Cleared the Domain of the Celts dungeon on Hard and got a bonus image and some new multipliers in the Extras menu as a reward. Then I cleared the Easy version of The Tune of X'mas dungeon, which unlocked one more multiplier.
Made 2 more attempts at completing Bullet Break, but unfortunately both were unsuccessful. At least I managed to reach the final boss - Buggo Nayuta. She has tons of terrible attacks, but the worst one is splashing paint over your bullets, so you can't see what you are playing. Remembering the order before she executes that seems to be the only solution.
Japanese Goblins is another one of those lewd puzzle games where you have to order an image. The characters are obviously based on the ladies from Goblin Slayer and the art is great. The game is an indecent little time waster, so if you are a fan of the above mentioned anime and want to see some lewd art - give it a try.
I made a lot of progress in the story. First Yumo and Leo met Bette, who turns out to be Bahet's maid. When the group met with Le Viada, Bette went insane and attacked her. The mysterious maid was the game's first proper boss battle and she was somewhat challenging, since you still don't know how to play well. When you reduce her health to a certain degree she becomes enraged, which makes her deal more damage and has super armour. When you break it you have the option to activate Decisive Burst, which is like regular Burst, but it goes up to 200% and you can activate a Burst Ultimate, which is even more powerful than the regular one. When you defeat Bette, she comes to her senses and le Viada joins your party. Her move set focuses on long range gun attacks. Unfortunately the assists have the same timer, which means you can't summon Leo combo into Le Viada's special move, which is a strange limit considering you could do it in the first game. Gameplay-wise I unlocked sidequests, which like in the previous game are a fun distraction, helping you get familiar with the setting and characters.
Like its terrible title Loot Box Simulator - RPG Anime Girls is an awful game. The gameplay portion of it (if we can even call it that) is you being presented with a multiple choice question based on a fantasy setting. Each answer either earns or loses you gold. When you have 100 gold you can purchase a chest which gives you 3 images - hence the loot box simulator part. The questions themselves are usually asking you to perform one of 4 actions, but the problem is that some of them make no sense and the gold values are not consistent. For example fighting the hydra earns you gold, but fighting an ogre loses you. There are also times where most actions will lose you gold, so picking the least worst one is the way to go. Some like "going into a dungeon" gives you a random value. The best strategy is to spend your money once you have 100 lest you lose them, but the whole process is brain dead and not fun. This could've been easily fixed if this was a text-based adventure, but I guess that required a little too much effort. The images you unlock appear in the gallery, and while the art itself is pretty good, scrolling through the gallery is a pain. Why they didn't implement a grid is beyond me. I suppose one can try to get all the images, but with the randomness of the loot boxes this can take a long time and it isn't worth the dull gameplay. Maybe this game is a commentary on how anything related to loot boxes is utter cancer. Avoid it.
The next level to conquer was Bullet Break. There doesn't seem to be a gimmick here, but you can use all types of cards, which in a way could be a problem for constructing your magazine. I also noticed that the event steps tend to screw you over a lot more often than before. Towards the end of the path you must fight at least one of each boss from the previous stages. I failed on my first attempt and while the second was going really well, the game actually glitched and didn't finish a battle, which I won.
Nicole reached the Research Centre where Mina revealed that she's a robot from Planet X (Titan). She was sent on a mission to obtain dinosaur DNA, but in the process of recreating the dinosaurs the zombie plague was unleashed by Dr J. After escaping a T-Rex Nicole had a final confrontation with her son Leon on Mina's spaceship. They both got ejected in the vacuum on space where Nicole shot him, but his mind was uploaded to a hard drive and he survived. Nicole was left to die alone in space with a tease for the sequel with Mina and her robot Queen.
Red Colony 2 is an improvement from the first game. There are no obvious bugs like one character being in multiple places at the same time. The controls are clunky and the animations are stiff, but the overall look of the game does have some charm. The resource management is well implemented and you actually have to think about conserving ammo. There aren't many new enemies aside from the raptors, which are insta-kill invulnerable death traps, which should be avoided. The puzzles are well designed and require some thinking, but some of them can be quite obscure and may require you taking notes. The story becomes more and more insane, but its absurdity grew on me. Nicole is a terrible person and it seems these games don't deliver a happy ending, but it's interesting to see where the narrative goes. If you are a fan of classic Resident Evil games, this one might appeal to you.
After another failed attempt with Akari I switched to Hikaru and completed Phoenix Gunner. It turns out her extra Bullet can be quite useful. although it's still dependent on luck. One strategy I adopted was to save more powerful bullets which say make you invulnerable or paralyse your opponent for when they are absolutely necessary since usually bosses have more powerful attacks towards the end of the battle. Story-wise the autistic Singulady Coco reveals that her boss is no other than Nayuta who herself was corrupted by the Buggos. This made her a target of formatting in order to fix all the broken games, so now our heroines have the chance to save her by defeating the source of the corruption in Bullet Break.
