– Blood of Bahamut (8/7/7/8, 30 points): Everyone agreed that the game (“highly reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus”) is very hard if you’re taking it on in solo mode. “It’s possible to beat the game in single mode,” wrote one, “but it’s a challenge and it requires repeated leveling and equipment powering. Even multiplayer assumes leveling; it’s a pretty severe difficulty level.” This may be good news to many, though, especially since the “awe-inspiring giant monsters” are neat and “the sense of achievement for defeating them is something unique.”

– Tingle’s Balloon Trip of Love (9/8/8/9, 34 points): “Tingle’s horrible personality (I mean that as a compliment) and the unique game world are exquisitely put together,” wrote one reviewer. Everyone had a remarkable amount of good things to say about this loony adventure, from the humor and “stressless interface” to the hard-but-not-unfair puzzle aspects. “I like the toy box-like design,” another stated.

– Tales of VS. (8/8/8/8, 32 points): As always, Famitsu never says anything that bad about a Tales game, even a Smash Bros.-y side story on the PSP. “The controls are simple,” one wrote, “but the gameplay system is remarkably deep. It’s pretty basic as a multiplayer game, but I get the impression that the charms of the series are well-represented.”

– Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (8/6/6/8, 28 points): This is just coming out now in Japan, believe it or not, and opinions from Famitsu’s editors are mixed. Some complaints are small (“The font’s tiny and hard to read, but I guess it would’ve been too hard to change since this is a port from the US version”); some are larger (“The touch-pen-only controls take a lot of the Sonic-like speediness away from the game”). Other reviewers had rosier opinions overall, though: “The interface might have some issues, but the puzzle-solving using your party’s skills and the highly strategic battles are pretty addictive.”

– Marble Saga: Kororinpa (7/7/6/6, 26 points): Again, this one came out in the US pretty far ahead of Japan, and again, opinions were pretty mixed. Reviewers had praise for the simple controls and the variety apparent in the stages; “it looks like a casual little thing at first, but a lot of stages are surprisingly tough,” wrote one. But three out of four reviewers specifically called out the bits where you have jump or shoot your ball out a cannon: “It gets really hard all of a sudden, and it becomes this annoying trial-and-error process.”

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