Under Your Radar: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

The Pulse Towards Tomorrow by Kanako Kotera

It’s time for Under Your Radar! This time, we’ll be discussing The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Eiyū Densetsu: Sen no Kiseki in Japan). This is a timely one, because although I played it on Vita, the PC port launches today. It released in 2013 in Japan on PS3 and Vita, but the English release by XSEED was in 2015.

It’s the sixth game in Falcom’s Trails series, and the start of the Erebonia arc. Said arc has two more games, Trails of Cold Steel II and the upcoming Trails of Cold Steel III. The fourth and fifth Trails games take place simultaneously to this one, in the neighbouring city-state of Crossbell, and you get an in-game calendar that allows you to line up the events if you’ve played both arcs. At the time of this writing, it is one of the only three acceptable entry points for the series, alongside Trails in the Sky and the yet-unlocalized Trails to Zero.

You play as Class VII, a special sixth class (not a typo) created at Thors Military Academy in Trista, Erebonia by one of its princes. Unlike the other five classes, which are solely for nobles or solely for commoners, Class VII is a mixture. This is off-putting to some of them at first, because the Erebonian Empire has a very notable class structure. One of them is effectively a foreigner, even. The main character, Rean Schwarzer, is a baron’s son by adoption, being found abandoned in the mountains as a kid. Continue reading

[JOKE] Blanc for Smash!

I think we’re all aware of the Smash Ballot by now. I was going to vote for one of the Rays from Custom Robo, but I ended up with a far better idea: Blanc from Neptunia.

Blanc Approaching Smash

I know what you’re thinking: Why Blanc? Because she represents Nintendo, simple as that. If it weren’t for that, there’d be no way a character who’s never even graced Nintendo hardware could possibly get in. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Tales of Hearts R

Eternal Tomorrow by Shuichi Ikemori
[NOTE: English release removes voice track of the song. Click here to hear what it sounds like.]

What was I searching for here?
The place that I flee to is always inside of my heart

Even though I want to change, I can’t change
I hated myself

Everyone is wishing for an eternal tomorrow
For an unwavering heart that expands endlessly
If tears of sorrow overflowed from your hands
Then I’d embrace you tightly

I’ll try to rely on myself
A bond will begin from there…

Connecting tears
Heart to heart

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Tales of Hearts R CoverReady? It’s time for Under Your Radar! Today, we’ll be covering Tales of Hearts R, a Vita entry in the Tales series, and a port of the similarly-named DS game known as Tales of Hearts. The 3DS game had a version with 3D model-animated cutscenes and a version with anime-style cutscenes. The former was poorly-received due to various off-model reasons, so the Vita version if based on the latter.

Some things were removed from the port, and some characters and plot points were simplified or completely changed. The combat system was also adjusted to allow for 4-character parties rather than three (and the combat system in general was overhauled). It is the first game in the series to release in the West with solely the Japanese voice track. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Demon Gaze

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Demon Gaze CoverWelcome back, it’s time for Under Your Radar! Today, we’ll be covering Demon Gaze, a first-person dungeon crawler by Experience, Inc. and Kadokawa Games for the PlayStation Vita. It was localized in the West by none other than NIS America. It is a distant sequel to the PSP game Students of the Round, which never left Japan. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star

To the Songless Hill – Harmonics Pre=Ciel – by Akiko Shikata
Lyrics are in two fictional languages in addition to Japanese. A translation and a summary of the translation can be found here.

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Ar nosurge CoverIt’s time for Under Your Radar! Today, we’ll be covering a PS3 game named Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star, released in Japan as Surge Concerto: Ar nosurge ~A Song that Prays for a Planet Being Born~ (~Umareizuru Hoshi e Inoru Uta~). This game has an updated Vita port in Japan.

It is the second part of the Surge Concerto duology, the previous game being the Japan-only Vita game Surge Concerto: Ciel nosurge. Furthermore, this game is a distant prequel to the Ar tonelico series, taking place 1000 years prior to the PS2 game Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia. It was developed by Gust and published by Koei-Tecmo in all regions.

As a side-note, this game launched with a terrible translation that had conversations split between NPCs, young ladies referring to themselves as old men, and most proper nouns having 2-3 spellings used consecutively. This was all fixed in a patch a few months later. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Mugen Souls Z

Infinite Field (Mugen Field) by Miyu
Couldn’t find the lyrics in English, don’t feel like translating this one.

