Originally published May 19th, 2020, for MegaVisions

What can be said about Hatsune Miku that hasn’t already been said? From her humble beginnings as a Nico Nico Douga star, all the way to being announced as a performer at Coachella 2020, before 2020 happened and robbed us of the Tupac and Miku hologram collaboration we all needed and deserved, our favorite bacon-wrapped hot dog obsessed virtual idol has had quite the ride.

Along the way, Miku’s series of Project DIVA rhythm games have long been the king of the genre, and possibly Sega’s most consistent franchise. The worst thing you…

Originally published March 17th, 2020, for MegaVisions

April 2017. That was when years of waiting for “Winter 2014” finally ended, and Persona 5 finally arrived. Immediately upon arriving, it was showered with high praise. The flash and flair, the best turn-based gameplay in years, the incredible characters and hard hitting story. It wasn’t just “game of the year” level talk, many were putting it in “greatest of all time” talks, myself included.

In spite of such high praise though, the game wasn’t entirely perfect in a few small ways. That, coupled with Atlus’ usual trend of releasing definitive editions of…

Originally published February 18th, 2020, for MegaVisions

Oh Platinum. Feels like just yesterday that we were witnessing the untimely death of Clover Studios, wondering what would come next for the people behind some of Capcom’s most beloved niche classics. What ended up happening was one of the greatest “rise from the ashes” stories in the industry’s history. Platinum Games arrived on the scene, and quickly developed a reputation for some of the slickest, most stylish character action titles ever made.

Games like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, NiER Automata, Madworld and most recently, Astral Chain have propelled them to legendary heights…

Originally published June 21, 2019, for MegaVisions

They say one of the hardest things in life to do is to let go of something you love. For Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, this something is a man by the name of Kazuma Kiryu.

The studio has only two games without Kiryu popping up somewhere, those being the Japan exclusive Yakuza: Black Panther games. Even unrelated titles, like Binary Domain or Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise allow you to play as Kiryu. …

Originally posted November, 27th, 2018 for MegaVisions

Since Persona 3 in 2007, the Persona franchise has become renowned for its awesome music as much as its storytelling and unique mix of JRPG and dating sim gameplay. The series has seen countless soundtrack and remix albums released. It’s turned musicians like Lyn and Lotus Juice, not to mention series sound director Shoji Meguro, into stars. And lest we forget Atlus’ several Persona Super Live concerts in Japan. These have been incredibly successful, even selling out the famed Nippon Budokan Hall on several occasions.

After Atlus merged with Sega in 2013, it…

Originally published July 9, 2018, for Sega Nerds

Does anyone else think of 2007 as being only a couple years ago at most? Then you look at a calendar, realize it was 11 years ago, get terribly sad, curse the skies, and steadfastly refuse to believe in the unstoppable passage of time? No? Just me? Rats.

Regardless of my own delusional fight against time, it has indeed been 11 years since we last saw SEGA’s Shining series properly in the West, with the PlayStation 2’s Shining Force EXA being the then-apparent swan song. Since its departure from Western stores, SEGA’s…

Originally published March 19, 2018, for Sega Nerds

If you’d asked a fair amount of people which Atlus titles would be decent candidates for current-gen remakes, chances are, Radiant Historia probably wouldn’t have made their top five. Originally released in 2011 towards the end of the Nintendo DS’ life cycle, the time-hopping, desertification-preventing adventure of Stocke and Co. won favor with critics and hardcore fans but generally flew under most folks’ radars. My own included, sad to say.

But, in a rare second chance to make a first impression, Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology has arrived on the Nintendo 3DS. Armed…

Originally published on November 14th, 2017, my final review for Sega Addicts

It’s hard to believe that Sonic Generations was six years ago. All was right with the Sonic world back then. Classic Sonic had come back, and been done as close to perfect as we could’ve hoped at that time. Bad, overly grimdark stories had seemed to be a thing of the past. And 3D Sonic, after 12 years of trying, had finally broken the polygon ceiling and was finally, genuinely fun.

And then Sega decided to change things up.

Instead of the breakneck insanity of the Hedgehog Engine…

Originally published on September 28, 2017, for Sega Addicts

Every once in awhile, there comes a concept that’s so outlandish and weird, it just might be crazy enough to work. Fighting games with characters based off of 80’s hair metal bands, RPGs where all the characters are humanoid off-brand video game consoles, what would happen if Japanese history were laced with cocaine and steroids, and so on. Now in this long line of unexpected crossovers, Tamsoft has bestowed upon us Drive Girls: the terrifying love child of Senran Kagura, Transformers, and Initial D.

Tamsoft has become a fan favorite in…

Originally published August 24, 2017, for Sega Addicts, part of a three person group review

“By the fans, for the fans”. It’s a phrase you hear all the time, but it’s usually followed up by a promising fan project getting C&D’d weeks later. Not in this case. Sonic Mania is the product of a rare event; a company seeing how talented members of a classic franchise’s fanbase are and instead of telling them to stop doing what they’re doing, deciding to hire them to create the potential next great entry in their beloved series. In a lot of ways, this…

Brett the Hatfield

Archive of my previous work from Sega Addicts, Sega Nerds, and SBNation. Bit of a journey through time to see how I’ve improved, if at all.

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