Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Articles RSS Feed | Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore Review — Same Song and Dance Mon, 27 Jan 2020 15:13:56 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Un like its handheld counterpart, the Wii U didn't have many RPGs to its name. The 3DS had powerhouses like Fire Emblem: Awakening and hardcore niche titles like Shin Megami Tensei 4, among others in the SMT franchise. Then something changed. Atlus and Nintendo announced a project long in the works that brought both series together, Tokyo Mirage Sessions.

A few years later, the Wii U was officially dead, and the Nintendo Switch started getting most of its predecessor's big-name titles. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is the latest in the line of Wii U-to-Switch ports, but how does it hold up now that Nintendo fans are desperate for console-style RPGs?

If we're honest? Not too great. 

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore Review — Same Song and Dance

A good RPG needs at least one of three things: compelling story and/or characters, satisfying combat, or an engaging gameplay gimmick/loop. Tokyo Mirage Sessions only has one of those, and it's not the story and characters.

Hatsune Miku will not be pleased

You play as Itsuki Aoi, a young high school student unsure what he wants to do with his future. He's bland and inoffensive, but he truly cares for his childhood friend Tsubasa Oribe. She's the real star here, literally and from a narrative perspective. Tsubasa wants to be an idol for a few reasons, some personal and some just because it's fun to wear outlandish clothes and perform in front of adoring audiences.

And that's basically the story, with a sprinkling of family drama and (very) light commentary on the cruelties and corruption of idol culture. There's a bigger arc involving the end of the world and sucking people's performance creativity from them, but it isn't all that interesting.That's okay. Not every story has to be incredibly deep or insightful, and the bigger draw is obviously supposed to the wild setting. However, it's not enough to really make TMS shine.

There's a handful of additional playable characters and some support characters, but you've probably seen all of them before. The group mom/entertainment company manager is a boozing, large-breasted 20-something, the music teacher is a large, goofy fanboy, and so on.

Like the story, that's not always bad. Tropes can be entertaining and comfortable on their own if they're carried out well. In Tokyo Mirage Sessions, though, there's surprisingly little character interaction to help pull this off. Story beats move incredibly fast, and there's no Persona or Fire Emblem-style bonding moment between friends and colleagues.

You do unlock Side Stories as you raise each character's Stage Rank, but these pretty much just reinforce how shallow the setup is, i.e.  fighting extremely low-level enemies to help a friend feel like a hero or bouncing from point to point on the map until you find a lost cat. What you're left with is the feeling there should be something more, something that shows the friendship between the actual friends, the growth of trust between colleagues — something. Anything.

This dearth of interaction and reliance on single-layer tropes works okay for Shin Megami Tensei 4 because you still get the complex alignment system. Without that or anything to help make you care about what's going on, Tokyo Mirage Sessions is just okay.

The Fire Emblem inclusion is a bit confusing as well. If you've played Shadow Dragon or Awakening, you'll already know what the antagonists' endgame is, but it just seems a bit... unnecessary?

There's no real tension between the foes and heroes and equally little interaction. Even more disappointing is how that extends to your Mirages. They're rehabilitated Mirages saved from the grip of darkness, and they're famous Fire Emblem heroes like Caeda and Chrom. 

That means they're supposed to represent some inner portion of the hero they assist, except... they sorta don't. Again, there isn't enough interaction between characters to really drive home that relationship.

So, the story and characters are serviceable, but not really great. That leaves the combat — which is pretty good. It borrows from both Shin Megami Tensei's general setup and Fire Emblem's weapon weaknesses, with a key twist on SMT's Press-Turn System.

In SMT, if you exploit an enemy's weakness, you get one or more additional actions. In TMS, you don't. What you do get after the tutorials is a Session attack, which links with another party member's skill to deal additional damage.

The options for Sessions vary depending on what skill you use and what support skills other characters have available, but chaining Sessions and dealing additional damage is key to victory — or defeat. Your enemies get Session attacks too, and on Hard mode, it's easy to get overwhelmed before you know it. Easy and Normal don't present much challenge, though.

You drive a regular horse? Ha. Hold my Amrita Soda.

Should you find you're having trouble on Hard mode, Encore includes the Bloom Palace Idolasphere (which was DLC for the original) that lets you farm items granting more experience or special items. It's great for minimizing the level grind, but in moderation. Go up an additional three or four levels, and there's suddenly no challenge for a while.

You get Performance attacks as well, which are flashy and powerful attacks that open up once you fill your special meter. Ad-Lib performances grant special bonuses after you unlock them through Side Stories.

You don't swap out Mirages in TMS, but you can create new weapons, called Carnage, through Unity. It's like Fusion in Persona and SMT, but more basic. There's much less give-and-take when creating a new Carnage. The only thing you need to consider is which skills might be most useful, and you also get many more skill slots than in SMT.

Having said that, combat and Unity do take a while to get going. It's not until Chapter 2 when your options really open up, and you can take advantage of wider skillsets and more characters. For the first five or so hours, though, it's easy to start getting a bit bored with what's on offer, not least because there are so many Mirage encounters in each dungeon.

That leaves gameplay gimmicks and loops, which are, unfortunately, a bit of a letdown. The story is divided into chapters, with intermissions that offer some free time. There's not a whole lot to do during this free time other than some rather boring side quests and then the Side Stories. However, it does offer a nice break where you can get your gear in order for the next main dungeon.

Dungeons are okay in TMS. They're fairly basic overall, but they do end up feeling tedious thanks to their overly-lengthy size and a plethora of basic puzzles to deal with. You'll revisit some of them for side quests, too, if you decide to take them on, which — like Persona 3 and Persona 4 — means you'll be sick of them before too long.

The user interface and map systems are pretty obnoxious. Apart from tiny text syndrome, they suffer from unwieldy and counterintuitive controls, a drawback from having the Topic system (your phone, basically) as a menu instead of on the Wii U Game Pad. The font color and style make it hard to read even aside from size, since it's white superimposed on light backgrounds.

There are some well done anime cutscenes in the game, and a few catchy tunes like Reincarnation. However, the overall presentation and the soundtrack are much flatter and more mundane than you'd expect from a game about idol culture and the energizing power of music. Even the battle theme remix is low-key and easily forgettable.

Finally is the Encore factor, which isn't much. Outside the advertised new songs and included DLC, you get NPCs like Barry and Tiki joining in for Sessions. It's a fun addition, but if you already played the Wii U version and aren't dying to play the game again in portable mode, just know it doesn't add anything really substantial over the original.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore: The Bottom Line

  • Unique setting and premise
  • Fun combat and combat mechanics
  • Good, light fanservice for SMT and Fire Emblem fans
  • Accessible RPG for newcomers
  • Forgettable story and soundtrack
  • Not much character interaction
  • Crummy UI
  • Not much point in the mashup
  • Tedious dungeons

Overall, Tokyo Mirage Sessions feels like a missed opportunity, and the Encore version even more so. The makings for something really great and unique are here, but in trying to be so many things at once, it ultimately doesn't manage to be anything in particular.

A remake or port seems like the ideal way to add some extra meat to the game, shoring up its weak points and trying to build on its strengths. Unfortunately, it doesn't.

There are definitely better RPGs on the Switch. If you don't mind the negatives, though, you've got a solid B-tier RPG with a premise you won't find anywhere else and an excellent combat system.

[Note: A copy of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore was provided by Nintendo for the purpose of this review.]

Ports and Remakes Are (Usually) Totally Worth It Tue, 31 Dec 2019 12:28:24 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Ports and remakes are often some of the most divisive bits of gaming. Do games on one platform really need to be on four others and your smartphone? If a game is less than ten years old, should a remake or remaster even be considered?

The broad answer to those is typically "Yes."

However, there are those that don't do any or many of these things and just offer a chance to meet an old friend again, but on a new platform. There's nothing inherently wrong with those kinds of ports and remakes, though they certainly aren't as exciting as they could be.

Good remakes take what we know and give it back to us as something we recognize, but still need to get acquainted with — a new way of playing the game, of understanding its characters, or something along those lines. Improved accessibility is always a strong point, but shouldn't really be the only goal in remaking the game unless it adds something to the overall formula.

As is often the case, defining a comparison is often easier by laying out the negative first.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore

I won't deny, I'm pretty excited about Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore. It was criminally overlooked on the Wii U — because, well... it was on the Wii U — but it's got a lot going for it. From the unlikely but successful mashup of franchises to the contagious sugar-coated glitz of the J-pop influences, it's a game unlike any other.

And yet there's not much call for a definitive edition other than expanding the audience. Obviously, that's reason enough for any publisher or marketing team to pursue a remake, but it doesn't make the end-product any more necessary from a creative view. It's got a new song, some new, as yet unknown story content, and new characters.

Unless we're talking new story content like Dragon Quest XI S content — meaningful sidequests and challenges or important resolutions for character arcs — it's difficult to really see this as one of those inspired remakes that changes how you view the story or experience the gameplay.

Granted, very few people experienced that gameplay to begin with, but still. It's been more than three years, so some more significant changes wouldn't have been amiss. However, Switch ports do have that instant appeal of handheld mode for many, which makes it easier to fully experience everything a game has to offer, so that's something.

