Author: Pyre Kavanagh

Senior Editor - Illusions to illusions. Will solve murder mysteries for money so they can buy more murder mysteries. @PyreLoop on twitter

Life Eater Review: A New Horror Simulation Experience I’m a big fan of simulation games, which is precisely the variety that has me stressing out over time management and trying to get all my numbers in a row with limited assets. And then I found out about Life Eater. Developed by Strange Scaffold, the minds behind one of my favorite games from last year, El Paso, Elsewhere, in collaboration with Frosty Pop, this new video game has the outlandish pitch of being a horror fantasy kidnapping simulation game where you sacrifice people to a dark god. It’s so absurd that…

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Reviving Touch Detective: A Classic Series Returns It’s always refreshing to see games ported to new consoles, breathing new life into classic titles. Recently, we saw Another Code: Recollection—a combined remake of a DS and Wii game—receive high praise. Similarly, the Touch Detective series from the DS era has been revitalized for the Switch. Published by Nicalis, this collection includes all the games in the series, notably featuring Touch Detective 3, a 3DS game previously unreleased in the West. Step Into Mackenzie’s Shoes: The World of Touch Detective In the Touch Detective series, players step into the shoes of the…

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Introducing Buckshot Roulette: A New Take on Russian Roulette Russian Roulette with Shotguns is the easiest way to distill the premise of Buckshot Roulette. That’s the entire game and the only thing I needed to hear to be interested in playing it. This new title, developed by Mike Klubnika (his name is on the title screen), was released on itch.io for a dollar in December. It’s now being released on Steam and published by Critical Reflex. We all know the rules of russian roulette, how do you play it with a 12-gauge? Stepping into the Den: The High-Stakes World of…

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Someone puts on a strange mask while hunting down their lost lover; they wake up on a beach. With no memories, no weapons, and no idea where they are, they discover a mansion. Some people have been here for an incalculable amount of time. But there’s only one important detail you can get out of them. The answers you seek lie somewhere in the mansion. There’s a nun outside who offers you guns. Welcome to the Stylish Apocalypse: An Introduction to Otxo’s World Welcome to Otxo, a stylistic top-down roguelike developed by Lateralis Heavy Industries (a team comprised entirely of…

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Please note this is the opinion of the author and not the entire Noisy Pixel staff. When Episode Aigis was announced for Persona 3 Reload as DLC for a remake of ‘The Answer,’ a bonus chapter from the PlayStation 2 re-release, Persona 3 FES, a lot of people were asking, does this mean there’s a chance for the female protagonist to be added as well? Producer Kazuhisa Wada, whilst interviewed by the Japanese outlet Famitsu, answered this question with a hard ‘there’s no chance of this happening’ and ‘Additionally, we as the Persona Team need to work on completely new…

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As a strategy RPG series nearing 20 entries, Fire Emblem has a lot of maps. And since I’ve played all of these games, god help me, I thought I would be most equipped to talk about the best of the best throughout the franchise. Each Fire Emblem game brings its own mechanics and concepts to the table, but not all of them can make the most of them. So, we want to talk about the ones that take advantage of their available systems and couple them with the story to develop them into the best experiences for the player. Maps…

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Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] Review: A Fitting Sequel to the Beloved Fighter An actual Under Night In-Birth sequel has been highly anticipated both for the addition of new characters to the game and the continuation of the original story. Each update has only added a bit of build-up, and Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late cl-r, which added just one character, did feel a bit egregious to some fans. But now, there’s a sequel hot on the heels of Tekken 8, in the form of Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes], which will conclude the story and features rollback netcode. Mastering the…

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Persona 3 Reload is a remake of the beloved RPG Persona 3, the game that introduced the school life-demon fighting hybrid social simulator system we all know and love. The combined systems can be fairly tricky or overwhelming if you view them from the wrong angle. So, when the original is topping 80 hours of playtime, we thought it would be pertinent to hit you all with some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your school life. Abuse Skill Cards Early into the game, you’ll get access to the Inari shrine, which will let you duplicate…

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Phantom Abyss Review: A Thrilling Dive into Perilous Temples and Asynchronous Multiplayer I had originally planned to begin this review by discussing a hypothetical Indiana Jones game, but then a real one got a trailer release. However, I realized that it doesn’t really matter because if you’ve ever wanted to experience the thrill of running through caves, dodging traps, and grabbing relics like Indiana Jones, then look no further than Phantom Abyss, developed by Team WIBY and published by Devolver Digital. Mastering the Multiplayer Maze: The Competitive Edge of Phantom Abyss In Phantom Abyss, the plot is merely an excuse.…

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Atlus games have consistently shared connections in some way, and it’s been a while since the company introduced a new intellectual property (IP). A new IP from Atlus typically heralds a fresh take on the RPG genre. Katsura Hashino is a game designer who previously served as the director of P-Studio, which is also an Atlus development team established for new Persona games in 2006. He directed Persona 3, Persona 4, Persona 5, and Catherine (though that’s not relevant here). However, Hashino has since moved on from the studio to embark on a new game as part of Atlus’ Studio…

