SOMA Review

A few years back, there was a big boom in the horror game genre. Games like outlast and Amnesia were famous, which led to the boom of certain youtube personalities. I’m sure you’ve atleast heard of the names PewDiePie or Markiplier or maybe even my personal favorite cryotic. These games had a certain formula which has a protagonist that usually cannot fight back and only runs away or hides.  I’m pretty sure some of you have played these kinds of games at some point. Later on though, the horror game genre would be changed into the jump-scare type games, which five nights at freddy’s is well known for. There was no more need for an elaborate storyline or any mystery. Just the use of darkness and quick moment screams.main_menu


Why am I explaining these things, you might ask. Well, that’s because Soma is trying to revive the old days of suspense horror games. Soma, often stylized in full caps as SOMA, is a science fiction survival horror game developed by frictional games, the same company who gave us Penumbra and Amnesia. It retains almost every element of gameplay that Amnesia has and improved it.

Unlike the relatively new kind of horror lately, which revolves only jump scares, Soma uses the old thrill of using the surroundings to induce a sense of fear and vulnerability. The fact that your protagonist has a sense of disconnect from his world and cannot fight back from his monsters also amplifies the experience.

soma_005Okay, I’ve said that the protagonist has a sense of disconnect from his world, right? Well, that’s part of the game’s story. To summarize while avoiding heavy spoilers, Soma is about a guy named Simon Jarrett who got into an accident prior to the game which caused him to have a severe brain damage and cranial bleeding. Yes, this guy literally has his brain bleeding constantly. I wonder how shitty that would feel. Anyway because of the severity of his predicament, he agrees to try an experimental brain scan, because we all know untested experiments will almost always lead to complete recovery. Jokes aside, he blacks out after that and wakes up in a completely desolate room. Later, he’ll realize that he’s not in 2015 anymore but somewhere a century or 2 later. How did he manage to travel time is something you should find out for yourself. soma_screen_12_edit__full

Soma has a rather simplistic gameplay, relying more on puzzles and stealth than actual mechanical skills. To progress through the story, you need to find clues about your current status, considering your protagonist starts out really confused. You’ll constantly have to solve puzzles while avoiding the monsters that lurk in the darkness. As boring as it might sound, it’s honestly better than just sitting in a chair and flicking switches.SOMA-E3-2015-6

As this game relies on inducing a sense of fear using its environment, the game has a lot of ambient noises you can frequently hear. The quality of the eerie sounds is appropriate enough to do its job and increase the player’s awareness of danger.282140_screenshots_2015-09-23_00002

All in all, Soma presents the old elements of horror games that a few years back has gained popularity. It uses the same formula with improved graphics models and a new story. If you’re looking for something new, you’ll probably not find it, especially if you’re expecting more jump scares, but if you like mystery and story-based horror, then this game is up your alley. I give it a good 4 out of 5.chicken rating 4


Fate/Grand Order game review

Lately, there’s been a boom of mobile games in the market. From simple games like flappy bird to complex ones like clash of clans, mobile games have steadily made their impact in
the gaming world, and yet a lot of people still don’t call mobile games as video games. I won’t go too in-depth into that regard as it’s merely a difference of opinion among people, but I will talk about a mobile game that I’ve had the chance to play.

Right now, in the anime fan community, there’s been only a few mobile games a buzz. One of them is the popular Love Live SIF which is mainly a rhythm game. The one other game gaining major popularity, albeit both positive and negative, is DelightWork’s Fate/Grand Order.








Carrying over Type-moon’s popular franchise, the fate franchise, Fate/Grand Order brings many fate fans’ favorite character just a touchscreen away with its wide array of old and new servants. Servants are are Heroic Spirits and Divine Spirits summoned by the Holy Grail for the purpose of competing under Masters in the Holy Grail War. That said, I won’t go in too deep about Fate’s story because I’m nowhere near knowledgeable enough to properly explain it. Instead, I’ll just get right into the game.



Fate/Grand Order is a card collecting game in which you collect servant cards to create a party in order to clear maps. It’s kinda like an RPG of sorts. The gameplay is pretty unique in which your party’s attacks are made into cards and you get to choose which attack pattern you’d like to go for the turn. Your servants also have multiple types of skills that you can use to turn tides into your table. With that said, FGO plays much like pokemon with its turn based combat and strength-weakness type attributes. There are also things called “Craft Essences” which are basically equipment for your servants. They will improve a certain factor for your servant depending on what kind of CE you equip on them. There’s a lot of underlying factors to this game, which I find really useless, but I’ll just refer you to a game guide if you want specifics because explaining this game’s complexity would make it just another “how to play” guide.

Anyway let’s get underway with the story briefly. Fate/Grand order is a collection of “grand orders” where you, as the protagonist, with your servants go through each order to fix problems that could alter history. Each order is a location and era in which you have to progress through with your party members, aka your servant team. Everyone starts out with their lovely assistant shielder, also known as Mashu, who shockingly uses… a shield. Anyway let’s get down to opinions about this game.




Here’s the lowdown, FGO’s gameplay is honestly unique in which it took a lot of elements from different games and mashed them all together. Was it a good combination or was it a monster? That is purely subjective. I’ve seriously had a lot of time and wasted a good number of hours grinding away through the story line, but as with per norm on online mobage, this game has an energy system as well. In the first release of the game, it had a horrendous regen of 1 AP (energy point for this game) per 10 minutes which makes most players dump their energy on 1 huge dungeon and stop playing for an entire game. Now, the developers realized it was stupid to have a ridiculously long regen timer so they shaved it off in half, but that still doesn’t change the fact that this mobage is still energy dependent. No energy means no playing. I guess that’s just how it goes with Japanese mobage.

