Japan Review Check: Pokemon X/Y, Beyond: Two Souls

A quick look at the best games coming out in Japan next week, as reviewed in the latest Famitsu magazine:

- Pokemon X/Y (10/10/10/9, 39 out of 40 points): X/Y is arguably the biggest upgrade the Pokemon series has ever seen, and Famitsu's editors seem to have rewarded it accordingly. "The advances in the graphics and animated sequences give this game a pretty fresh feel as you play," wrote editor Reona Ebihara. "There are also a lot of smaller, yet excellent improvements, such as earning EXP for capturing Pokemon and using GTS to trade for Pokemon that aren't in your Pokedex."

Other reviewers had particular praise for the visuals ("Being able to do things like pet your newly-3D Pokemon helps up the charm factor. I also like how you can customize your character's clothing, adding some individuality to things"), while freelance writer Giichi Totsuka emphasized that X/Y really is all things to all Pokemon fans: "The game successfully retains all the old hallmarks of the series while adding new surprises and discoveries to the story development and battle setup. I think even people who've been with this game from the beginning will find themselves lost in it."

- Beyond: Two Souls (10/9/10/9, 38 points): David Cage's latest is the best-reviewed Western game this week, narrowly losing out to Pokemon in points. "The shock at being able to control these people, drawn with what can safely be called the pinnacle of graphics tech, is impressive," Ebihara said. "The button-control displays have a way of deftly portraying characters' feelings as well. The story cuts across multiple timelines and may not be for everyone, but has the effect of leaving really strong emotions in your heart."

"The graphics are beautiful enough that you'll wonder whether this is the PS4 in action," added editor Motoki Shinoda. "The story doesn't give much of an impression of freedom, but I suppose you could see it as a new type of game, one that offers a lot of ways to view and alter the proceedings. The button-display QTEs play a natural part within the game, making you feel like you're part of the action and not just going along for the ride."

- Rayman Legends (9/8/8/9, 34 points): This is a Wii U exclusive in Japan (and the only Wii U release of the week, in fact), and Famitsu seemed to dig it well enough. "It's a wonderfully-made side-scrolling action game that delivers everything you'd expect," Ebihara wrote. "The controls feel great, the interactive elements in each stage innovative, and there's that classic Rayman feel all over the place. The game starts easy enough for everyone, then gets gradually more technical as you go on, making for a very well-balanced difficulty level."

"This series is known by this point for high-quality action, and this game definitely lives up to that," Shinoda added. "The new ideas here, such as the stages where you're proceeding along with the music, really shine as well."

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