It turns out that Kao's Eternal Gloves are actually sentient and they are quite suspect. They don't talk all the time, so they are not annoying, but occasionally they'd let in a quip. Eventually I reached the first boss - Terror - who was surprisingly challenging. His fight had elements of platforming and you had to be on your toes to dodge his attacks, considering your limited health. Upon defeating him Terror reveals that he got a crystal in the jungle which made the monkeys mad and it is somehow linked to the Eternal Gloves. In a subsequent level your gloves could absorb fire, which allow you to remove some obstacles like webs and activate certain switches. You can hold up to 3 charges and once you use it for one of the following actions you lose a charge. If you fight with fire gloves on there doesn't seem to be any effect and you can keep your charges. You can also infuse boomerangs with the fire to hit switches out of your reach. Kao continues his search for his dad and sister in the Hungry Jungle. He was trying to meet the fighting master Jayabaya - a friend of his dad - but it turns out that he has started some sort of a drink production business and abandoned his old ways. Eventually you meet him and he has forgotten all about Kao's dad and tries to get the Eternal Gloves out of you. When you defeat him in a not very difficult boss battle, Jayabaya comes to his senses and directs Kao towards the Oldest One another martial artist who may know more about his dad. He also mentions that a being called the Eternal Warrior is what corrupted him via the crystal. The plot is surprisingly involved for a 3D platformer.
Kao reached the Frozen Mountains to talk to the Oldest One. She has set up a spa resort and you have to go through different levels to get an audience with her. Here you get Ice charges used to unsurprisingly freeze things and solve different puzzles. I noticed some issues with the platforming when climbing ledges - you have to be very accurate and patient since you cannot fall onto a ledge without dropping down, which is bizarre. Eventually you face the Odest One in a pretty interesting boss fight, where you first have to deflect her projectiles with mirrors and then battle against her clones. When you defeat her she comes to her senses and explains that she too was corrupted by the crystals. She also trained Kao's sister, who went to the Eternal Island to find their dad. You follow her to the place too. Chances are that the Eternal Warrior may be Kao's dad.
Played the Pretty Girls Games Collection - a physical release from Funbox Media, which as the title states contains 4 of the Pretty Girls games. The difference is that these versions of the games actually have extra nude stages, not even available in Japan, because they don't allow nipples to be shown. I verified that with Rui's levels in Delicious Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire and the last stage does have her topless.
Completed Aquarhythm Deep. After that Nayuta suspiciously declared that the investigations are over. In the chat it's revealed that she is in fact a AI who might have obtained sentience. The girls are now led by Blackcat and the next game to be freed from the Buggos is Phoenix Gunner - a shmup. The gimmick here is that bullets spawn 3 types of drones - shield, heal and attack. They are activated at the end of the turn and generally the more you have - the better. You have a maximum number of drones, so if you summon one (or more) above that limit the first one in the queue is destroyed. Unfortunately I failed, but I learned that from this stage you can select which heroine you want to play as.
Tried the newly unlocked character Casey Jones. He plays well, has a great range and his rising and falling attacks are an awesome asset in his arsenal. One thing I have to nitpick is that the voice isn't mimicking the one from the show, which is much deeper. They didn't even include some of his catchphrases like "Lawbreaker!" and "Goongala!". Considering the game's censorship of April's butt attack and the scene where Bebop is flirting with a secretary, I can only assume these changes were intentional. Due to this I have to retract my previous recommendation of the game. Censorship can't be tolerated.
Completed the Seasons of Love stage. One thing that I noticed is that the boss (Misa) had a skill which removed shields before attacking, which is something to keep in mind if you are to survive. Nayuta then recruits another girl - Sumire - to deal with the next stage called Aquarhythm Deep. It is a play on music/rhythm games. The gimmick here is that bullets build up a combo count, which deals 30 damage to a random enemy when it reaches a multiple of 10, which is a bit more straightforward than the Heartsplosion gauge. I reached the second boss, but had a bad hand, which led to my demise.
Nicole needs to get a valve in order to access the secret tunnels. Unfortunately it's located in the zombie-infested Clinic. Her pimp wasn't letting her go there, so she had to kill him. After reaching the prison area the plot got a lot more insane. It turns out that Nicole's son Leon (get it?) was the one who orchestrated the release of the virus and kidnapped his sister Clementine (get it?) in order to manipulate his mother. His motivations are kind of stupid - Leon blames Nicole for not bailing him out of prison and now he has joined an alien from Planet X who promises him immortality. He kills Clementine and Nicole is now out for vengeance. The puzzles here are quite good and are a major improvement from the first game.