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Mugen Souls Z Box ArtIt’s time for Under Your Radar! Today, we’ll be discussing Mugen Souls Z, known in Japan as Overwhelming Game Mugen Souls Z. It is the sequel to Mugen Souls, a game I Did Not Finish. I won’t be repeating information from there (most combat systems are the same). The game was released for PS3 this year by NIS America, and was released in Japan before that by Compile Heart. For the first few months after its English release, there was a crash bug in an area required for the true ending of the game, but this has since been patched. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus

Hanabana no Kakugo (Resolution of Blooms) by Hitomi Harada (voice of Asuka) and Yumi Hara (voice of Yumi)

Light is enveloped by darkness
Seeking the peace that’s granted by a fleeting dream

Waiting for the mood to strike
For those who’re called shadows
Scattering dance!

Life and death battles make us scared and sad
So I cry out in despair

Our beautiful, blooming flowers are powerful, yet fleeting
Always in anticipation of what we may become

Don’t flee! Don’t give up!
Don’t break! Don’t quit! Don’t lose!

Now, be sure to be mentally prepared!

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SKSV Cover

It’s time for Under Your Radar! Today, we’ll be covering Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus -Proof of Life-, released in Japan as Senran Kagura SHINOVI VERSUS -Shōjo-tachi no Shōmei- (the sub-subtitle is more literally “The Girls’ Proof”) in February 2013 and in North America one month ago.

It was developed by Tamsoft and published by Marvelous AQL in all regions (XSEED is just a label for their US division if you weren’t aware). Amusingly, in a reverse of the previous game, only North America got an English physical release (the “Let’s Get Physical Edition”), but only for one print run. Europe got it digital-only.

The game is a beat ’em up that takes place 6 months after Senran Kagura BURST, therefore also taking place after the not yet localized Senran Kagura 2: Crimson. As such, there are unmarked spoilers for BURST everywhere, including in that opening video above. The game assumes you’ve either played it or watched the anime (this came out in Japan just after the anime). I will be assuming you don’t mind me outright stating spoilers for that game as I proceed. I spoiled it all in the linked Under Your Radar to get the game’s tone across anyway, so click on that link to read about it if you want. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed

TRUE STORY by Haruna Luna

Your innocent smile
Tells me it has begun
So my chest tightens

During this unreachable night
Our breath of love begins to move
In the world dyed in your colour

As our feelings overlap
Don’t be afraid of getting hurt
As always
I love you

I’ll turn myself around
I don’t want to lie to you anymore
Even though it seems scary
Causing this feeling in my chest
It all feels so heavy
In your gentle embrace

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Akiba's Trip 2 CoverYet again, it’s time for Under Your Radar! Today, we’ll be covering the PS3/Vita/PS4 game Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed, released in Japan as, simply, Akiba’s Trip 2. It is, however, not a sequel to the PSP original that was never localized, so don’t worry about that. It was developed and published by Acquire in Japan, localized for North America by XSEED, and published in Europe by NIS America. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia assisted in translating it to Chinese and Korean. XSEED gave this game a full dub (an absolute rarity) and offers full Japanese text, with the exception of the one thing cut from the Western release (something that had to do with the IRL versions of the stores in the game, so no big loss). I played the Vita version.

By the way, yes, you’re meant to misread the logo as “Akiba Strip”. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1

Miracle! Portable☆Mission by nao

Watch out! You’ll be flooded with miracles
Make up! Grade up!
Entrust everything to me, the goddess!!

How mysterious
The heroine has lost her memory
Playing for the sake of the world!
Huh? What sort of mistake is this?

The hectic new generation is born
The sparkling future on a portable
Created when dimensions meet
It’s time to completely jump over this fantasy

Watch out! You’ll be flooded with miracles
Make up! Grade up! Taking all of your focus!

You’ll be put into a daze by how great all of this is
Glazy! Spicy! I, the goddess, will grant your wish!!!

Neptunia Re;Birth1 CoverIt’s time for another Under Your Radar! Today, we’ll be covering Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1, released in Japan as Chō Ji Jigen Game Neptune Re;Birth1. It’s a 2013 Vita remake/port of Compile Heart’s Hyperdimension Neptunia that was localized for the West in August. Felistella did the port, and, as of this entry in the series, Idea Factory International has taken over international releases of the series. A PC port is under consideration. Continue reading