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition is a bit more difficult to fully justify. It's not exactly difficult to find. You can play it on the Wii, Wii U, even the New 3DS thanks to Nintendo's attempt at luring "core" players to the enhanced handheld. Even though it's pretty hard to track down reasonably priced physical copies, digital editions mean it's still accessible for many.

Moreover, it's a pretty complete package on its own. The game's practically bursting with story and side content, a fully realized narrative where almost every character gets a good bit of development (even Riki the fluffball), and solid, if sometimes iffy, mechanics overall.

So why make a Definitive Edition for the Switch?  It's portable already too, despite being on an older platform. There's chatter about including cut areas and content from the Wii version, though one wonders how much they might actually change the overall game. The only areas that really need improvement are all connected to the frequently atrocious character models, although I wouldn't complain about streamlining the item-gathering quests and making it possible to actually rebuild Colony 6.

While fans, like yours truly, will still leap at the chance to experience a visually attractive version of Xenoblade Chronicles, there's still no denying it's not a strictly necessary or innovative remake.

Persona 5: Royal

When I originally conceived this idea, I'd planned on labeling Persona 5: Royal as an in-between remake, something that added new content but wasn't strictly necessary. Compared to the likes of FF7 Remake and RE 3 remake, it doesn't seem quite as grand. But for Persona, it actually is a pretty big deal.

No, the story doesn't change all that much, even though there are some new endings. What you get is more time with the main characters and more important NPCs to interact with, and characters are the heart of Persona. Some of that is because of the new Confidants, Kasumi and Takuto, who offer alternative perspectives on the original game's narrative.

The original narrative had enough nuance in how it portrayed corrupt students abusing others and the dual-nature of the Phantom Thieves' actions that I never really ascribed to the theory that it was an evil adult simulator.

However, including new views on what's going on and how to handle it is very much in the spirit of Persona, a series all about how perception and cognition shape reality, and it's also not something we really see in other Persona games. Everyone is usually either completely ignorant of what's going on with the protagonists or agrees entirely with them.

The biggest worthwhile change is the third semester, though. The modern Persona games all end in December. Expansions, like Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 Golden try changing that with new scenarios and some additional time with friends, but aren't entirely necessary. FES zeroes in on one aspect of the game that wasn't even the main focus most of the time and comes across like fanfiction at best (not bad in itself, but not what I want from an Atlus story) while Golden doesn't really let you spend much free time with the other characters outside the ski event and Valentine's day.

Persona 5 Royal gives us an entire new playable semester, where character arcs evolve, get resolved, or both, new characters are integrated more closely with the overall plot, and you basically just get more of what makes the game worth playing to begin with.

Normally, a new semester in a game that already takes 100 hours or more would be a questionable benefit, but like FF7 Remake, P5 Royal balances everything with new mechanics. Chief among these is the recommendation system that advises you what actions you can take to improve your stats the most effectively and efficiently, removing guesswork and wasted time from the equation — but only if you want to.

SP recovery is also streamlined earlier on, so you can actually clear Palaces earlier and use that time to improve relationships and stats, all of which is supposed to keep the game's playtime down to roughly what it was in the original. For a remake that adds so much, that's quite an accomplishment.

Plus there's more Haru, which is the biggest accomplishment.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Even Capcom knows older Resident Evil games need remaking; just look at the many versions of the original game, each with subtle differences designed, in theory, to improve the experience. It's not that the original three games are unplayable — except the PSX version of the first game, which comes pretty darn close — but they are definitely products of their time. Resident Evil 2's remake already proved how successful remaking these titles can be, and the Resident Evil 3 remake has even more potential.

The original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has two main jobs to accomplish, all while being short on story, and with mechanics as horrifying as the zombies: escape Nemesis and build up to Racoon City's demise.

It achieves these goals, but not without some scabs and bruises in the process. Tank controls are okay for the previous two, where ease of movement isn't quite so absolutely vital. Nemesis changes that with its titular monstrosity stalking you throughout the city. You could look at it as the turning point, where Resident Evil started focusing on action as much as horror, a theory which a recent developer comment supports as well.

Sadly, that's the only way you could see it as such. The controls and overall mechanics didn't change to accommodate the newer emphasis until Resident Evil 4. Re-imagining Nemesis with the smoother-though-tankish controls of Resident Evil 2 remake is an absolute godsend both for ease of play and greater coherence in general.

Resident Evil's story has never really been at the series' forefront, though Nemesis is a bit of an exception. It's where the mysteries and action in the first two (three, if you count Resident Evil 0) finally culminate, and it's all closely intertwined with the events of Resident Evil 2. The story is what sets it apart from its predecessors in this case, though the original doesn't play to its strengths.

Resident Evil 2 has you play as police officers gunning down civilians you're supposed to protect. That adds an element of dark irony to the game's action, something different from just encountering scary zombies in a dark hallway. But Nemesis' escape story sees you back to mowing down swathes of nameless, faceless undead leading up to the city's complete destruction.

Now, it's kind of a big thing when a government decides to blow up one of its own cities, and it's a perfect opportunity to ramp up the emotion by making Jill interact more with the city folk all doomed to die from either zombies, disease, or the missile strike. There's also plenty of chance to unravel more of the Umbrella story here, though whether that's a good thing largely depends on perspective.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

The big remake many of us eagerly anticipate for 2020 is Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which is, duh, a remake of Final Fantasy 7. And that's good, because regardless of how many fond memories one might have of the classic that saved RPGs in the West, there's lots of room for changes to make it even better.

Fortunately, the remake's structure guarantees it addresses one of these areas. Final Fantasy games are unique in the RPG world for having remained roughly the same length since FF7 first launched; you can speed through in maybe 20-25 hours or take your time and soak everything in for roughly twice that. The issue that poses with Final Fantasy 7, though, is just how much content ends up getting very little attention because of the pacing.

Take the Midgar portion, for example, the opening 7-ish hours of the original game that make up FF7 R's entire first chapter. Pretty much everything could be expanded on in those opening scenes to convey a fuller picture of the overall conflict and the major and minor actors in it.

It's got the huge responsibility of making you care about the conflict between Shinra and Avalanche and wonder about Cloud and Aerith, plus it's got some of the most memorable scenes in the entire game, but if you blink, it's already done and over with. And that applies to the remaining chapters as well. It's easy to understand how evil Shinra is from the get-go, which usually happens when someone murders an entire zip code on a whim. Everyone and everything else who aren't Cloud and Sephiroth sort of get lost in the shuffle — and even they could do with more background and development.

Other games in the FF7 sub-series tried expanding on the world and its people, but a spinoff, fun as it might be, doesn't carry the same weight as the original. Disappointed as many initially were after learning FFVII R was getting the episodic treatment, frankly, it's the best thing for the game, the thing that'll really (hopefully) tease out the full potential within the dark and twisted streets of both Midgar and the souls of its inhabitants.

Another key feature making this remake completely worthwhile is how the combat system is changed. Whether RPGs shouldn't be turn-based anymore isn't really the issue here (though for the record, the turn-based system isn't out of date). The issue is how Square created the Active Time Battle system and then tried using it on a disc-based system. Granted, time waiting in FF7 is nowhere near as tortuously long as FF9, but it's easy to lose interest when you're just waiting so you can wait for your turn.

Swapping that out for a system that lets you approach it as both an Action RPG and a fast-paced traditional one is smart way around that problem while seemingly retaining a good deal of the original feel. Letting players choose how to approach the game is always a good thing anyway, but more importantly, it's an excellent complement to the new story material that'll keep things interesting even for those who know the game like their own soul.

The length of this segment alone should make it clear FF7 Remake represents the ideal best for what remakes should try and achieve: an expanded and re-imagined vision, improvements where necessary, and plenty of new content to welcome old fans and newcomers alike.


Love 'em or hate 'em, there's no denying remakes comprise a big part of the early 2020 release calendar.

Ideally, a good remake lets us experience the game in a completely new way we didn't imagine we could before or, failing that, expands on what we loved about the original to begin with. Some might not push the boundaries of the imagination quite so much as others, though as long as there's an audience happy to play the game, then technically, it's worth remaking and/or porting.

14 Upcoming Switch Games to be Excited About in 2020 Sat, 30 Nov 2019 12:39:27 -0500 Josh Broadwell


LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga


Developer: Traveller's Tales
Release Date
: TBA 2020


Another Lego Star Wars game? I hear you cry in exasperation. Yes, it is another Lego Star Wars game — with a twist.


Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga includes Lego versions of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, the two films that haven't yet been turned into Lego games (partly because The Rise of Skywalker hasn't actually debuted yet, of course).


More importantly, the other seven Lego Star Wars games have been completely rebuilt. These aren't the same games you've already played with a fresh coat of paint. They take advantage of more recent changes to the Lego formula, like open worlds with big hubs, more emphasis on character abilities, and things like that.


The galaxy changes as you progress too. While you might explore Tatooine in A New Hope and everything looks hunky-dory, when you go back under a later game to explore, portions of it (i.e. Luke's home) are completely unrecognizable.


