Well, I've been busy with other things and there's not been a lot of new stuff to try out and post thoughts on. Now that I've finished up Red Steel 2 and a review of Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love I'll get to resume playing Fragile Dreams and plan to share some views on that when I've gotten further into it.
Though the big news for many will be the release of Monster Hunter Tri this week, for me the biggest gaming event has to be Sakura Wars getting it's first localised release outside of Japan. It's probably my favourite Wii game at the moment: a decidedly adolescent tale of a young naval graduate from Japan in an alternate Earth of the early 20th century where steam power has given birth to a high tech society without the global conflicts of our own world. A terrificly over-the-top setting in which musical performers moonlight as robot suit-wearing superheroes battling demonic invaders from other planes who mean to conquer the world.
What I enjoy most is the innocense of the story which seems to fit with it's idealised early 20th century setting. Whilst there's a lot of anachronistic language and modern depictions of the treatment of women and minorities (and gushing about what America represents which even a patriot would be embarassed by), it is this very boundless optimism and positive attitude that love and friendship can overcome evil which is the biggest draw. I found myself smiling and laughing, but also saddened by events in the game - which I can assure you is a rare thing.
It's teenage soap opera, but that's what makes it fun and the interactivity and influence player choices has on the outcome is absolutely brilliant. It's just a shame it's taken so long for one of these games to get localised for a non-Japanese market, but I'm very glad it's available for the Wii.
If you're reading this and enjoy story-driven games with a bit of tactical robot combat thrown into the mix, please do check it out. I've written a preview and a full review which I hope will help influence your decision. I hope many people will support NIS America's effort in localising this game and that we'll see more chapters as a result, if not original games in the same style.