A recap of the most interesting games coming out soon in Japan, courtesy of the reviews section in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine:
- Resident Evil 6 (10/10/10/9, 39 out of 40 points): Capcom's latest scores one point shy of becoming the 20th game in Famitsu history to reach a perfect score. (39/40 is also one point better than what Resident Evil 5 managed in 2009, in case you're interested.)
"The visuals are flashy and really thrilling," one review began. "You've got this feeling of dread as you and your partner proceed through some dark locale, but there are new types of horror here, like people on the street turning into zombies one after the other. The creatures are pretty tough, and deciding when to fight and when to flee is important."
Other reviewers praised the variety to the scenarios you play through ("The heroes work at different aims, but they contact and fight alongside each other, which leads to some fun situations"), but others had complaints about the visuals: "One concern of mine is that even if you turn your TV or screen's brightness way up, the game can still be pretty dark, even though that's on purpose. The screen shakes a lot, too, which may be tough for people who get sick easily off 3D titles" - something that, anecdotally, Japanese gamers are a lot more susceptible to.
- World Soccer: Winning Eleven 2013 (9/9/8/9, 35 points): The inferiority of Konami's soccer series (called Pro Evolution Soccer outside of Japan) to FIFA was forever proven when Famitsu began to score EA's series better than PES a couple years back, but the game still has its fans. "I don't see any big changes from the previous game," one editor admitted. "It's all in the little things, like better control and improved AI, resulting in a more realistic soccer experience. I like the manual passing/shooting system in particular, which lets you get down to the nitty-gritty of strength, height and trajectory. The star players also have their signature moves, too, which is neat."
Another reviewer brought up that inevitable soccer-game complexity complaint: "You get training for the new controls you get, but it's still pretty complex and you won't be able to play the way you really want before you master them."
- Sol Trigger (9/9/8/8, 34 points): Here's an RPG from the JRPG standard-bearers at Image Epoch that probably won't come out in English - something we can be reasonably sure of given that it's a PSP (not Vita) game. (Image Epoch is taking advantage of this in the Japanese advertising, touting it as the last "real" RPG the system will ever see.
"There's a unique system for earning and nurturing skills," said one reviewer, "and the battle system based off of that is really fun. What's more, as your skills improve, you see all kinds of visual effects added on to them which really helps you lose yourself in the game. Save points are liberally scattered throughout and you can return to your homebase to refill energy, so it's pretty easy to play, too.
"It's a pretty orthodox RPG," began another, "but one that devotes a lot of effort to the visual presentation, so right from the start you're being drawn in by it. Each character is unique, and the story leaves you wondering what's going to happen next. The battles are fast-paced and really put you in the scene, with enemies charging right toward you onscreen."