It's taking advantage of Star Wars mania, sure, but in all the right ways thanks to these changes. Here's a chance to experience the entire Lego Star Wars saga afresh, even after the Skywalker story ends this December.




While Nintendo is still playing its cards close about first-party Switch releases in 2020, there's definitely not going to be a shortage of games to play on the Switch.


Whether you're longing for escape to an island paradise, keeping Tokyo safe from Fire Emblem demons bent on world domination, or just casually carrying out corporate conquest on a planet far, far away, 2020 is going to be another busy year for Switch owners.


For more lists detailing the biggest games coming in 2020, be sure to check out the list of articles below: 


DOOM Eternal


Developer: id Software
Release Date
: TBA 2020


Doom Eternal is a good metaphor for the series' relationship with Nintendo. It starts promising but ends up hitting so many complications on the way.


Doom Eternal was supposed to be out this year for all platforms. Then it got pushed back to March 20, 2020 — and the Switch version got a TBA for 2020.


Really, it's okay because a finished game is better than a crap one, and hopefully it gives the dev team time to work without having the life completely crunched out of them.


Whenever it launches, Doom Eternal looks like it's going to be well worth the wait. It takes a slightly different approach from other Doom games, since it takes place on Earth, plus it's said to be twice as long as the usual Doom games.


Other than that, it's the same over-the-top combat against hordes of demonic aliens, with wild weapons, showers of blood, more blood, and more demonic aliens bent on murdering you — definitely not for the squeamish or anti-violent.


Disappointing though the delay may be, Doom 64 is still set to launch on the Switch on March 20, 2020.


No More Heroes 3


Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Release Date
: TBA 2020


E3 2019's announcement of No More Heroes 3 was a welcome surprise.


Suda51's cult classic No More Heroes series first debuted in the Wii era as a tribute to hardcore action fans. Protagonist Travis Touchdown takes on the role of hero by using his modified lightsaber-ish beam sword to essentially hack anything and everything to pieces.


That irreverent attitude towards the establishment, plus some equally unorthodox gameplay mechanics (like how you recharge your weapon and save), carved a niche for the series and created an intense demand for more.


There was a sequel in 2010. 2010. Almost ten years ago, ten years with no more No More Heroes.


That changed a bit with Travis Strikes Again, but it didn't really scratch the itch. Finally at E3 this year, a proper sequel was announced. Other than knowing No More Heroes 3's release date is 2020 and that it features Travis returning to Santa Destroy after ten years to find an artificial city hovering over the real one.


From there is anyone's guess what happens and why. This is Suda51 after all.


The Outer Worlds: Nintendo Switch


Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Release Date
: Early 2020


Obsidian Entertainment's The Outer Worlds is coming to Nintendo Switch early in 2020. Let that sink in for a minute.


The Outer Worlds is a sci-fi game set in a distant world you're tasked with bringing under the control of a massive intergalactic corporation. The story and gameplay elements aren't anything revolutionary, true. But The Outer Worlds gets its characters just right, with each party member and even NPC playing an important role alongside your own. It's the kind of depth Obsidian is known for, and it makes every playthrough unique.


Not only is it one of 2019's most anticipated — and successful — AAA titles, but it's a tremendously short span of time from its launch on other consoles to its Switch launch. Where Skyrim took six years to arrive on a Nintendo console, The Witcher 3 took four, and now The Outer Worlds is potentially going to take less than a year. It's quite an achievement and bodes well for the Switch's future, as we predicted would happen.


Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition


Developer: Monolith Soft
Release Date
: TBA 2020


Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a remastered version of the Wii original Xenoblade Chronicles — and that's about all we know. It was first shown off in the September Nintendo Direct, and other than boasting gorgeous new graphics, releasing sometime in 2020, and potentially using material cut from the original, there's still a lot that's unclear about this remaster.


Fortunately, we know the most important part: it'll be amazing. The original Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the best JRPGs of its era. Granted, that isn't saying much seeing as it launched in a period with relatively little competition. But the narrative scope, massive and intricate settings, blending of fantasy with sci-fi, and unique battle system still stand strong after almost ten years.


If you've played Xenoblade Chronicles 2, you'll notice a few key differences, namely that combat is simplified with no Blades and relatively fewer combo opportunities. That's a trade-off for a streamlined narrative that starts strong and never lets up and massive areas to explore that somehow seem more open than the sequel's.


Most important is the graphical update, though. It's not like the original was nightmare-inducing, but...oh wait, yes it was.



Rune Factory 5


Developer: XSEED
Release Date
: TBA 2020


Marvelous has been keeping a tight lid on Rune Factory 5, so tight, the above trailer showcasing a few bits of monster art and maybe the protagonist's house is all we've seen about the upcoming Rune Factory game. Other than knowing it'll be out sometime after Rune Factory 4 Special and has some kind of crossover connectivity, that's it.


Sure, we could put Rune Factory 4 Special on here instead, but RF5 is kind of a big deal. By the time it releases, it'll be the first new Rune Factory game we've seen in seven years. That's a long time in general, but even longer considering the release gaps between the first four Rune Factory games were even longer.


The series might be a spinoff, but it has plenty of strong points to make it worth looking into. For one, it's the reason we have monsters and dangerous exploration in Stardew Valley, being the first of its kind to introduce monster hunting and ranching into the usual farming mix. It also goes a step further Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons with the detail of its world map and characters. While there might be plenty of other farming-sim games vying for your attentionRune Factory offers a completely different kind of experience.


Digimon Survive


Developer: Bandai Namco
Release Date
: TBA 2020


Digimon games have been on a roll in recent years. The Cyber Sleuth games revitalized the series in the West — which I ramble about at length elsewhere — and encouraged the development team to keep localizing games for international distribution.


That's a good thing, because Digimon Survive is looking like another big step forward for the franchise, and it's set to launch sometime next year on all platforms, including Nintendo Switch.


Survive takes elements of visual novels, adventure games, and strategy RPGs as it tasks players with choosing which friends to bond with, how they bond with their Digimon, and then how they manage these bonds on the battlefleds to try and, some sort of alternate, post-apocalyptic world.


Outside time and bond management, Digivolving will play an even bigger role than usual, as Digimon can evolve or devolve at any point during a battle, if certain requirements are met. Normally, Digivolution depends on the Digimon's stats, but in Survive, it'll all relate to how you've forged your bonds outside battle.


It's been delayed already, but it certainly seems worth the wait and might just be the most ambitious Digimon game yet.


Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack


Developer: Koei Tecmo
Release Date
: January 14, 2020


Gust and Koei Tecmo have been busy pumping out games in the long-running Atelier franchise this year, with Atelier Lulua earlier, that building-sim disaster we won't talk about, and Atelier Ryza just last month. All these and the original Arland trilogy are available on the Switch, which leaves one noticeable gap: the Dusk trilogy.


Koei Tecmo America is filling that gap first thing in the new year with the Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack. It's the DX, expanded versions of Atelier Ayesha, Atelier Escha & Logy, and Atelier Shallie, all of which were previously only available on the Vita, though the vanilla versions were on the PlayStation 3.


The Dusk trilogy is praised for moving the series forward in terms of narrative scope and character development. While it's still very much a case of cute girls doing cute things and making items, there's an overarching narrative tying their stories together. Plus, it brought some much-needed changes to the brutal time system and improved item synthesis a good bit as well.


Like the Arland trilogy, all three will be available separately on the eShop as well.


Minecraft Dungeons


Developer: Mojang
Release Date
: April 2020


Minecraft Dungeons is Minecraft meets Diablo, and that's not a bad thing by any account. The above footage is from an Xbox event, but it does a much better job showcasing what the game is about than the original reveal trailer.


The idea is your party of adorable little Minecraft figures explores a variety of dungeons built in Minecraft fashion, takes on hordes of enemies, gathers loot, then uses said loot to get even stronger by making weapons, armor, and the like.


The focus is on everything you can't do in regular Minecraft, like explore for a purpose or deck your avatar out in gear that makes them a complete killing machine. It's looking like you'll need that gear too, since Minecraft Dungeons doesn't appear to skimp on the mob hordes. Luckily, you'll get special abilities and magic to help keep you alive too.


It's a clever twist to the usual build-and-craft formula. It's surprising this didn't happen earlier, really, though it's in keeping with Microsoft's desire to expand the Minecraft property in new ways.


Trials of Mana


Developer: Square Enix
Release date
: April 24, 2020


Remember how we pined for any release of Seiken Densetsu 2 — now known as Trials of Mana — before 2019, even if it was just a fan translation? Well, not only did Square Enix (finally) bring the Collection of Mana west over the summer, complete with the (finally) localized Trials of Mana, but the game is being completely remade from the ground up for a standalone release in 2020.


Secret of Mana is widely regarded as a masterpiece of an RPG, and Trials of Mana manages to do one even better. It builds on Secret of Mana with branching storylines, multiple job classes, and an overall more epic narrative scope. Part of that scope is because the story can change depending on how you construct your party; it's not necessarily a huge deal now, but for the SNES era, it was something we didn't typically see outside the SaGa games.


