Showing posts from May, 2024

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure Is the Best RPG Trilogy You've Never Played!

Around the year 2000, I was browsing the video game section of a department store and discovered a PlayStation RPG with a beautiful angel on the cover. The back of the box described it as a fairy tale musical adventure, which sounded like it was right up my alley! Little did I know that would be the only time I would ever see a physical copy of Rhapsody in a store. When I asked about it at a Game Stop shortly after, the salesperson gave me a perplexed look and thought I was saying "Rap City." The game had a few quiet releases many years later for the DS and some other platforms but was widely considered rare in the West. It wasn't until very recently that I learned that not only were there  two sequels  but also that they were localized for English-speaking countries just last summer under the name Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles ! After nearly 20 years, the opportunity had finally arisen for me to play the complete series and learn about all three generations of magic

Review: Of Seafoam and Saltwater

MerMay is still in full swing! For my second mermaid book this month, I decided to check out Of Seafoam & Saltwater  by Kay Leyda . This is a "lost princess" archetype story about a seemingly ordinary girl who discovers she's a mermaid and dives into a new world of undersea adventure and intrigue. Although this plot has been done many times before in books such as The Tail of Emily Windsnap , movies like Barbie in a Mermaid Tale , and independent works like Nerissa Sanderson, The Part-Time Mermaid , it's presented differently each time. This book is the author's premiere novel and the first in a series called The Piscea Chronicles. It's easy to see that she intended for it to be a series because there are a ton of characters, kingdoms, and concepts thrown at the reader to the point where the book can be difficult to follow at times. The first thing that drew me into this book was the beautiful artwork on the cover. I read many indie novels about fairy t

Review: My Fair Mermaid

There are many fun mermaid books on sale this month for MerMay . One of the ones that stood out to me was My Fair Mermaid  by Sarah Beran . It seemed like such a novel idea to combine the story of "The Little Mermaid"  with Pygmalion / My Fair Lady . Although the book could have taken any number of directions to have an arrogant man convert a mermaid into human society, it turned out to be a pretty literal interpretation of the source material by creating a world where mermaids speak differently from humans due to living underwater and must improve their diction to be understood. I wasn't a huge fan of turning the original "Little Mermaid" character into a villain, but I did enjoy the story's unique focus on a related mermaid who followed her to land out of concern for her, which was similar to the "Sisters of the Sea" visual novel in Time Princess . Maribel is a mermaid with the unfortunate luck of being a cousin to Naia, the spoiled and selfish

Review: Time Princess - Twilight's Crown

I was elated to learn that the next visual novel in Time Princess  would be a return to noblebright stories about royalty! The now massive smartphone app originally premiered with a visual novel about Queen Marie , so it was only a matter of time before it returned to its roots. Twilight's Crown is a mix of history and fantasy, with a disclaimer that any relevance it has to real-life events is purely coincidental. However, the game is packed with references to famous princesses and queens. Its main character, Eleanor, shares a similar backstory to Queen Elizabeth in regards to living in a world where  primogeniture  laws favor male heirs over female ones and a series of unlikely events that lead up to her becoming a sovereign queen after her brothers die young. Her royal gowns feature a red and green flower insignia that strongly resembles one used on the iconic necklace from Anastasia  to prove her regal lineage. There are also visual and plot-related nods to "Beauty and the