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Japan Review Check: Shin Megami Tensei 4, RE Revelations HD

A quick look at the highlights among the games coming out in Japan this coming week, courtesy the review pages of Famitsu magazine:

- Resident Evil: Revelations HD (9/9/10/8, 36 out of 40 points): Famitsu's editors gave the same score to the Wii U, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of this game, a souped-up port of the 3DS original. "The portable version was pretty," editor Reona Ebihara wrote, "but having this on the big screen results in a totally different experience. Each section is just the right length, making it easy to play. The volume to explore is already beyond what you'd expect from a portable title, and they've now added a new difficulty level for experts to get into. There's also new characters and parts in Raid Mode, too, giving you more to play around with."

The review crew also had generally good things to say about how the game uses the Wii U platform. "You can have the Wii U GamePad display maps and item info and so on," Ranbu Yoshida wrote, "and since that means there's no textual info displayed onscreen, you do get more of a you-are-there feeling than on other platforms. It was already scary enough on the 3DS, but getting it on your TV makes it all the more terrifying."

- Shin Megami Tensei 4 (9/9/10/9, 37 points): The hardcore RPG folks at Famitsu couldn't get enough of the new SMT, by far their favorite portable title of the week. "The game does a great job of guiding you in through the tutorial," Ebihara wrote, "and I'm impressed how open it is to even beginners to the series. Despite that, the difficulty's set so that you're always toeing the line between life and death, and the Shin Megami Tensei-style tension is present in every battle."

"The battle system, where you strike at enemies' weak points in order to increase your number of turns, is as simple as it is thrilling," Yoshida added. "It's easy as always to get enthralled in demon fusions, and the 'recommendation' feature for fusions is also convenient."

- Valhalla Knights 3 (8/7/7/8, 30 points): Meanwhile, the editors weren't quite as impressed with Marvelous AQL's latest Vita title. "The battles seem fresh, with up to 14 characters and monsters mixed in with each other," Yoshida said, "and it's impressive to see them unfold onscreen. The wealth of quests and character-building tools give you a lot to do as well. However, I didn't like how there's loading whenever you go between areas in town. I would have liked to see more oomph to the event animation, too."

"I think the battles could've done with being more uptempo," responded writer Morrigan Osada. "Once you're dealing with lots of characters, it's hard to tell who's going where, which is a shame."

- Terraria (8/7/7/6, 28 points): The PS3 version of the indie 2D sandbox game got both retail and online editions in Japan, which is why Famitsu gave it the full treatment. Looking at the text and scores, though, it seems safe to say that least a couple editors didn't really get it. "You have a lot of freedom," Osada wrote, "to the point where you don't really know what to do at first, which may cause confusion. The controls require getting used to as well, and overall there are some high hurdles here. However, the feeling of achievement when you overcome major obstacles and get strong items is pretty intense. It's not for everyone, but people who like exploration or making fancy homes and such will get into it."

The next level of puzzles.

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