The Trials of Mana remake boasts completely redesigned 3D maps and models and a revamped battle system. While some of the character modeling looks a bit iffy, and it seems the characters are definitely on the chatty side during battle, this is an RPG to keep an eye on.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons


Developer: Nintendo
Release Date
: March 20, 2020


E3 2019 gave us a delicious glimpse of the newest Animal Crossing game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons — and then told us it wasn't out until March 2020. Investors might have flipped out over that fact, but it definitely looks worth the wait.


New Horizons moves away from the town mayor feature of New Leaf — which is the only thing it could do to stay fresh — and instead puts everyone on a deserted island. You're tasked with building a town there, but the major gameplay elements and flow of progression remain largely the same, with a few notable exceptions.


One is crafting. You'll be making a lot of your items, tools, and possibly even furniture in New Horizons with the materials you find on the island. Then, a la Happy Home Designer, you can put your furniture anywhere you want, on the beach, near a tree — whatever floats your handicraft boat. In typical Nintendo fashion, it's a small change that simultaneously opens up a huge range of new possibilities (and it's one of the Animal Crossing changes this writer was hoping for the most).


Whatever New Horizons does or doesn't change, we just hope that jazzy tune from the trailer makes a reappearance.


Fairy Tail


Developer: Koei Tecmo
Release Date
: March 19, 2020


Gust, makers of the Atelier and Ar Tonelico games, are behind the brand-new video game version of the popular manga and anime series Fairy Tail. Fairy Tail follows protagonists Natsu Dragneel and Lucy Heartfilia as they join a guild and journey across the dangerous land of Fiore.


It's your typical shonen-style anime, with big hair, bigger attacks, and even bigger personalities, but those characters are what make Fairy Tail stand out for so many people. There are a lot of stories to follow, and each one's usually interesting enough to stand on its own. You can catch a glimpse of some of those characters in the release date trailer that was just unveiled too.


Like Sword Art Online it's looking like Fairy Tail for Nintendo Switch is really going to be for fans of the franchise, with a boatload of familiar figures, places, and concepts featuring in every trailer so far. The game's goal is to be faithful to the manga, though, so it very well could be a decent entry point for anyone unfamiliar with the series too.


Langrisser 1 & 2


Developer: NIS America
Release Date
: Early 2020


Langrisser was one of those somewhat elusive strategy RPG series most Western fans couldn't get their hands on — legally, at least. Most of the games and their remakes stayed in Japan, but now, partly thanks to the mobile version's success and probably thanks to Fire Emblem's roaring rebirth in recent years, that's about to change.


Langrisser 1 & 2 is a full remake of the series' first two titles (y'know, in case that wasn't obvious) with new designs, plenty of quality of life improvements, dual voice, and brand-new orchestrations.


Gameplay-wise, Langrisser is a lot like Fire Emblem, with an emphasis on character class and army organization. One thing that Langrisser does differently, though, is its story. The entire series centers around an ages-old conflict between divine beings that regularly plays out in the normal world. This time, it takes the form of invasions from kingdoms suddenly turned aggressive and the forces of darkness working behind the scenes.


"So... like Fire Emblem" you say. Yes, but these stories and the lands they're set in are connected; the games take place on the same continent with connections between characters and kingdoms stretching back to the past.


Right now, it's not completely clear when the collection will launch; some listings say February, others don't. Just expect it sometime early 2020.


Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore


Developer: Atlus
Release Date
: January 17, 2020


It's name is certainly a mouthful, but Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is definitely not an RPG to overlook. On the surface, it's a bizarre mashup of Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei series and Nintendo's Fire Emblem, with a huge portion of J-pop on top.


Underneath that, it's still a bizarre mashup of all those things, but its seamless execution and exhilarating, over-the-top battles make it a strong RPG that was sadly trapped on a dying system, the Wii U.


It's coming to the Switch almost first-thing in 2020 and brings with it even more content than the original.


The mashup works like this: basically, the setting and battle system are SMT, while characters and narrative influences are Fire Emblem. You've got the evil forces from beyond this world trying to invade, and battle requires careful exploitation of enemy weaknesses to get an advantage, just like SMT. But you'll be summoning Mirages instead of demons, and these Mirages just so happen to be famous Fire Emblem heroes.


Oh, and your party is an aspiring band of J-pop Idols and every battle is a performance, because Japan.


When Tokyo Mirage Sessions first released, Fire Emblem Fates and Awakening were "the" big Fire Emblem hits, so most of the FE portions revolve around those characters. Even though Three Houses has taken over that top spot and Encore includes new material, don't get your hopes up for an Edelgard Mirage.


The Nintendo Switch had a stellar year in 2019, from excellent ports like Dragon Quest XIS to new entries in long-running franchises like Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Pokemon Sword and Shield. With such a jam-packed year, it's hard to imagine 2020 could have anything similar in store.


That goes double when you consider a lot of the big hitters are still missing from next year's schedule. Persona 5 Scramble might not release in the West next year, Shin Megami Tensei V might get a new trailer for 2020, and Breath of the Wild 2 and Metroid Prime 4 are still just distant blips on the radar.


Fortunately, there's still plenty of goodness ahead, making owning a Switch in 2020 still worth it.


There's first party goodness like Animal Crossing: New Horizons to look forward to and a veritable ton of third party software on its way, from The Outer Worlds and Trials of Mana to Doom Eternal and a new Minecraft game.


So buckle up (your wallet) as we take you through the top 13 upcoming Switch games for 2020 in the order of release dates.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore Coming to Nintendo Switch Wed, 04 Sep 2019 19:24:34 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Atlus and Nintendo are remaking the Wii U cult favorite Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE for the Nintendo Switch. It is packaged with new content (and an even longer name) as Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore.

Mirage Sessions is a mashup of both Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei franchise and Intelligent Systems' Fire Emblem games. It features combat elements from both, characters from the latter, loads of Easter eggs from each franchise, and it's all wrapped up in a J-Pop setting. We rather liked it in our review of the Wii U original.

Players take control of a group of aspiring pop idols in contemporary Tokyo, who, along with the usual trials of performing, must deal with an invasion force of spirits from another dimension.

Mirage Sessions tasks players with crafting and fusing their weapons, and each character's special power takes the form of an iconic character from the Fire Emblem franchise. Note that since this is a Wii U game, these characters hail from games like the original Fire Emblem, and Awakening — not Three Houses.

The Encore version includes an extra song and new story elements, and it's out on January 17, 2020.

Get more Nintendo Direct news over on our Nintendo Direct hub

Tokyo Mirage Session #FE's Co-Director disappointed with censored NA Localization Sat, 09 Jul 2016 09:33:34 -0400 Joseph Ocasio

Despite it's positive reception from cirtics, JRPG fans have been a little disappointed with Tokyo Mirage Session #FE. While some justy felt the game wasn't as good as they hoped it would be, others where much more critical of the game's localization changes, particularly when it came to changes made to various outfits for female characters in order to make them less revealing -- and the other numerous changes made for censorship reasons.

The Video Above shows a lot of the changes made to Tokyo Mirage Session #FE for it's Western Release. Even Co-Director Mitsuru Hirata has shown disappointment with the game's North American changes. Responding to a fan who expressed issues with the US Localization of the game on Twitter, Hirata stated with the following:

“When I found out we were unable to provide the same experience as the Japanese version, I also felt some disappointment. But our overseas fans remained happy that the game was being brought over and I’m glad to see their passionate support. In the meantime, the new costumes added could in a way be considered a merit that can only be enjoyed by our overseas fans! Thank you, and please look forward to the game!”

It's easy to see why fans are upset at this, but at the same time, it's a bit understandable why a game with some "Risky" content would be a bit toned down (given our cultural differences), especially one that was published by Nintendo. 

Tokyo Mirage Session #FE was released on June 24th, 2016

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Censorship Comparison Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:57:09 -0400 Kevin S. Behan

While the story doesn't change very much, a few altercations have been made to non-Japanese versions of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. Skimpy outfits have been removed, as have references to the erotic side of the idol industry, which the game is based around. Check out the video at the header for a comprehensive view of what's been censored so far.

What's interesting is that the quality of the edited content is rather inconsistent. Sometimes there's a high amount of effort put into it, such as the characters receiving completely new outfits at the end of one quest line -- full-coverage street clothes, as opposed to the bikinis you would be rewarded with in the Japanese version. And sometimes it feels cheap and lazy, like the edits made to the main character's wedding dress get-up:

Censored on the left, original on the right.

Perhaps the strangest part is Nintendo's involvement. Why is this game being so prudishly treated, when Nintendo permitted Bayonetta's sexy costumes resembling Nintendo icons in her game? It's not as though Nintendo is pure itself, with examples like Fire Emblem: Awakening's Tharja. 

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.

Fans working on patching Tokyo Mirage Sessions' censorship Wed, 29 Jun 2016 05:32:06 -0400 TheSmartestMoron

Tokyo Mirage Sessions recently launched last week, and so far has received fairly decent reviews. But some fans were not happy with the censorship Nintendo used, though the game was published by Atlus. That's why a team of fans at GBAtemp forums  has been working on a patch that seeks to undo all of the censorship and revert the game back to the original version released in Japan, but for English users.

