Japan Review Check: 'LittleBigPlanet PS Vita', 'Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning'

A recap of the most interesting games coming out soon in Japan, courtesy of the reviews section in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine.

A recap of the most interesting games coming out soon in Japan, courtesy of the reviews section in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine:

  • LittleBigPlanet PS Vita (9/9/9/9, 36 points out of 40): It's perhaps not the flashiest release one could think of, but in this relatively slow release period in Japan (the week of the Tokyo Game Show), it was the highest rated title. "Even on the PS Vita, the pretty and unique graphics are still prevalent," one review began. "The stages are packed with neat gimmicks, and as an action game it's extremely well made and designed to keep you from getting bored. The content lends itself well to the touch controls, making stage creation quite simple."

    "The graphics and interface are excellent," continued another editor, "to the point where just pressing the buttons feels good. Some of the interface might be a little complex, but the bits that take advantage of the touch screen and rear panel are really fun. Building stages is difficult until you get used to it, but definitely stimulate your creative juices. In terms of cost performance, it's a game you can play for a long while."
  • Final Fantasy III (9/8/7/9, 33 points): You may be wondering why Square Enix is deciding to release FFIII for the PSP at this point in time. So are many Japanese. It's essentially a budget port of the Nintendo DS title from 2006 with only a few small upgrades. "It's just another remake," one editor wrote, "but the story's still very easy to get emotionally caught up with. I like how you're no longer obliged to go online in order to access hidden parts of the game, and the sped-up autobattles are very convenient. Series fans will also like how you can set the music to NES-style in the game options."

    (Some gamers might see the removable of FFIII's online features as a downgrade, but at least one other Famitsu editor agreed that "the removal of the online component, if anything, helps make the game more accessible.")
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (9/8/8/9, 34 points): Scoring just a bit above FFIII is the now-infamous hack-n-slash title, one whose backstory was just was heavily reported upon in Japan as it was elsewhere. "It's an extremely Western game," began one reviewer, "but one built for ease of access overall. The battles are heavily action-oriented, but not particularly difficult, making it easy to mow down foes. It's a very simple game to play, although the story had pretty much no impact on me."

    The rest of the review crew liked the story better, although the rest of the game sounded a tad more disappointing. "There's nothing particularly original about it," one said, "and while I like the freedom behind character creation and job selection, there aren't a lot of external appearance patterns. Some of the dungeons seem awfully similar to each other, but the story (while complex) has some massive twists that keep you engaged."

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