Welcome to yet another Monthly Summary here at gamergal.exe! I’ve been much more productive this month, seeing a handful of completions over different genres and I’ve invested much more time into larger games that are still ongoing. I’ve still been watching plenty of anime which will soon come in handy for my yearly month of AniMay, a whole month dedicated specifically towards anime, which will of course be taking place throughout May! Although I don’t look to have been very active recently, I’ve been working on a fair few posts in preparation for this annual event that I can’t wait to share with you all.
Before I get too ahead of myself, let’s take a look back at my progress during April:
No Straight Roads
Shadow of Memories
Taisho X Alice Ep3
The beginning of the month saw a surge in completions compared to my record during the previous couple of months with No Straight Roads being ticked off the list first. Wesley gifted this game to me for Christmas, and we’ve been looking forward to playing it together due to our love of local co-op games and mutual interest in music. The concept was great and I could really get behind what the developers were trying to do here, but ultimately, it was a little rough around the edges and we did have a fair few issues overall. However, I will be keeping my eye on this development team as they aim to focus specifically on games with musical elements. Next on the list was Shadow of Memories (also known as Shadow of Destiny) which I’d bought for the PS2 a few years ago thanks to Wesley’s recommendation. Whilst Wesley was helping me fit a new SSD into my PC (which took a long time since we decided to factory reset the whole thing while we were at it – biggest pain of my life), we had to occupy ourselves elsewhere, hence opting for the rarely used PS2. We took a liking to the game almost instantly, and breezed through the story and each of the unique endings within a couple of days. It’s been a while since I’ve played a game from this era, and I have to say, it was a real breath of fresh air. Finally, I managed to get through Taisho x Alice Ep.3 after buying the game on release. I found this one hard to get into unlike its previous chapters, but once I got past Snow White‘s route, I enjoyed the story of the Wizard who’s route made a fantastic setup for the finale. I hope we’ll see it very soon!
Horizon Zero Dawn
Code:Realize Wintertide Miracles
After playing a few more routes of Code:Realize Wintertide Miracles, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t enjoying the seasonal setting. It’s almost summer after all, so I decided to leave it until the appropriate time of the year. Why Aksys decided to release this when Christmas was over is beyond me – so for now, it’s been shelved. I’ve been continuing to make slow progress with Nioh 2 accompanied by Wesley. We’ve been enjoying it thus far, but it’s disappointingly no match for the first game which is probably why it’s taking us so long to get on with it. We also revisited February’s Game of the Month, Hellish Quart, to take a look at their newest update which includes the release of a brand new character. A couple of hours was spent messing around, having tonnes of fun and discovering the settings can be adjusted to allow the characters have a ragdoll fight – which doesn’t actually result in anything other than clothing getting stuck in the floor and glitching all over the place. It’s hilarious though. Lastly, I took advantage of PlayStation’s freebie of Horizon Zero Dawn and have been playing that pretty much non-stop for the past week. I’m assuming the game is free to keep since I haven’t seen anything stating it to be unplayable after a certain time, but since I don’t trust Sony, I’d like to get it finished asap.
Game of the Month:
Shadow of Memories
Shadow of Memories, also known as Shadow of Destiny, was released in 2001 for the PlayStation 2. The story follows Eike Kusch as he travels through time to attempt to uncover the truth behind his inevitable murder. Despite the game being fairly short, it includes several unique endings that each round off a section of the story – ultimately tying everything together once all endings have been discovered.
Both myself and Wesley were drawn into the mystery as there’s much more to it than you’re average murder plot. Time travel was a huge factor of the gameplay with puzzles set across various timelines. Throughout the whole game, this mechanic never felt gimmicky and it was really interesting to see how your actions would affect other points in time as well as finding innovative ways to prevent Eike‘s murder. The game was very well scripted despite having odd pieces of dialogue here and there. I suppose this can be expected due to the translated nature of the game, but it could also be pretty funny at times without feeling out of place.
Shadow of Memories‘ strong point clearly lies within its storytelling alongside the cleverly used time travel mechanic whilst not making things overly complex. Due to the era, the graphics and controls aren’t anything to shout about, but the game functions as to be expected. Don’t let that put you off though, if you can get your hands on this game, I highly recommend it as one of the best mystery, time travelling plots I’ve experienced.
Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood
Yakuza Kiwami 2
I’m reigning back on adding to my backlog for now, but I couldn’t resist buying Scarlet Hood on release a few weeks back. I haven’t found chance to get round to playing yet, but I hope to get on it very soon. Steam’s Golden Week sale went live last night which created the perfect opportunity to pick up Yakuza Kiwami 2 – a game I’ve been dying to play since finishing Yakuza Kiwami back in February. I’ll be finishing this one before buying any others in the series though as it could take a while.
Looking Forward To:
Famicon Detective Club
May is seeing a lot of new releases, with Alisa and Famicom Detective Club being the two I’m most excited about. Since playing Alisa‘s demo at the beginning of the year, I’ve been looking forward to continuing the game as I’m very interested to see more from this 90’s inspired horror game. Famicon Detective Club is another game I’ve had my eye on since I first heard about it, however, it seems to be quite pricey despite the package containing 2 games, so I think I’ll probably hold of on purchasing this straight away. I still need to play Root Film anyway.
It seems I never got round to posting anything on the blog this month, but I have been active behind the scenes creating a whole bunch of content for May’s yearly AniMay tradition here on gamergal.exe! This year, I’m taking this a little further with an exciting new tournament style idea which will all be revealed next week. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out – maybe this could become a more regular feature?
I can’t talk about music and not mention Jin‘s reboot of Children Record! Used as the opening theme for original Vocaloid series, Kagerou Project, this song gained huge popularity back from release in 2012. Jin uploaded this reboot on the 1st of April which sent fans going crazy. I believe he’s also stated another reboot scheduled for 2022!
Speaking of music series, DECO*27 posted a Hatsune Miku version of Undercover, the first song to be released as part of MILGRAM (a project created with The Caligula Effect’s director, Takuya Yamanaka) to celebrate their 1st anniversary. I wasn’t particularly familiar with this project until fairly recently, but I’ll be following as each new character song is released.
HoneyWorks released a new album this month which includes a selection of songs featuring different vocalists and Vocaloids. I instantly took a liking to this catchy song, Love Anthem, featuring Meychan and Gero, but the rest of the album is also great – not to mention the vocalists have posted covers of each others’ featured songs on YouTube too.
Lastly, I really wanted to leave Osamuraisan’s arrangement of Usseewa here as I absolutely love his style of playing. His right hand fascinates me.
That’s all for this month. Expect plenty of anime posts coming your way throughout May – I’m looking forward to revealing my project to you all!