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Pokemon is a long-running franchise with many popular characters. From edgy rivals to eccentric gym leaders and imposing villains, no Pokemon character has acquired the same incredible beloved notoriety that the Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum character, Cynthia, has. There have been others since, but none have done it like her. Why is that? Let’s break it all down. In your first meetings with Cynthia, you have. Still, a single badge, and she’s talking about the Pokemon statue, giving you an HM, asking you to give her regards to the professor, and in Platinum, giving you an egg that contains Togepi.…

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2023. Games. There were lots of them. I could use this time to talk about other things, but is that my job? It’s the job of prominent influences like The Game Awards to be talking about the well over 6000 jobs lost over the course of this year because the execs want some extra pay, not some tired schmuck online who’s trying to balance way too much work so they can afford to live. Y’know, like the industry workers who helped make a ton of fantastic games this year and then got laid off for their efforts. Anyway, here’s a…

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There have been quite a few Persona 5 games so far, haven’t there? We’ve had the crossover Persona Q2, the action sequel Persona 5 Strikers, the dancing game Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, and the updated re-release of the original Persona 5 Royal. So, when I heard about Atlus working on a new tactical game, it had me excited. Could this be Devil Survivor 3 or another entry in my favorite Atlus game series? Of course not, as you’ve already read the title; it was another Persona 5 game. I might have been a little miffed, let down by my…

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In the Fall of 2023 (spring if you’re in the southern hemisphere), Two classic Square Enix titles received Remakes. One of them was lavishly redone with full voice acting, rebalanced gameplay, and a ton of quality-of-life upgrades to bring it more in line with what we expect from a modern title. In addition, it was heavily marketed, had a three-hour demo, and clearly had the full weight and attention of the property holders behind it. The other was Front Mission 2: Remake from publisher Forever Entertainment. Wait…. This bit seems familiar…. Historically, the Front Mission series occupies a unique space…

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Saving the world from a terrifying supernatural being isn’t the most out-there concept to be dealing with. But Draculae isn’t just your everyday supernatural world-ending beast. She’s also James’ ex. You can bet it wasn’t pretty. But somewhere in a motel, out the back of El Paso, Texas, she’s got a lot of hostages and is conducting some sort of ritual to destroy the world. And James Savage, a folklore researcher who is only alive because he’s hopped up on enough drugs to kill way more than just a herd of elephants, appears to be the only person with a…

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Remember how some older point-and-click adventure games used the painstaking process of rotoscoping to create fluid animations and graphics? I haven’t seen one of those in a while. It’s a really fun style that, when done well, creates extremely fluid animations that are full of life (why wouldn’t they be, they’re literally animating over videos of people). https://youtu.be/GesnMjYr-3M Appnormals Team apparently agrees as they thought it would be a great medium to use for the animation in their new point-and-click narrative adventure game, Frank and Drake. Published by Chorus Worldwide Teams for PC via Steam as well as Xbox and…

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I was on a tactical/strategy RPG kick, having just come out of Cross Tails, started a replay of Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, and watching a friend punch their way slowly through Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together when I got a message wondering if I’d like to check out a game called Crimson Tactics: The Rise of the White Banner. And y’know. Who am I to say no to a game that looks like this? https://youtu.be/q8TMKq8u8c0 The first game developed by Black March Studios, Crimson Tactics: The Rise of the White Banner, is an early access title that wears its…

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I’ve been on a bit of an SRPG kick, playing through Tear Ring Saga and Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen while mulling on another Fire Emblem Engage replay. And then I spotted Cross Tails, a new release by Rideon, published by KEMCO. A strategy RPG with multiple protagonists. You could create a pretty gripping story with that kind of setup. It sounds perfectly up my alley, so I was sold from the get-go. But Cross Tails falls short of expectations. https://youtu.be/9HjxUgHQiiQ Cross Tails follows a multi-route story with two main protagonists to choose from. Dogboy Felix Arens, the…

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Fire Emblem is a strategy RPG series that has been going on for over 30 years. That’s enough for roughly 20 games so far. It’s not as big as Final Fantasy, but that’s still a hell of a lot to try and take in. So I thought it would be a good time to write out something that tells you everything you could want to know and a dozen other fun tidbits you might end up asking too. Ok, So How Does Fire Emblem Work?  Fire Emblem games are tile-based, turn-based strategy games. Alternating between player and enemy phases, you…

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Visual novels and adventure games are mixed mediums that have a prime potential for taking their narrative to its storytelling limit. Look at something like Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, The Beginner’s Guide, Necrobarista, or Adios. They’re all significantly different, but they use their mediums as a stage to set up and convey particular emotions and feelings that are so difficult to capture in other types of games. Now I want to direct you to a seriously indie title I’ve been following for a while named Amarantus, developed by ub4q and in development for something like eight years. …

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