Category Archives: Japanese Games

This category is for Japanese games. This includes titles released directly for the console, as well as those ported to consoles and PC from other platforms. The reviews are listed in chronological order, and if you’re looking for a particular title please use the search bar at the top of the screen.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our reviews, be sure to message us on our contact page or email the author and we’ll be more than happy to discuss our viewpoints.

It should also be pointed out that this area doubles as an archive, so reviews may go back quite a bit.

Haven Review: Touhou Genso Wanderer

There are some games out there that inspire greatness, that exude the promise of greatness and that are just naturally amazing. However, Touhou Genso Wanderer is not one of these games.

I love the character designs and artwork, the voice acting and the animation for the game is simply amazing. Like holy hell the animation for the cut-scenes is on par with some of the greatest games I have ever seen for anime-styled games.

However, it’s the actual gameplay that has been disappointing. You get a world of build up and then when you get to actually playing the game it is a simple dungeon explorer title with nothing special or amazing about it. No attention to detail, repetitive music and ultimately bland to look at it. It has a strong feeling like the assets were ripped from RPG maker software, titled in and coded for a Play Station 4 game.

Touhou Genso Wanderer is a title that could have been great but gave up half-way through. Although I am not sure on why, it could be budget constraints; it could be poor direction, or even simply poor design.

The controls for the game were pretty confusing as well and the screen re-size function on the Play Station 4 didn’t help much in its visuals as well. The game just simply kept overriding the default options I had placed in.  So I could never see the full status bar of my character.

I know I am being very critical about the game, but honestly that is what I am here for to be critical about games. The game sucks, put simply and people can complain and argue that with me to their blue in the face. I don’t like how they didn’t get the stage design more detail, I don’t like the repetitive music on a infinite loop, I don’t like how they mashed the controls together and barely gave any type of tutorial to go along with it.

I’d like to say it’s one of the worst games I have ever played, but there’s quite a few in the running for that.  The best part of the game is simply its branding. The beautiful and colorful characters, the animation, even the voice acting are pretty nice. It’s just everything else about the title that’s bad.

If you want in this article appears several images from the game to explain what I mean in regards to its poor level design and why I dislike it.    

If I had to say some positive things about it, I’d say that the level transition goes quickly and loads up well. But that is because they are doing a tiled asset approach and don’t have a lot of things to load.

Actual combat remains somewhat of a bore and the plot used to let you battle actual humans in the game is a simple plot convenience that lets them recycle assets to help keep the file size low for this game.

I’d say don’t buy it, but if you like sloppy work for a cheaply made game that most people could put together on the RPG maker forum with basic coding and simple assets than. By all means this game is the game for you! Although if the fan base reads this article, which they probably will at some point, my opinion probably doesn’t matter to you so enjoy the game anyways.

-Daniel Clatworthy

For the record if anyone also wanted to know, I’m not the only person who feel’s this way, a lot of people on Metacritic say the same thing.

Haven Review: Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps

   “Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-“is the first part of a visual novel game set in an all girls missionary school in japan. You follow Suoh Shirahane from her arrival at this school, and in her quest to overcome personal challenges and make friends.

Suoh is a very shy, kind and beautiful girl with a passion for books. Growing up very isolated from other children made her long for friendship. Her choice for joining this school was their friendship program. Where all students will be assigned compatible friends to share dorm rooms with while they live at the school. Suoh tries her best to navigate the social scene to get the friends she desperately wants, which causes her some embarrassment at times. But she learns from these experiences and moves on, and friendships starts to blossom in her life. Being around all the different people at school also has some darker sides, and makes memories of her childhood come back to her throughout the story, and you gradually learn more about Suohs past.

The game is a simple “click your way through” the story, and will also give you opportunities to make decisions that will have an effect on Suohs life.  So you as a player will determine this girl’s path through her time at the school while you make lifelong decisions and solve mysteries, all while fulfilling the responsibilities as a student.

Flowers is a very pretty game, with wonderful art and also with nice background music. They also used voice actors for this game, which makes it even more immersive and interesting to play. If you like anime/manga in a school setting, or you like quality manga art, you might want to give this game a try.

Personally I enjoy this game, but in moderate portions. Playing for too long became a little boring for me, it can be a bit slow, but then again it is a visual novel. But I do find myself wondering what is going happen to Suoh and return to the game to continue her story. I have yet to play many visual novel games, so I cannot compare this to others. But I do enjoy “Flowers”, and I personally would recommend it and feel it is worth buying.

“Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-“is the first part of a visual novel game set in an all girls missionary school in japan. You follow Suoh Shirahane from her arrival at this school, and in her quest to overcome personal challenges and make friends.

Suoh is a very shy, kind and beautiful girl with a passion for books. Growing up very isolated from other children made her long for friendship. Her choice for joining this school was their friendship program. Where all students will be assigned compatible friends to share dorm rooms with while they live at the school. Suoh tries her best to navigate the social scene to get the friends she desperately wants, which causes her some embarrassment at times. But she learns from these experiences and moves on, and friendships starts to blossom in her life. Being around all the different people at school also has some darker sides, and makes memories of her childhood come back to her throughout the story, and you gradually learn more about Suohs past.

The game is a simple “click your way through” the story, and will also give you opportunities to make decisions that will have an effect on Suohs life.  So you as a player will determine this girl’s path through her time at the school while you make lifelong decisions and solve mysteries, all while fulfilling the responsibilities as a student.

Flowers is a very pretty game, with wonderful art and also with nice background music. They also used voice actors for this game, which makes it even more immersive and interesting to play. If you like anime/manga in a school setting, or you like quality manga art, you might want to give this game a try.

Personally I enjoy this game, but in moderate portions. Playing for too long became a little boring for me, it can be a bit slow, but then again it is a visual novel. But I do find myself wondering what is going happen to Suoh and return to the game to continue her story. I have yet to play many visual novel games, so I cannot compare this to others. But I do enjoy “Flowers”, and I personally would recommend it and feel it is worth buying.

-Ingelin Gridset

Haven Review: Hatsune Miku Project Diva X

Vocaloids its taken the world by storm with their nice synthesized voices and their little skirts but lets be serious does it stand up well in a game and that is what we aim to find out in Hatsune Miku Project Diva X.     project_diva_x_logo Now getting right into it the game is a Rhythm game and as such it has a standard rule of thumb which is to simply hit the right notes at the right time to win points at the end of the game. It has a score multiplayer to increase your score but that really isn’t needed and its just to make the game seem like it has more depth to it.

project-diva-x-gameplayEach stage is done with the music we have grown to love from various YouTube artists online and the canon that the fanbase has helped create. Don’t get me wrong in this regard, I love how Sega handles many of their fan related things from Sonic the Hedgehog, and the first class shade they throw at Nintendo deserves awards.

But this variety of game has been recycled over and over from the 3Ds title we reviewed to this game. The same mechanics over and again to the point where they aren’t really inspiring.

Now I know what you are probably thinking, why am I attacking the franchise like this? We’ll its true, that is all a Rhythm game is and truth be told you can find other franchises like it also such as Dance Dance Revolution from Konami, or anything fan made on NewsGrounds that is completely free to play.hatsune-miku-diva-x-feature

I am not saying that Rhythm games are bad, I am saying they need to work on their material that being said lets continue on with the review shall we?

The music for the game as expected is songs that have been a part of the fan base for the longest time and they are enjoyable, there are a few tracks that Sega themselves put in mainly for menu’s but in the end the games music is pretty decent. Not saying its bad, its decent much like how if its not broken don’t fix it basically.

There is some fun aspects for the game where you can complete stages and win items to dress up your Vocaloids with items like Dog ears, fancy outfits and skirts and such. So if you are a fan of dressing up digital women in fancy outfits you can do that too! I even have a personal favorite for the Vocaloids and my personal choice is Luka and her long pink hair so its nice to dress her up, it makes my inner nerd scream with joy.hatsunemikux-jpg

The controls for the game are also spot on and truth be told its the most accurate part of the game as it is the requirement to even play a Rhythm game. Without decent controls the game wouldn’t even be playable.

But I think the biggest issue with the game is that they try to give it a deep in depth story and it just makes the entire game fall apart as a whole. I get it the worlds you go to need music and their falling dim and you need to sing to bring the worlds back to life and also use this special item to make singing easier and fill it up so you can go to the other worlds.obyii4xutlzi2dxslelo

There I summarized the story for you, each world is comprised into a musical category from Jazz, to classical and so forth and you got to play the various stages of each world to bring them back to life.

In conclusion though the game is fun in its own regard, but it feels like Sega keeps pumping these out for a cash grab to try and lure in the love struck fan base for a quick profit. I would hope that a company that can provide first class shade can back up their strong talk with more solid gameplay but the title left me a bit listless in terms  of its quality.hatsunemikuopeningmovie5

If you are a fan of classic Rhythm games and the repetitive gameplay it provides than this is the title for you. If you want something more creative and innovative you best look elseware.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

miku