The patch is currently on version 0.9.2, and these are the changes it will make:

  • Reverted costumes back to Bikinis, also changing the menu icons back and their original names and descriptions.
  • Completely redid Chapter 2 and a few other small files to return references to Gravure Modelling, this also uses the original voice files.
  • Fixed any map changes relating to pictures in dungeons that were changed.
  • Swapped the English files out for Japanese versions for retranslated files.
  • Healing points no longer come in envelopes.
  • Changed Profiles to reflect the character’s real ages and change back references to Gravure Modeling.
  • Reverted any censored pre-rendered cutscene files.

While North American and European users can use this patch, players will need to know what they are doing to make it work. Thankfully, the creators of the patch can offer aid on Discord. GameSkinny also does not support piracy, and recommends players purchase the game first. You can see an example comparison with the English localization and the patch below:

Take a look inside Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Special Edition (North America) Fri, 24 Jun 2016 11:47:47 -0400 David Fisher

The Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem crossover that everyone's been waiting for has finally released! Today, we'll be taking a quick look at the contents of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE's Special Edition bundle. What are we waiting for? Let's dig in!

Author's note: apologies in advance if the pictures are blurry. It's been a while since I upgraded my camera!

The Artbook and Stickers

The first two items (above) in this pack are the 80 page artbook, and a sheet of four chibi-style stickers. While the stickers are cute, I'm somewhat disappointed that there's only four of them without a spare sheet. Once you use them, they're done, so I'll probably wind up leaving them in their box.

The artbook is pretty interesting since there's a lot of commentary on each of the characters' design choices. It also includes weapon sketches, dungeon concepts, and the English lyrics for the main songs in the game.

However, what I found odd about the artbook is that Eleonora is displayed in a bikini/underwear in one of the sketches (seen below).

The reason I'm mystified by the concept art is that it shows off such a revealing outfit for the character when the international release of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE has been censored despite being localized by Atlus. There's been no word if we'll get the Hot Springs/Beach DLC, and bikinis/swimsuits have been completely scrubbed from the game aside from some special attack animations (such as Ad Lib attacks) and certain cutscenes where they were required for plot purposes.

Certainly odd indeed. Perhaps an oversight?

The Audio CD

This is what everyone bought the Special Edition for. The Audio CD has six different tracks, as well as seven intermission tracks to each song. During the intermissions, we get a short introduction by each of the characters, a thank you after they finished their song, and the title of the next track. These are the full versions of the six main songs in the game, so if you thought any of the songs included were too short in the actual game, you can listen to their entirety using this CD.

The audio CD also comes with six song cards. Each one features a Single EP artwork featuring each of the in-game artists involved with each track. On their back is the Japanese Romaji versions of the lyrics, so you can sing along if you'd like.

My only complaint is that Kiria's second song - The Labyrinth - didn't get an extended full version. That song is beautiful!

Free DLC Codes

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE also comes with some Day One DLC as a result of the packs having been released in Japan for some time now. While I haven't posted what the sheet looks like (for obvious reasons), the image above shows all the items included. The DLC codes cover all the DLC that has been released so far, except for the Japan-only Hot Spring DLC, sadly.

None of the DLC is particularly game altering as most of it is just costume packs, with the "Tokyo Millennium Collection" being the only event DLC in the game.

Last but not least, there's the game itself!

The game being included in the purchase is a given, of course. That said, the game box looks too beautiful to leave out. It's colorful, bright, and just about perfectly represents what this game is all about.

That about covers the contents of the Special Edition for North America! Is there anything you would have liked to see in the bundle? Are you happy with what you got or are you disappointed there wasn't more? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - Idolasphere survival guide Mon, 27 Jun 2016 06:18:54 -0400 David Fisher

The idolasphere - in spite of its name - is no safe haven for pop idols. In Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, these act as your dungeons, accessed through Idolasphere Portals in the overworld. Here's some spoiler-free tips to guide you through them in one piece!

Learn to use the map

The gamepad in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE acts as both a text-messaging service (which can be hilarious at times, by the way) as well as your map. To access the map, just tap the bottom right button on the screen. The map is updated in real time as you explore different corners of the idolasphere, so make sure to use it if you don't know where to check next!

There are also a bunch of useful icons on the map too. Red diamonds mark unopened treasure chests that require keys, question marks are mirages you can talk to, exclamation marks are interactable objects, and the rest are pretty self-explanatory. Makes sure to check your map after completing dungeons to see if you missed anything during the first run through!

Save often!

One lesson I learned very quickly was that even on Normal mode you can find yourself hitting the game over screen. Like many JRPGs out there, TMS #FE instantly returns you to the main menu if you die. No respawn points, no autosaves, nothing. The only automatic save points are at the intermissions between chapters, so if you die you will lose all progress you have made since your last save point.

Field skills: they might just save your life!

Field skills can be accessed via the Skills submenu. Each one has a different effect, and some can only be gained through side story missions. Healing skills are particularly useful since items are limited in quantity while EP can be quickly regained through a number of means such as items, battle, or otherwise.

Beware of Purple Savage Mirages...

Savage Mirages are powerful enemies that -- during your first run through a dungeon -- typically share levels with enemies that you will find common later in the game. If at all possible you should evade these on the overworld map. If you can't, try to escape the battle with a smoke machine or the escape command.

That said, sometimes fighting these can get you some really cool drops that can be used for Carnage Unity back at Tiki's forest at Fortuna Headquarters. The same can be said for Golden Mirages that drop one of a kind items that are required for the most powerful Carnage Unity weapons. Golden mirages will run away whenever you encounter them, so you'll have to nail them down.

How do you do this?

Swing your sword!

There is never a time you shouldn't try swinging your sword against overworld Mirages. If you make contact they will enter a stunned state. If you touch them when they are stunned, the battle will have a chance of giving you a first strike -- allowing you to get in a few attacks before the battle even starts. If you touch them while they aren't stunned, you risk getting a first strike pinned on you instead, so make use of this whenever possible!

Pick fights whenever possible

While it may seem counter-intuitive if you want to survive in an idolasphere longer, you should take on as many opponents as possible during your run. Why? Because the experience points can go a long way.

Newly recruited Mirage Masters won't be the same level as you when you first get them, but the enemies you face are almost always equal to the chapter number multiplied by 10. As such, you can easily fall behind in levels if you decide to take the easy way around. As a safe measure, you should be able to take down single enemies with a session attack during battle.

Talk to friendly mirages for useful in-dungeon tips and more!

Not all Mirages in the idolasphere are evil. If you see one that looks like the enemies do in battle, talk to them. Some might give you tips on traversing the dungeon, while others might give you quests that will reward you with Treasure Keys and other useful items.

Some Mirages are integral to the plot of the game as well. If you find yourself unable to progress after a certain point (especially in Chapter 3 onward) talk to the Mirages you see standing around. They might just be nice enough open the path for you.

Gear up for the enemies you're facing!

While it might seem logical to just grab whatever weapon has the highest attack rating (or whatever is newer) it doesn't quite work like that in TMS #FE. A stronger weapon will certainly dispatch enemies sooner, but certain idolaspheres will specialize in a certain attack type. If you're equipped with a weapon that is weak against that particular attack type you will be in for a bad time.

Other useful tips:

As with any RPG game out there, there's some general tips you should always pay attention to:

  • Stock up on revival/cure items
  • Check every corner of the map for treasure chests
  • Switch up your party to ensure your levels don't get too far apart
  • Take up overworld quests before entering any dungeon

And that's it! Hopefully these tips will make your travels through the idolasphere a bit safer. If you're having trouble in battle, check out my battle guide for everything you need to know about beating down evil Mirages!

Tokyo Mirage Sessions is out tomorrow Thu, 23 Jun 2016 01:30:01 -0400 Anthony Pelone

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, the Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei crossover for Wii U, launches tomorrow on June 24th! Developed by SMT developer Atlus, this JRPG takes place in modern-day Tokyo and has you in control of pop idols who team up with Mirages--like in Persona--to combat evil Mirages who influence Tokyo's citizens for their devious purposes. These mirages are actually based off of famous Fire Emblem heroes (Chrom, Tharja and Caeda) and villains (Aversa), so expect plenty of fanservice.

As seen above, the dialogue will be presented in subtitles alongside the original Japanese language so as to respect the Tokyo setting. Since it centers around idols, you can expect animated J-Pop sequences and in-jokes/references to the idol industry.

GameSkinny's review of Tokyo Mirage Sessions scored the game a 9/10, citing the strong soundtrack, clever overworld design and fun battle system as the game's greatest strengths. If you're into J-pop, anime or general Japanese culture, Tokyo Mirage Sessions is the JRPG you've been waiting for.

Will you be picking up Tokyo Mirage Sessions tomorrow? Let us know in the comments below!

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - How to battle like a Pop Star! Fri, 24 Jun 2016 06:03:41 -0400 David Fisher

Information overload!