Cleared the Mayoiga dungeon on Hard, which earned me a bonus image. Then I completed the Salem Witches scenario, which wasn't anything special. The whole point of the attacks was to resurrect a powerful witch called Back Beard and you have to take her down. She has tons of health, so the best option is wiping out her deck. There weren't any special rewards aside from unlocking a new dungeon - Domain of the Celts. Clearing that unlocks the Normal Challenge and The Tune of X'mas dungeon. The former is a harder version of the weekly challenge, where you have to fight a deck of a single powerful monster and if your score is high enough you can earn said card. This is how I got the Blue Dragon Siphard, which helps a lot with the dungeon bosses with its damage multipliers.
After several unsuccessful runs I finally managed to defeat Nami and clear Monochrome Tactics level. For the next game corrupted by Buggos Nayuta chose another girl to deal with it - Hikaru. She starts with an extra Bullet, which is good for combos. The next game is called Seasons of Love and it's unfortunately a dating sim. The unique mechanic here is the Heartsplosion, which activates upon reaching 100 and halves the cost of all Seasons of Love bullets and delays enemies by 10 until the end of your turn, giving you a massive advantage, so aiming to activate it is essential. Story-wise the personalities of all the characters were flipped, which made for some fun interactions. There was even a "best girl" discussion between Hikaru and Nayuta. I almost cleared this stage on my first try, but the last boss hit like a truck and murdered me.
The time finally came to save Leongar, but not before upgrading the Dragon Fire ability to the max. There was a brief fake out where you simply restore him using the soul fragments, but then he gets possessed by the alien again and you have to fight. His attacks are as vicious as his regular form, but this time around there's a second stage to the fight, where Forgo separates from him and starts shooting energy waves and projectiles at you while you try to dogde Leon's attacks. This fight is really challenging, and I faile a couple of times, so I had to have a Maxim Tomato on hand. I eventually beat the second form where the Ice power turned out to be quite useful since you don't take damage on block and hurt your foes. After defeating Leongar's second stage Forgo separated again and used his nasty fusion ability with a butterfly to turn into Morpho Knight. He has a huge variety of attacks including teleports, huge sword attacks, mixed with fast pattern changing combos and a ton of different projectiles. The ice shield saved me in this fight again and I managed to beat him, but not before learning that continuing costs gold and you thankfully start from this form. This earned me the Morpho Knight Sword Blueprint and a happy ending for Leongar and his subjects. The Morpho Sword has similar properties and moves to the Meta Knight one, but it's true potential is unlocked when you use charge attacks - then you have a bigger sword and can shoot flame tornadoes with charge hits, but I've found that in the heat of battle it's often difficult to get it to that stage. Then I tried the newly unlocked Ultimate Cup Z, where you fight all the Phantom bosses in a row and you don't even have Maxim tomatoes between battles leaving you much more limited on resources. During the Meta Knight fight I learned that the doge with the Morpho Sword is an invincible teleport, which is quite useful. After beating Morpho Knight again, I faced a new variation of Elfilis - the Chaos Elfilis. This one had a bunch of new attacks, but I learned that after a perfect dodge Kirby gets an instant charge attack, which made this fight manageable and will make a lot of the previous ones too. This will make the Morpho Sword much more useful in combat too. Unfortunately after defeating him he turned into an orb, which devoured me and drained my remaining health. I was out of gold too, so I couldn't complete this challenge. I plan to grind for a bit, upgrade the weapons and give this another try.
After some confusion and messing about I found how to change your character in the story mode, so I tried Mei Lin. The levels she goes through are exactly the same, but she'll have a different dialogue when facing the bosses. Her intro cut scene reveals that the Mantis Lord is in fact her father who was corrupted by the crystal. I went through the first level with her to get a feel of how she plays and it's pretty similar to Hiro, but she has her own animations for the various moves. Then I levelled her up a bit by playing the mini games, which were also different than Hiro's and skipped to the last level to see her ending. Her conclusion is even worse than Hiro's. When you defeat the Mantis Lord he tricks her that her father is back to her senses and then captures her and brainwashes her to be one of his clan. Pretty shitty, but I guess this was done to give to a motivation to try for alternate endings and I would've if the requirements were clear and the levels weren't as convoluted.
Overall Okinawa Rush is a really interesting experimental game, which is held back by some design decision. The combat feels satisfying in a musou way and the integration of fighting game mechanics is a cool choice. The story and setting are interesting, but they are there just to give you a motivation. The level design is confusing and the same goes for all the menus in the dojo or the different gaming modes, which is a much bigger issue than it should have been. There's a lot of content here, but I find it hard to fully recommend the game with its weird design decisions. Still, I think it's worth a try and hopefully a more polished sequel will eventually come out.
