Monthly Summary: July 2022

It’s Monthly Summary time once again! July was a much better month than June in terms of gaming and not only did I complete a generous handful of games, I also started quite a few more! I managed to get stuck into some recently purchased titles and ended up ticking the majority of them off my list, but I started a couple of games that I wasn’t expecting to play anytime soon too which was a nice surprise really, even for me. Before I go spoiling which games I’m into at the moment, let’s take a look at what I achieved throughout July:


Completions:

RESEARCH and DESTROY

Higurashi When They Cry – Rei

TSIOQUE

Black Knight Sword

even if TEMPEST

The first game I finished this month was RESEARCH and DESTROY by Implausible Industries. I absolutely loved this game, which was partly due to it featuring local co-op play, and it won the title of Game of the Month for both my May and June monthly summaries. I even went the extra mile and collected all the achievements which was a little frustrating, but super fun too! Next up was Higurashi When They Cry – Rei, the epilogue to the Higurashi series. This chapter contains 3 short stories to be enjoyed after the events of the main Higurashi storyline. Although one story was significantly better than the others (Saikoroshi-hen), it was definitely worth the 6 hours I invested into the whole game. Indie point & click game, TSIOQUE, was the next game to be crossed off the list. This was really a beautifully animated little game that had a wonderful fairy-tale inspired story to go along with it! The puzzles were decent, but it was sometimes hard to tell what could be interacted with. Next, with some help from WesleyWhale, I then finished a playthrough of Grasshopper Manufacture’s Black Knight Sword. I really enjoyed this game to start with thanks to its unique theatre production theme and storytelling, but it was extremely difficult top play featuring strange controls that seemed to have a mind of their own. On completing the last boss fight, we were greeted with one of those dumb non-endings that encourage you to go for a NG+ playthrough, but by this time we’d unfortunately had enough of it. Last, but not least, I finished the otome even if TEMPEST. This was a refreshing change of pace for an otome game, and I loved the darker themes and investigation system for each chapter. I also loved how all the routes blended into one full playthrough rather than having the traditional stop-start route system. Everything about this game amazing including the writing, characters, voice acting, art, OST – I’m not kidding when I say everything!


Games Played:

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Elden Ring

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

LOOPERS

TAISHO x ALICE: HEADS & TAILS

As well of finishing plenty of games, I also started a few more! I made the effort to revisit the absolutely stunning 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim which I hope to finish up next month and I also returned to Elden Ring with WesleyWhale. We didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere with this game before so the gameplay became quite stale, but taking a break was just what we needed to get back into it. Elden Ring wasn’t the only FromSoft game to make the list this month as WesleyWhale persuaded me to have a go at Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Since I enjoyed playing Nioh, Sekiro has always caught my eye, and now I’m just over 10 hours in, I can say that I’m liking it so far – most of the time anyway… Between our playthroughs of Elden Ring and Sekiro, we decided to start Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. We both love beat ’em ups so this was so much fun to play after dedicating a lot of our time to more stressful games. It’s no Streets of Rage 4, but it’s still a lot of fun! As for solo gaming, I started the visual novel, LOOPERS, which I’m really enjoying so far. I’ve heard it’s quite short so I would say I’m about halfway through, but it’s been great so far and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next. LOOPERS features English, Chinese and Japanese text which can be changed with the press of just one button, so I’ve been making use of this feature to test some of my Japanese. Last on the list is the new otome release of TAISHO x ALICE: HEADS & TAILS, the fandisk to the TAISHO x ALICE series. I’ve only played Cinderella and Red’s afterstories so far, but they’re so funny and I can’t wait to play more!


Game of the Month:

even if TEMPEST

even if TEMPEST is the newest release from Voltage, released on the 9th of June 2022 for the Nintendo Switch. This otome visual novel follows Anastasia on her unexpected journey in a world where witches and witch trials are common. Gifted with the ability to rewind time upon her death, Anastasia must use whatever means she can to save the people she loves whilst also plotting for her own sweet revenge.

even if TEMPEST is quite different to any other otome game I’ve ever played thanks to its investigation mechanics. Each chapter contains a witch trial involving the protagonist, Anastasia, and characters who are close to her resulting at least one person being branded as a witch and immediately executed. These trials involve investigations into a selection of characters in order to collect evidence to use during each trial, presenting a mystery and detective element to the game. Not only that, but the entire game is also played with each characters’ route following on from the other rather than the traditional layout of each route having its own ending. This worked really well due to Anastasia’s rewind ability and tied each route together nicely with the overall plot. Bad ends (game overs) still exist throughout, and each of the 4 dateable characters have both a happy ending and a sad love ending.