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE's HUD can be a bit intimidating at first. With so much information on the screen at once, it's easy to get lost. As such, let's study it one piece at a time, starting with the most essential of the HUD elements. We'll be using this image (below) for reference:

The Command Wheel

The command wheel (highlighted in red) is how you will choose actions for your characters. The options are as follows:

  • Attack: Exactly as the name implies: it's your basic attack. When using this, your character will not spend EP. However, you also cannot trigger Sessions as a result. This is rarely useful, as EP is very difficult to run out of, and should only be used as a last resort or to pick off weak enemies.
  • Skills: This is the most important button in the game in Easy or Normal difficulty. This button opens up your Skills menu, allowing you to choose which skill you want to use on your enemies or allies. Your skills use EP to attack with various weapon types, inflict status conditions, or heal your teammates.
  • Items: This opens up your inventory. There you will find various healing items, status enhancers, and even some attacking items.
  • Guard: Your character will be unable to attack for one turn -- or until they show up next on the action queue. They will take less damage, and also recover a small amount of EP as a result of guarding.
  • Command (Itsuki Only): Command lets you order your characters how to act on autopilot. The Command order gives you manual control over your cast. Minimal Skills causes them to favor Attack over Skills, Healing Main will focus on healing skills, Defense Main will focus on guarding and defensive buffs, and Offensive Main will spend all their EP on attacking whenever possible.
  • Change: This is the button you'll want to select if you need to swap out cast members. There is no penalty for switching, and you will be able to attack immediately with the new character.
  • Escape: Run away from the battle. This may fail, and you'll lose a turn as a result.
  • Auto Battle (X Button): Auto-Battle will cause your party to follow their Command orders until X is pressed again. If no orders are given they will simply use the Attack command. Itsuki can only use the Attack command in Auto-Battle mode.
The Action Queue

The action queue (highlighted in blue) displays the order of action turns characters will have each round. The round is completed once every character and enemy's actions have been completed. Various elements can change the action queue order, so make sure you pay attention to this every round.

Party Status

The party status HUD (highlighted in green) shows you the current condition of your cast. The green bars mark your health, the yellow ones are your entertainer points, and the blue bars are the number of special points you have. The number within the blue star tells you how many bars you have filled, so don't worry about counting them yourself.

If your cast members are under the effects of a status condition you will see various squares appear. Green or red swords, shields, and circles determine if you have boosted or lowered offense, defence, or hit rate. A purple diamond with bubbles indicates poison, blue is sleep, and a pink heart is infatuation. The latter of these is particularly dangerous as your ally may randomly attack you or heal the enemy. The same goes for confusion.

Understanding type advantages...

Each enemy in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE has a list of weaknesses and resistances, and it's up to you to discover them! Thankfully, the game doesn't expect you to memorize the type advantages of every single opponent you face.

When you fight an enemy for the first time you'll find that they have a large yellow box with a question mark. This indicates that you do not know what the enemy's reaction will be to your character's attack. This can be for a number of reasons including:

  1. You have never fought this enemy before.
  2. You have yet to attack this enemy with the weapon type you are using.
  3. You're hallucinating this yellow box.

Chances are the third option isn't the case, so let's assume you haven't attacked an enemy with this type of attack before. In this case you will get a box in the top left of the screen indicating what the risk of your attack is.

For example, in this image the little face next to my attack is neutral. This means that there is very little chance the enemy is Nu, Rp, or Dr. Ideally, you want to avoid any and all sad faces when attacking unknown enemies - especially in Chapter 3 onward. The reason for this is that most of these enemies will fall under these three weapon disadvantage types.

But what do these symbols mean exactly?

Type advantage symbols explained...

As seen above, there are four damage types for each weapon type:

  • '-' means that the enemy is neutral to that weapon type. If you attack this enemy with an attack of the symbol above it, the attack will do normal damage to that enemy.
  • 'Wk' means that the enemy is weak against that weapon type. If at all possible, use an attack that is related to the symbol above this symbol. These attacks will do twice as much damage.
  • 'Rs' means that the enemy is resistant against that weapon type. Try to avoid this whenever possible as your attacks will do less damage than normal. If you can't avoid it, attack anyway or switch to someone who can do full damage instead.
  • 'Nu' means that the enemy nullifies attacks of this weapon type. Do not attempt to fight an enemy that has this symbol with a character that has no other choices. You will do no damage, and you will waste Entertainer Points.
  • 'Rp' is the worst case scenario. Never attack an enemy that has this as the symbol for your attack type. This symbol means that the enemy will not only take no damage, they will return the damage to you in full. If you aren't able to attack this type of enemy, and there is no other choice. Get out of there!
  • 'Dr' is another dangerous type disadvantage. If an enemy has Dr labeled under a weapon type, that means that your attacks will heal the opponent instead of damaging them. This is another enemy type you want to avoid hitting with the corresponding weapon type whenever possible.

Keep in mind that if this is your first time fighting an enemy, the symbol will be replaced with a '?' until you hit them with that element type or defeat them.

But how will I know what works and what doesn't?

There are two types of enemies in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. The first is Persona/Shin Megami Tensei style enemies, and Fire Emblem style ones. While you're pretty much out of luck when it comes to the former (aside from maybe guessing based on their colors and using the Risk system), Fire Emblem enemies tend to stick close to their origins.

For example, this Blackwing Knight has a nice white square with a lance and a feather. This means that their weapon type is "lance" and they are a "flying" type. If we look to the Fire Emblem attack and magic triangles, we'll know its weaknesses based on this convenient image below:

While it's not the prettiest thing in the world, the premise is essentially that you want to hit the enemy with whatever the weapon points to - while simultaneously avoiding those that point to your weapon. The magic triangle is where things get tricky since Wind, Fire, and Thunder are part of a smaller triangle within the Dark, Anima, and Divine one. That said, once you master this, you'll ace just about every enemy that comes your way.

In Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, an easy way to understand your advantages against Fire Emblem style enemies is to simply look at the convenient white square beside their name. Typically you'll see symbols such as a lance, sword, or axe. Other Fire Emblem enemies include Flying (wings), Mages (wizard hats), armored (knight helmets), and dragons (dragon head). Knowing the weaknesses and advantages of each class is half the battle.

In the case of the enemy in question, they should be weak to bows and axes at the very least, and so we should start off with those attacks.

The HUD in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE has also been streamlined for type advantages you already know. As seen above, if you have already fought an enemy before, the enemy will have a massive green exclamation mark if you are hovering over an attack that they are weak against. This is particularly useful when trying to initiate Session attacks.

Speaking of which...

Session, ikimasu!

Sessions are an interesting feature in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. If your party members have the necessary session skills they will automatically attack once a character initiates battle with a type advantage. You have virtually no control over which session attacks will be used, so make sure that any followups by your co-stars aren't going to hurt your performance.

One way to do this is to select an enemy which as a green exclamation mark on it, and then check the list of session attacks your party will make. Each session attack is free of charge, so don't worry if your session attack leads to a zero-damage hit. However, be wary of Rp symbols, as you will still take damage from these enemies if you hit them.

There are some exceptions to this rule though...

Time for some Overkill!

Overkill is a mechanic that doesn't quite become useful until after you unlock Itsuki's "Director" Radiant Unity ability. Overkill is activated whenever you defeat an enemy and your session attack chain isn't over yet. During Overkill your allies will be able to attack any opponent without penalty or type disadvantages being part of the equation - including Nu and Rp.

If you find yourself in a situation where your character can't attack an Nu or Rp enemy, try to aim for someone else in the meantime so that an ally's Session attack will be triggered while in Overkill mode. Other practical uses include: defeating numerous enemies with weaknesses, wiping out weak enemies in quick succession, and taking down healers such as clerics while still damaging enemy mirages.

Show them a Special Performance!

Special Performances require Special points to initiate. These abilities are the strongest abilities in the game, and each one almost always guarantees that the effects listed in the bottom status bar will be applied. Most of them also involve the Fire Emblem Mirages transforming back into their physical form to attack or the idols doing some sort of attack based on a side story's plot point.

I would generally recommend keeping these attacks stored away for later on in a chapter. Most enemies won't require these attacks to be defeated, and they are best used on end-of-chapter bosses. The main reason I suggest saving them is that special points take a lot of grinding to build up, and unless you have Clap Track items on hand it's unlikely you'll build up a single bar during a boss battle.

What is an "Ad Lib Attack" exactly?

Ad Libs are a bit of a tricky subject since they can't be relied upon - ever. This is primarily due to the fact that they are triggered completely randomly, and if you simply aren't lucky you may never see them triggered at all.

Each Ad Lib attack is tied to a side-story in the game. To unlock one you simply need to increase the Stage Level of your characters until they are high enough to play their side story. Once their side stories are unlocked -- and you have finished the mission -- Tiki will be able to perform a Radiant Unity with that character. Once complete, attacks of the weapon type associated with the Ad Lib have a chance to trigger them.

