Japan Review Check: God/Fate Paradox, Hitman: Absolution

Here's a quick summary of the console titles coming out next week in Japan, courtesy of the review pages of Famitsu magazine.

Perhaps the most unusual (or, at least, goofy) title due out is Genkai Tokki Monster Monpiece, a PlayStation Vita game from Compile Heart. A card-themed strategy role-playing game, the title attracted some attention because of the way you power up the "monster girl"-styled cards in your deck. How do you do it? Well, like this. (The video isn't strictly Not Safe For Work, but you probably wouldn't want to be caught viewing it regardless.)

"You advance one step with each turn, which gives his game a different sort of tactical approach from other card-based titles," Famitsu wrote, awarding it 33 points out of 40. "From the color-based Aura Bonuses to fusing cards of identical type together, there's a lot of depth to this seemingly simple concept. [The power-up process] is a little too spicy for its own good, but it's definitely the sort of control experience you'd only get from the PS Vita."

Other notable titles:

- The God and Fate Revolution Paradox (9/8/8/8, 33 points): Nippon Ichi Software's latest role-playing game is a PlayStation 3 exclusive that has the hero (a freshly-minted god) challenging a series of dungeons with his team of support angels.

"Basically it's what you get if NIS tried to make a semi-serious rogue-like game," wrote reviewer Genki Shinohara. "There's a massive amount of stuff set up here to encourage repeated play, from the huge lineup of equipment to the smith system that lets you combine them together. I like how your character's external appearance changes with the equipment you put on them, too. If you like the characters and world setting, you should really enjoy it."

"The game's got a standard sort of dungeon-RPG system that melds pretty well with the NIS-style original features," added editor Norihiro Fujiwara. "The story, which involves you as a god helping make assorted characters' dreams come true, is pretty funny. There's a ton to do after beating the game, so you can really get into playing it for a while."

- Hitman: Absolution (9/9/9/9, 36 points): Japan had to wait about two months for IO Interactive's latest after it hit the rest of the world, but Famitsu's editors didn't seem to mind.

"There isn't anything revolutionary about it," Fujiwara began, "but I like all the missions and methods of assassination you're carrying out here. The controls are nice, and the strategy involved in following your enemies' moves and using disguises and the local environment to your advantage is really charming."

"Not only are there a huge amount of missions," Shinohara added, "but you're rarely locked into a single way of completing them, which makes things a lot more fun. There's something really exciting about finishing off a mission in some way you totally didn't expect at first."

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