Although this game contains dark themes that some people may dislike, I personally think it’s a refreshing change to have this kind of tone. All the characters were well written and perfectly voiced within a believable fantasy world featuring beautiful art and a fantastic OST. even if TEMPEST really is the whole package, and despite it being slightly shorter (with an playtime of between 20 and 30 hours), it’s definitely worth your time! My only minor complaint is that I wish the final chapters could have been a bit longer as I felt myself craving that little bit more content to really finish the experience off nicely, although, I did appreciate how the bonus route tied off the loose ends.


Purchases:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

TSIOQUE

Lucifer Within Us

TAISHO x ALICE: HEADS & TAILS

It seems like forever ago since Steam’s Summer Sale, but this month includes the small amount of new games I acquired during the so called ‘best sale of the year’. Considering I had my eye on about 20 different games, I surprised myself and only ended up buying two: Lucifer Within Us and TSIOQUE. I then took advantage of the 10% release discount on both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge and TAISHO x ALICE: HEADS & TAILS.


Looking Forward To:

Cult of the Lamb

The Fabulous Fear Machine

Last Time I Saw You

The three games I’m most looking forward to right now are three titles I played the demos for during Steam’s last Next Fest. Cult of the Lamb is the one I’m most excited about which is due for release on the 11th of August followed by a summer release for The Fabulous Fear Machine and a ‘coming soon’ tag for Last Time I Saw You. If you’d like to find out more about these games, you can read about my experience with the demos in my Steam Next Fest post!


Blog:

Otome Announcements 2023

(Updated) Otome Announcements: 2022

There’s not been much content on the blog this month. I wrote about the upcoming otome announcements for 2023 and I also updated my post featuring all of the otome announcements for 2022 with all the confirmed release dates! Go check them out for all the information!


Music:

Once again, there’s been a lot of great song releases this month. First up is ツミキ (Tsumiki’s) フォニイ (Phony) by 和楽器バンド (Wagakki Band). I love this version with the traditional Japanese instrumentation and I’m looking forward to seeing what other songs 和楽器バンド have lined up for their new album next month!

Next up is new release, Carnival, by luz. I’ve always loved luz’s jazz/metal sound and his gothic style as it’s unlike anything else I listen to. Although Carnival isn’t as heavy as the majority of his other songs, I really enjoyed the genre fusion and the catchiness of this track that I find myself coming back to it over and over again.

New release from Ado now with 逆光 (Backlight) from the ONE PIECE FILM: RED movie. This sound is not what I expected from Ado, but it’s actually I really good song with an explosive chorus that suits her vocal style so well. It seems she’s also done the vocals for other tracks in the film too with an album set to release next month.

I love this acoustic cover of Orangestar’s アスノヨゾラ哨戒班 (Night Sky Patrol of Tomorrow) by アカラ カイ(Akala kai). This is the type of cover I aspire to do in the future and アカラ カイ is one of my main influences in doing so. I really like the original vocaloid song, but I really like his arrangement for the acoustic guitar here, it sounds so different, yet so good.

Next on the list is レオ (Leo) acoustic ver. by 優里×Tani Yuuki (Yuuri and Tani Yuuki). 優里 is one of my favourite artists and the original version of レオ instantly stood out to be, but Tani Yuuki singing it with him makes it even more special. The harmony in the last chorus is amazing!

Last on this list this month is そらる (Soraru’s) cover of ロストワンの号哭 (Lost One’s Weeping) by neru. そらる first covered this song many years ago, but this piano version was created to celebrate the 14th anniversary of his activities. If you’re familiar with my monthly summaries, you’ll probably already know that そらる is my all time favourite, but his piano/acoustic covers are my absolute favourite thing to listen to so I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything better.


That concludes July’s Monthly Summary! I hope the content for this month makes up for the small amount I had to share last month! During August, I’m hoping to finish most the games I started as well as check a few others off the list to make way for the new releases coming in September (I’ll talk more about those next month)! Hopefully I’ll have another busy month ahead!

What have you been up to this month?

Thanks for reading!

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