Another type of Ad Lib attack is the Duo Attacks which are triggered during longer Sessions chains by pressing L or R instead of when a character uses an attack. These tend to be even more powerful than either Special Performances or Ad Libs

One problem with this feature is that Ad Libs are partially triggered based on your character's luck -- which in itself is randomly increased or decreased over time and with healing stations (i.e.: vending machines). As such, while these skills are incredibly powerful, they cannot be relied on, and in turn should not be expected to ever be seen.

You should enjoy them to their full when they do though.

And that's all you need to know!

Hopefully with this knowledge you'll be able to traverse the idolasphere in one piece. While all of this information seems like a lot, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is truly one of the most hand-holding JRPGs out there as you won't find yourself in too much trouble without a guide. However, I hopefully shed some light on some of the more confusing aspects of this wonderful game.

Good luck on your way to stardom!

RR-sama Review: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE takes the stage! Wed, 22 Jun 2016 03:43:36 -0400 David Fisher

Announced in the January of 2013, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is the collaboration between Nintendo studio Intelligent Systems, and Atlus - the developers of the Shin Megami Tensei series. While it was originally advertised as Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, the game has slowly taken on more similarities with the SMT spin-off Persona than the original series.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions in its final product is completely different from what some might have imagined when they first saw the SMT X Fire Emblem logo way back in 2013. Considering Nintendo's lack of experience in the RPG scene, is Tokyo Mirage Sessions a smash hit or does it lack what it takes to be a star?

The Plot

If you're looking for some sort of deep storyline, you won't find it in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. While there are some points where the game is critical of the Japanese idol industry, most of the game falls upon anime cliches. As such, there are few surprises in the plot other than the usual shounen/shoujo twists and turns.

The game's plot centers around Itsuki Aoi, and his childhood friend Tsubasa Oribe. Tsubasa is the survivor of an event known as the "Mass Disappearance" in which a number of talented artists -- and their spectators -- all disappeared (shocking, right?). It was after this event that Tsubasa decided she wanted to become an idol -- just like her now disappeared older sister -- so that she might have a chance of finding her.

The above image more or less sums up the entirety of the "human" side of the story, as most of the plot points in the human world tie themselves to Tsubasa's gradual rise to stardom. Along the way we meet a cast of colorful characters, including: the hero wannabe, Touma; the emo-pop star, Kiria; and the power obsessed Tsurugi. Each character has their own anime-style archetypes, and the story that they go through is somewhat inspired by the High School life found in Persona entries of the Shin Megami Tensei series.

Each character has their own side-story missions, and they reveal some interesting information on each character's history. While these stories still fall upon the same anime archetypes, they do make the human side of the game a little more believable. That said, the human storylines are far from the most interesting part of the game.

The Fire Emblem characters in this game predominantly take the form of Mirages. Mirages share a similar premise to personas in the Persona series. Each one acts as a mask that the protagonists must rely on during battles with other mirages. This form - known as the Carnage Form - grants the protagonists various abilities, and is generally the focus of the plot outside the whims of the human world.

I won't get into the names for spoiler reasons, but I can say that the entire cast comes from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, and Fire Emblem: Awakening. The majority of the characters come from Shadow Dragon in particular.

The mirage side of the story is certainly more interesting than the melodrama of the human story. The main reason for this is that the Fire Emblem cast has no idea how they became mirages, but they do recall scant details of their previous lives. Thankfully, the personalities of the characters are still in line with their original designs, so if you were worried about this you need not be. It's especially great seeing the antagonists' personalities in this game since they are almost identical despite the context being changed.

Overall, the story is worth playing out for a laugh or pure enjoyment. Just don't expect anything terribly deep or moving.

The Gameplay

In Tokyo Mirage Sessions, players will be spending most of their time in the idolsphere. These areas act as dungeons throughout the game, and they are the only place where players will face off against enemy mirages.

Most puzzles in the dungeons are fairly straightforward, and rarely will you find one that takes longer than a minute or so to figure out. What will get you confused, however, is the layout of the land. Many of the later idolspheres consist of narrow hallways with tall walls. As such, you won't be able to see clearly where pathways lead. Thankfully, the game utilizes the Wii U's gamepad as a map.

The gamepad is also used as a sort of cell-phone stand-in. Players will occasionally receive text messages via topic from various cast members. These will range from mission hints to random chat logs. 

Battles are where Tokyo Mirage Sessions truly shines. A mix of flashy visuals, fast-paced turn-based combat, and unique character designs make Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE a must-play for the battles alone. 

While it may seem like a shallow inspiration, weaknesses and advantages in this game are based off the weapons triangle in Fire Emblem. Enemies based off of Fire Emblem characters or units share the same advantages and disadvantages they have in game. For example, a Myrmidon will suffer extra damage from a lance-based attack, while being resistant to attacks from an axe wielder. This also extends to the elemental triangle from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.

While there are many enemies inspired by Fire Emblem units, there are a fair share of Shin Megami Tensei inspired enemies as well. These are harder to defeat since their weaknesses aren't as obvious...

What makes the battles enjoyable in Tokyo Mirage Sessions is the flow of battle. Boss battles that can go upward of 30 turns never feel as though they have been dragging on, thanks to the Session scenes that increase the pace of battles. Also, the random ad-lib attacks that you unlock via side story missions add a special flair to attacks that not only strengthen the attacks, but also give this game a unique personality.

That said, while playing Normal and Easy difficulty you won't likely find this game particularly difficult. The game rarely punishes you for not learning the weaknesses or strengths of opponents, and rarer still will you find yourself unable to progress should you choose to be stubborn and play only with your favorite cast members. That said, expect to grind and stock up on items for a great portion of the game if you choose to do so. If instead you choose to play the game properly, Hard mode will give you the true JRPG experience you are looking for.

Tiki's appearance in this game is important in any run beyond Easy difficulty as her ability to create new weapons, as well as give characters new passive abilities, makes her an invaluable asset.

The Presentation

If you want a game that makes you feel like you're walking around in an anime, look no further than Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. In fact, the game has so many heavy-handed anime inspirations that you might find yourself hard pressed to watch anime for a while afterward. Everything from the way buildings and areas are modeled, to the touch of making background people single-colored models is truly something that needs to be experienced in order to do the game justice.

The animated segments of the game are also something to be desired. Most of these segments take the form of music videos, and their ability to capture both your attention and awe is something remarkable. I personally found it difficult to dislike any of the music tracks as each one is catchy in its own way, and players are likely to find at least one artist they find particularly enjoyable.

Speaking of which, the soundtrack in this game is truly amazing. Overworld tracks are mostly new songs that have been designed for this game in particular, and they never get in the way of the enjoyment of the game. This is mostly due to the fact that they act almost like environmental sounds despite being composed area theme tracks. In fact, most of the overworld songs are hardly noticed until you mute your TV.

On the other hand, various event and battle themes are based on music directly taken from Fire Emblem games. These include the Fire Emblem theme which is given a J-Pop remix, and even leveling up brings about the "level up" jingle from the games. Other sound effects are there too, and they help make the game feel familiar to Fire Emblem fans entering the series.

Even the battle theme from Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (above) hides the battle theme of a Fire Emblem game (below) behind a strong techno remix.

The Verdict

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is a great JRPG addition to the Wii U's library. It takes elements from both the Persona series and Fire Emblem series to make something new, and it is truly something worth experiencing. The game is beautiful, the plot is enjoyable for anime fans, and the battles are exciting and flashy enough to capture the attention of any fan of either series.

I would recommend at least borrowing or getting the game on sale for the presentation alone. The battles, overworld, and even the dungeons are easily some of the most visually impressive on the Wii U. The anime style, as well as the abundance of color, really helps this game's overworld pop out of the screen. This goes doubly for the battle scenes, and make this game easily one of of the most impressive games visually on the Wii U hardware.

While this is a great standalone title, I would still advise avoiding this game if you dislike anime or JRPGs in general. The themes and tropes of shounen and shoujo anime are fairly heavy in this game -- and while they don't get particularly bad at any point, it's not exactly something you can play comfortably if you aren't familiar with either genre. If you are a fan of those genres, however, you will enjoy this game as much -- if not more -- than I did, easily.

For its beautiful style, and exciting battles, I give Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE a 9/10. While it probably won't convince you to buy one, it is a must play for any JRPG fan who currently owns a Wii U.

Author's Note: This game was reviewed using a free review copy on the Wii U.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Debuts New Trailers for Protagnosits Itsuki, Tsubasa, and Touma Sun, 12 Jun 2016 04:03:10 -0400 Daniel Lopez

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE developer Atlus has released character trailers for three of the game's protagonists: Itsuki, Tsubasa, and Touma.

Each trailer is oozing with the style the Persona series is known for, with an added dash of wonderfully cheesy Japanese pop music. Additionally, the trailers show off new gameplay footage, as well as the Mirages that each character merges with for battle.

Itsuki Aoi - The Leader

Itsuki acts as the main protagonist and kind-hearted leader of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE's cast. He allies himself with the Mirage known as Chrom, who many Fire Emblem fans recognize as the sword-wielding prince from Fire Emblem: Awakening.

Tsubasa Oribe - The Idol

Tsubasa is a good-natured student and aspiring pop idol. Her Mirage is Caeda, more popularly known as the princess of Talys and Marth's ally in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.

