Real Folk Blues by the Seatbelts, which served as the end credit theme for most of the episodes. Now, this iconic track is making a special comeback in an unprecedented musical collaboration between the videogame and anime industries
Even if you know nothing about the Granblue Fantasy franchise, this fighting game collaboration between Cygames and Arc System Works is a beautiful, yet accessible brawler. With in-depth training modes and a massive RPG section, there’s plenty of content here for players even before sinking their teeth into the multi-player modes. It might not have the biggest roster or most original story, but it is a lot of fun and that’s what matters the most.
Gameplay: Plenty of modes to keep players busy and the game is also very accessible.
Graphics: The art and animation are great.
Sound: The quality of the music, sound effects, and voice-overs are all very high
Mokoko is a fun Qix inspired title that fuses addictive gameplay with some lewd visuals. It shares a lot of similarities with the Gals Panic series by Kaneko, but adds enough wacky elements of its own so that it doesn’t just feel like a cheap clone. The free nudity patch is completely optional, but even without it, Mokoko is not exactly a family-friendly game. Nevertheless, it’s a fun game and definitely offers a lot of value for money.
Gameplay: It uses the tried and tested Qix formula, so you know it’s addictive and fun.
Graphics: Nothing spectacular, but the art is decent overall.
Sound: The soundtrack is decent and the voice acting is pretty good
Seven Days is a visual novel that starts out like something straight out of a horror movie as the protagonist, Kanzaki Shuuichi, receives a cursed Blu-ray disc from a friend. However, thanks to the exorcism skills of his childhood friend, Shuuichi is saved from the evil spirit trying to possess him after watching the disc. This leads to the unexpected development of the female ghost gaining a physical human form and revealing that six other girls are trapped inside her. Shuuichi ends up with his hands full as he attempts to make the last days of these spirits as pleasant as possible, but along the way, it’s impossible for him not to grow attached them. Seven Days is a captivating and well written visual novel that will stay with you even after the credits roll.
Gameplay: The story is well written and there are enough choices for multiple playthroughs.
Graphics: Everything from the character sprites to the backgrounds look great.
Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for all the girls and the soundtrack is pretty neat too
The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart 2 sees the return of Nora Handa as well as the bevy of girls who ensure that there is never a dull moment in his life. Like the first game, it is a mixture of romance, comedy and even a few serious slice of life moments. Unfortunately, it is also censored like the first game, so all traces of adult content has been removed. Despite this, The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart 2 is an entertaining visual novel with enough content to keep you busy for a long time.
Gameplay: A new cast of romanceable characters as well as the return of some old ones.
Graphics: The artwork looks great and the game features plenty of CGs.
Sound: Full Japanese voice acting once again and a mammoth soundtrack
Euphoria is a dark and twisted visual novel with plenty of explicit and over the top sex scenes. However, while it may seem like a pure nukige title, it also has a storyline that draws you in right from the start while continually going in unexpected directions. It’s definitely not a title for the faint of heart or easily offended, but if you can appreciate a good story and put up with some rather unsavory elements, then it’s worth checking out.
Gameplay: Very twisted and filled with plenty of unsavory stuff, but the story is also dark and compelling.
Graphics: Plenty of uncensored CGs, but the backgrounds are rather limited and there are no animations.
Sound: A dark and moody soundtrack and full voice acting for all the female characters
Take control of an ordinary girl who gains extraordinary powers and the ability to step through rifts in reality to battle vicious “Chaos Beasts.” Dusk Diver features the vibrant real-world setting of Ximending as well as it’s shadowy fictional counterpart Youshanding for players to explore. It’s a “Musou” style beat ’em up, so expect plenty of punching and kicking, but there’s also some downtime between missions for exploring Ximending, eating food and performing side quests. Despite some flaws, Dusk Diver is a very compelling game and definitely something for fans of the genre.
Gameplay: Combat can become repetitive, but overall the game is fun to play.
Graphics: The vibrant anime art style and unique setting for the game are both great.
Sound: Decent music and full Japanese as well as Mandarin voice acting
Gun Gun Pixies is a fan-service heavy third-person shooter where players get to infiltrate an all-girl dorm with a pair of pint-size pixies from another planet. It is a very niche title and makes no apologies for the copious amounts of ecchi content, but the story is actually very decent and running around as a tiny pixie in a world filled with giant girls can be fun. Unfortunately, the game can be a little repetitive and some areas, such as the controls, could do with improvements. Ultimately, if you are a fan of the genre and enjoy the fan-service, then you might be able to overlook the flaws and have fun with his one.
Gameplay: Fun, but it can be more frustrating than challenging at times due to the controls.
Graphics: The visuals are decent and the girls look great, but the environments are very limited.
Sounds: Average music, but the voices and sound effects are good
9-Nine-: Episode 2 features more of the vibrant art and excellent writing that was featured in the first installment. However, it’s not quite a sequel as it instead focuses on a different heroine compared to episode 1. This can be a little annoying for players who want to uncover all the mysteries instead of just learning more about the different heroines. The game is also rather short and left us wanting more, but this is mostly due to the great character dialog and superb translation. Despite some questionable elements 9-Nine-: Episode 2 is a great visual novel and we have no qualms recommending the entire series to fans of the genre.
Gameplay: Features a lot more humor compared to episode one and the writing is still superb.
Graphics: The art is detailed and vibrant, although a lot of the character sprites and backgrounds are reused.
Sound: Excellent voice acting, but most of the background tunes are the same
The new remastered version of Saya no Uta ~ The Song of Saya updates this classic visual novel without messing with the things that have made it so popular. It is still as disturbing as ever, although Steam players will have to spring for the adult patch to get the full experience. The original artwork looks great in high definition and the new engine means it’s no longer a hassle to try and run the game on modern hardware. It’s also good to see that the already great translation has been polished even more. If you can handle disturbing content, and enjoy the genre, then we cannot recommend Saya no Uta ~ The Song of Saya enough.
Gameplay: Not a lot of choices, but the story is so good that you won’t mind.
Graphics: Still very disturbing, especially when played uncensored.
Sound: The soundtrack is excellent and so is the voice acting