Super Bullet Break is a rouge-like deck building game. The story is about different games being corrupted by bugs altering the characters in them and you as Akari have to bring them back to their senses. Each bullet (usually represented by a girl of some sort) as an attack power - which is the damage it does - cost and the various effects it does. It took me a bit to get how the turns work, but your enemies will execute their turn after a specific units of time and when you play one of your bullets the cost is subtracted from that time, so the more costly bullets you play the faster your foes will have a swing at you. Some of your bullets can heal you, cast a temporary shield lasting until your next turn and giving you armour, which can be stacked - all these are essential for surviving, since the game is quite challenging. Each bullet has a cartridge, which gives it different passive abilities like reduced cost or increased attack. Unfortunately you can't really see those in combat (at least not easily), so it's best to just look at the bullet stats before playing it. You go along a grid and choose whether to battle an enemy, go to the shop for new bullets and items, which can be used in-battle, do a quick story event usually involving a bit of dialogue, get some random treasure or rest to restore HP. Battles do give the best rewards, but too many of those will bring you down to low HP before the bosses, which are very tough. The whole game is very challenging - even a regular encounter can murder you if you don't have good luck with your first hand of bullets. You can luck out and earn some pretty good ones, but this doesn't guarantee victory. On the first set of levels I eventually managed to reach the 3rd stage boss, but eventually she starts dishing out attacks capable of one-shotting you, which I thought was too much. The difficulty itself is not a huge problem, but every time after you die you lose everything you earned on your previous playthrough, which is indeed the point of rogue-likes, but your initial deck is frankly shit, and I wish there was some customisation options when you start a new run.
Pushed through the last set of levels in the game. The enemies became even more bullet sponge-y. I guess to counter that there were 2 new projectiles - one which passes through several enemies and one which fires at an arc and then explodes. The former isn't particularly useful. Like the tri-shot you have to collect them from the environment and any gamer would instinctively save them for situations that you must use them. Eventually I reached the boss, who was Sofiya's mentor who turned into a demon for some reason. Fighting him was actually fun and felt like I was playing a game. When I defeated him I got a generic ending about Sofiya liberating all the women and appearing in bondage for some reason. Was her mentor sexually repressing women? If so this wasn't made clear in the story.
Sofiya and The Ancient Clan is a terrible game. The controls are sluggish, the level designs are confusing and the combat is boring and best avoided. The story is a confusing mess. Even as a fan service game this fails since most of the images you unlock are censored and unappealing. The one good thing I can say about it is that the sprites are well animated and look nice. Avoid this one.
Having all the keys to the portal and pretty much exploring as much as I could, I proceeded to enter it. The enemies here do tons of damage, but also drop a lot of karma, so it's a good spot for grinding. There were a couple of mini-bosses, which were as challenging as a regular ones due to their huge damage output and projectiles which need to be avoided. Eventually I reached the final boss of the game - the Shadow Hunter. His attacks are really fast and vicious, and he barely gives you time to breathe. I'd advise to have a fair amount of stamina since you are going to need it to dodge his combo attacks. When you bring him down to half his health he transforms into a huge demon and his attacks have even more range. When you bring him down to about 10% he'll revert back to his elf form and recover about 40% of his life. His attacks become even faster and now he even dodges your strikes. Here I had to utilise the counter which I normally don't bother with. It gives you a chance to more easily damage him and gives you a temporary buff to your attack. Eventually I took him down, the demon escapes from his body and Tsuki finishes it. You get a generic happy ending about the rift to her world closing and a tease for what's likely a sequel. I explored the map to 100% and then I tried the New Game + mode, where the enemies are slightly tougher, but you still have all the skills you've unlocked without the core ones. I don't plan on completing that.
HunterX is a fun Souls-like Metroidvania. The controls are responsive, there's a good enemy variety and the map is generally well designed. The story is pretty basic, but I do like the world building. You can find out more in letters you find, but they give you a vague idea about the author, who you may not have met yet. There's a variety of magic, but I found it mostly as a projectile deterrent rather than for proper damage dealing. Maybe different builds can change that. Speaking of builds the equipment menu is rather clunky - you collect a lot of artefacts, but can only equip 2 at a time, so if you want to change things up there's a lot of scrolling you have to do. The bosses may get frustrating since they can spam you with projectiles and kill you in a couple of hits, but once you have your mobility upgrades it's not too bad. I still wish that there were checkpoints next to them so that you can immediately retry the battle. Overall this is a pretty decent game that will offer a good amount of challenge both to Souls fans and Metroidvania players.
Scouted (got all cards from) the Oni's Domain dungeon, but I didn't get a special reward for it. After that I fought in the level cap increase battles for several cards. These weren't too exciting or difficult, but you must have the card in question in your deck if you want to play, which is a nice little detail. Then I started the Salem Witches campaign scenario, which is basically Sylphy dealing with some witches causing chaos. Finally I got all abilities for the Goddess of Kells, which gave me a new gallery image.