Touma Akagi - The Hero

Touma is a hero in the making who partners with Cain as his Mirage. The spear-wielding knight from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon seems to be the perfect candidate to match Touma's intensity.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is an upcoming crossover JRPG set in modern-day Tokyo and follows a group of young employees of the Fortuna Entertainment talent agency, which is dedicated to thwarting the attacks from beings known as Mirages. The game features characters and gameplay mechanics from the Shin Megami Tensei series and the Fire Emblem series.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is set to release June 24th exclusively for the Wii U.

Nintendo Treehouse at E3 2016 Won't Just Be Zelda Fri, 03 Jun 2016 05:07:16 -0400 Anthony Pelone

Heads up, Nintendo fans: the company has announced the Treehouse livestream dates for this year's E3, which will be a two day event on June 14-15. While the upcoming The Legend of Zelda for Wii U will still be the only playable Nintendo game on the show floor, it'll hardly be the only one shown. Nintendo has lined up several games for the event.

Pokémon Sun and Moon will kick off the program on the 14th at 9 AM PT. The second day will focus on other upcoming titles scheduled for Wii U and 3DS this year, such as Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past and Monster Hunter Generations. Pokémon fans can also look forward to a Pokémon GO developer Q&A, which will open the second day's livestream. It's been implied these won't be only games shown, so those curious will want to stay tuned for the full schedule.

Will you be watching the Nintendo Treehouse livestream this E3? Let us know in the comments below!

Image Source: Gematsu


Top 5 Strange and Unique Games Coming Out in 2016 Mon, 02 May 2016 05:01:29 -0400 ChrisDeCoster


The latest game from auteur game developer Suda51, LET IT DIE plays similar to FromSoftware's Souls games, particularly last year's Bloodborne. However, it's still as crazy and over-the-top violent as any other Suda51 game.  The PAX demo began with the player fist-fighting zombies in their underwear, and could easily end with them duel-wielding power tools to take down horrific monstrosities.  Add in a health system based around catching and eating small animals, a ton of clothing drops ranging from jeans to feudal Japanese military uniforms, and a skateboarding Grim Reaper who calls you "Senpai," and you have one of the craziest games of the year.  


LET IT DIE will be available exclusively on the PlayStation 4 sometime around the end of this year.

We Happy Few 

Survival games are less than unique now, but We Happy Few is a very different sort of game.  Rather than building a shelter and hiding out for the night in fear of monsters, We Happy Few is a game about hiding among the monsters yourself.  In the game's warped view of England, the population is kept at peace by a government mandated drug called joy, and the streets are filled with white-faced psychopaths ready to kill anyone not "on their joy". The player must survive by blending in with the enemy in this tense rouge-like.  


We Happy Few will release on Microsoft Game Preview and Steam Early Access sometime in June, 2016.

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma

The long-awaited final installment in the cult-classic Zero Escape trilogy, Zero Time Dilemma is a cinematic adventure game where nine people are trapped by a mysterious figure known as Zero and forced to play a deadly game to escape, in which six must die in order for the rest to leave.  While that may sound more sadistic than strange, keep in mind that this is the climax of a series featuring a branching story based on player choice, time travel, and a college student cursed to only say puns when people start talking about cats (no kitten!).  


Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma comes out on the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita on June 28th.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE

This crossover between two of the biggest JRPG franchises looks... different, to say the least.  Featuring gameplay similar to the Shin Megami Tensei series and a story that sees fan-favorite Fire Emblem characters joining forces with idol singers in modern Japan, Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE is probably very different from what people expected when the crossover was announced.  Despite this, catchy music and a deep combat system makes this one worth a try for JRPG fans.  


Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE will be available exclusively on the Wii U on June 24th, 2016. 

Push Me Pull You

Push Me Pull You is a couch co-op game for two to four players, and plays like a cross between soccer, wrestling, and Nickelodeon's CatDog. In Push Me Pull You, two players share one controller and half of one character. The two players must work together to score goals, but as every move they makes moves their partner, this isn't as easy as it sounds -- which makes for some hilarious and frustrating fun.  


Push Me Pull You comes out May 3rd, 2016 for PlayStation 4, and will be released on PC, Mac, and Linux sometime in the near future.


2016 is a good year to be a gamer.  With so many great titles already released, such as Dark Souls III, XCOM 2, and Tom Clancy's The Division, and more on the horizon, it's easy to miss some of the smaller, stranger games.  Here are five unique games coming out this year that might fly under your radar, but still deserve your attention.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE will not be localized by Nintendo Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:38:59 -0400 David Fisher

For those worried about Nintendo's Treehouse getting their hands on Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, you no longer need to hold your breath. While it was already announced before that the game will feature the original Japanese voiceovers during a recent Nintendo Direct, some were still worried about Nintendo's possible hand in censoring content during that same direct. However, new information gathered by GameInformer from Nintendo of America states:

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE was localized by Atlus in a way that is consistent with the localization work they do on games they publish. It was a priority to ensure the game feels familiar and appeals to longtime Atlus fans. Any changes made to the in-game content were due to varying requirements and regulations in the many different territories Nintendo distributes its products.”

-- Nintendo statement to GameInformer

So what does this mean for those worried about the censorship during the Nintendo Direct? Well... it could mean one of two things:

  1. The censorship during the Nintendo Direct was for the sake of keeping the trailer safe for all audiences.
  2. Atlus localized the game based on their own understanding of their market in North America, and may have made slight design changes as a result.

In either case, fans of Atlus and Nintendo can rest assured that the content will be as close to the original Japanese version as Atlus themselves are comfortable with.

But what do you think about this, RR-sama?

There is little doubt in my own mind that this decision to let Atlus localize the game themselves is linked to recent backlash from fans about Nintendo's Treehouse team's localization efforts. Games like Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Fire Emblem: Fates received heavy criticism due to missing content. This ranged from minor cuts such as a breast slider in the first game, and entire minigames removed in the second.

While it is likely that Atlus requested this as a part of their contract with Nintendo, it is equally likely that Nintendo of America is trying to take some attention away from their in-house localization team.

Regardless of whomever does the localization of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, I do believe there will be some localization the gets done. However, I do not believe the changes will be as heavy handed as those made by Treehouse. We may have some minor costume alterations, but I'm certain that the gameplay and features will remain intact. Who knows? Maybe Atlus will even throw in a "I'm not 10 years old" feature that returns everything to the Japanese version's standards?

But that's just wishful thinking...

So I ask you, loyal readers... Are you more likely to forgive Atlus for any changes that are made on their own accord? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE will be available in North America on June 24th, 2016, and Worldwide on June 25th, 2016.

Nintendo of America and Europe announce TMS#FE Special Edition Wed, 20 Apr 2016 04:47:09 -0400 David Fisher

Fans of Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei might want to keep an eye on their local video game dealer's websites. Why? Because as of today, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE just got a special edition in North America and Europe.

While information about the North American special edition of TMS #FE is a little harder to find, Nintendo of Europe officially announced the "Fortissimo Edition" of the game over Twitter:

Included in the Fortissimo Edition are the following:

  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE game disc
  • DLC download codes
  • A sticker sheet starring the four main characters
  • Official soundtrack CD
  • Song cards
  • Official concept art book

The recommended retail price of the special edition sits at $79.99 USD currently, with no mention of how much the European version will cost. It should be made clear that the only items exclusive to the special edition are the soundtrack, song cards, art book, and sticker sheet. As for the DLC packs, they will be available on the Nintendo eShop for $1.99 each after launch.

Now that the Fortissimo Edition has been announced, are you likely to cancel your pre-order for a chance to get it? Does the special edition not give you enough to warrant purchasing it over the base game? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Rumor Mill: VA Auditions hint at a possible Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE sequel Mon, 11 Apr 2016 04:21:12 -0400 David Fisher

While Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE won't be internationally released until June, the game seems to already have its future planned out in Japan. According to Persona Central (a Persona series news website), Hachima Kikou has discovered public audition applications -- to be held by Avex Group -- for voice acting positions in a new JRPG. Considering that Avex produced the music for TMS #FE, it's highly likely that it is a sequel to the game, possible DLC, or simply a new game altogether.

What makes it more likely that this is a sequel or DLC audition, however, is that it is a live audition will be hosted by Kaori Fukuhara -- the voice of Mamori Minamoto in TMS #FE. The candidates for auditions will be expected to act and sing segments from the game, and one of the judges will be Yoshiaki Fujisawa -- the one responsible for TMS #FE's music composition.

The winners will receive quite the reward. While appearing as a voice actor for the planned video game is enticing enough, Avex will also provide the winner with voice acting and dance lessons, as well as possible future work as an Avex voice actor. But don't try to grab a plane ticket just yet. The auditions are only eligible to those who are between 15 and 25 years of age, fluent in Japanese, and residents of Japan, so most people from out of the country will not be able to enter.

There's many possibilities as to what will really become of the voice acting auditions, but new content is always welcome to the currently starving Wii U library. Then again, it could also be a potential game for the upcoming NX. Who knows? Only time will tell!