You can recharge your energy back to full but that would cost you a quarts gem. Quarts gem are stones that you gain through story quests, rewards, compensation gifts, or buying it with real money. That might sound good but quarts are used for trying to draw servants and essences through a system the community calls as “gacha” which comes from Japanese gachapons and this is what makes most players cry. The gacha’s drop rate is horrendously low with a 1% on getting a 5* servant.


Moving on from the limitations of the gameplay, the actual gameplay itself is pretty amusing. You use cards with three attributes as your attack, of which namely are Arts, Buster, and Quick. Each card has its own purpose that’s different from the other. Each servant has 5 cards and differ in card set, i.e some have BBBQA and some have QQQAB. Aside from that, servants also have “Noble Phantasms” which are a unique skill only available to them that has various effects per character. Combine all those complexities and you have an abundant number of possibilities to build your party, which is honestly one of the most fun things in this game.


While the game is pretty fun, it is fairly flawed. The combat system can be fun but the enemy AI is a bit underdeveloped and would use the same buff three times in a single turn while yours have cooldowns. There’s also the case where you can’t cancel your attacks if you wrongly order them. One of the bigger problem is that Delightworks seems to have a potato for a server whenever they finish a major maintenance, making the game unplayable for a couple of hours.

general combat system


As for the visuals, this game is pretty good. I haven’t played much mobage to compare but it’s got decent effects which sometimes causes weak devices to actually crash. The cards for the servants were drawn by different artists so various art styles can be observed but all of them have their own charm. The music isn’t by far the best but its fine, I especially like the song when you go to myroom, and some servants have their own theme OST that plays when you use their noble phantasms. The voice acting for the servants as well is pretty good and sometimes I find myself wasting an hour just listening to the voices.

Despite all that, FGO is pretty fun. Whether you’re a type-moon fanboy waiting for his waifu to pop in gacha or just a random guy w/ plenty of time on his hands, this game can entertain you a lot. The major problem that I can find is, considering this is a mobile game, you need to spend to play nonstop. Despite its flaws and drawback I’ll still say the game is a good 3/5, but that might just be my inner fanboy. Whatever it is, everything is purely subjective so you might or might not enjoy it.

chicken rating 3


Grisaia no Kajitsu Review

In this day and age where graphics and gameplay are clogging up the criteria for what a good game is, let’s take a step back from western traditions and move into the japanese’ guilty pleasure of visual novels where gameplay and graphics are traded off for story and character development.

With that said, I’m going to review Grisaia no Kajitsu but before I go into it, I’m going to explain what this game is. Grisaia no Kajitsu is a visual novel. A visual novel is a different genre of a game which solely relies on story and doesn’t have much gameplay to it except for choosing decisions. These decisions will dictate which character’s story or route you will progress through and will also dictate (in certain games) what the ending will be. If you’re not the reading person, then this game is honestly not for you. Really, the most you can have in even the best of visual novels are a few mini games here and there but most of them don’t even have anything like that. As such, I will be reviewing this game in terms of the remaining criteria which are: Story, Music, Art, and Characters.gfs_179699_1_1

Ok let’s get this started with the story. As with usual visual novels, Grisaia doesn’t have a static story. It has 5 stories that splits off with how you, the player, respond to certain situations. While I won’t give out any details regarding the story for this game, I will say that Grisaia has one 509828of the better plot than most of the games I played, and I’ve played my fair share of visual novels. It has 5 very diverse, albeit some of them have clichéd themes or even a bit of morbid topics, different routes.

I also have to emphasize the common route of this game to be one of the ss_15d526c5ad9f7b2177a12bf3906355c4f1790488.1920x1080funniest and the most fun dialogues I’ve read. There’s this specific English speaking dialogue two characters have which gets really twisted because of how bad their pronunciation is. Almost all of them have great conclusions and memorable scenes all emphasized by the music that sets up the mood, which leads me to the next criteria.

Grisaia has one of the better music collections I know. I personally like about 4 or 5 songs in their soundtrack and all their mood-inducing tracks are great at setting up the proper atmosphere of the scene you’re reading. It makes visualizing the entire dialogue easier and makes emotional scenes feel smoother. They have a variety of upbeat songs for simple scenes to emotional piano arranges for the dramatic parts. I myself love one of the heroine, Michiru’s, character ending song which is called skip because of its rhythmic beat and cute vocals.

Now we go to art. Illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Watanabe Akio, the CGs, which are illustrated scenes that would usually be added in a CG gallery, look crisp and clean. The character images ss_7ce949a157b07287cce1027975221f751f090544.1920x1080also look their role which fits their personality and quirks. There’s nothing much to tell here as art tastes are purely subjective so I don’t want to go into this for too long.


Lastly, we go to the characters. Grisaia no Kajitsu has a wide variety of colorful characters in its cast. There are 5 heroines to choose your role, and while they seem stereotypical, they have hidden quirks that will only be observed in their specific story. The main character is a militaristic man who is stoic yet would have some of the most unexpectedly funny scenes. The side characters are funny and well developed as well. While, on their own, the characters progress the story well enough, the most important thing about this game is the character development the MC has with the heroines and they range from bland at times to really entertaining.Grisaia-no-Kajitsu

While Grisaia might not be those action packed games that would be featured in magazines or websites, it’s undeniable that it is entertaining by its own right. Despite some flawed logic being thrown for comic relief here and there, this game is pretty well written. With a good soundtrack and voice acting alongside it, I can give this game a good 8.5/10.

Currently, you can buy an english ported version of this game on steam but it has removed the adult content. You can buy the original japanese version but you’ll need to learn a little japanese or search the internet for a localization patch.

Well then, till next time I guess!