I came in expecting another bad anime game but was instead blown away by Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization’s enormous game world, addictive combat and different gameplay systems. Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization has a charming cast of lovable characters, plenty of dialogue, countless missions, skills, equipment and areas to uncover, relationships with the girls, a level cap of 100 — I could go on. The abysmal story pacing, technical blemishes, online shortcomings and inadequate tutorials are considerable shortcomings, but not enough to keep this from being a standout action RPG.
With an exciting and epic visual novel campaign that will take the fastest readers more than a dozen hours, a huge playable roster of wonderfully unique, personality filled and intricately designed characters, scores of unlockable artwork, movies, additional scenes, full online suite and customization options, BlazBlue Central Fiction is certainly the total package and surely a worthy pickup for fans of visual novels, fighting games and everything in between.
I like how the game continually adds new challenges and mechanics up through the campaign. Having to retry various parts pads the length of the game, which is actually relatively short. Lumo has some bright moments with interesting puzzles but it doesn’t have much else.
Despite all that it’s lacking, such as an interesting stories and characters, sophisticated or innovative combat mechanics, and compelling game-play outside of the dungeon, Dungeon Rushers can provide an entertaining experience for genre fans. It’s chock full of humor, has a colorful nostalgic visual style and has solid combat mechanics offering a decent challenge.
The $39.99 price tag may bring pause to some gamers, but the length of the main scenario justifies the price. The gorgeous art, choice fan service, enthusiastic voicing and compelling overall story make the game an easy sell for those who like visual novels, although the appeal ultimately won’t be as great as something like Zero Escape or Phoenix Wright.
The game is paced well, with mini-games, scenes and boss fights breaking up the basic dungeon progression in neat intervals. It keeps things feeling exciting and dynamic. At $14.99 the game is a fantastic value. Parin and her pals are easy to love and so too is the game itself. The main campaign should take you at least 9 hours and there are various secrets and things to collect for completionists. Fifteen bucks is very little to pay for a title that channels some of gaming’s best known IP in its strongest moments.
With a cool cast of characters, a suspenseful story, a huge and beautiful world, unique exploration, addictive combat a and main scenario dozens of hours long, Exist Archive has quite a lot to offer the action RPG fan. You can and will spend many fun hour playing this. Despite the issues it’s worth the price of admission, particularly for its fast combat, a wonderfully pleasant contrast to the waves of purely turn-based JRPGs we constantly see.
There is fun to be had here, a good deal perhaps, especially for fans of visual novels. The beautiful visuals, compelling dark atmosphere and interesting story and dialogue are all strong reasons to give this a go. Be aware though that the jarring combat breaks up the flow of the game and sends the fun factor plummeting. It’s unfortunate that it would be so much easier to recommend as a simple visual novel.
Even so, what game is here is rather enjoyable. The fast combat is refreshingly different, there’s tons of character development and dialogue, the visuals are gorgeous and there’s plenty of fan service, which is a plus in my book. That said fan service had to be censored is a tragedy (if expected), but genre fans should still find enough for a pretty good time.
The various gameplay components combine to make this into a satisfyingly addictive title that you can and will sink dozens of hours into. Whether it was witnessing the dark and compelling story and events, devastating enemies with my unique demon and skill combinations, exploring the varied dystopian setting, fusing better demons, completing side quests or customizing my character’s apps, skills and appearance, I was always engaged while playing this game. It doesn’t improve on SMTIV in many fundamental ways but it doesn’t need to; Atlus is wise enough to not try to fix what isn’t broken. This one is sure to please series fans.
MeiQ really isn’t that bad of a game. The beautiful artwork, fresh spin on combat, guardian building and elegant solution to power leveling are all strong elements. The environments are vast, though lacking in substance, and the shallow narrative is held up by likable characters with lots of… plot. However, with so little nuanced challenge, harshly repetitive gameplay, mindless combat, unexciting story progression, no class or otherwise deep customization systems, barren maps and unrewarding exploration, item creation and character building in general, it falls far short of the genre’s best and barely executes, much less improves upon a seemingly simple formula.
The story events are engaging and the game even goes a way to cater to newcomers with a strong recap. You’ll get to know the characters quite well thanks to hours of character development and the vibrant game world and engaging story combine to make the game feel immersive. PS3 and PS Vita fans have no shortage of JRPGs to choose from, but The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II exhibits enough polish and quality to help it stand out from the pack and above several others. It may lack the innovation and whip appeal to draw players not typically into RPGs and it can’t match the production of the genre’s biggest brands, but it nails the important stuff. Genre or series fans shouldn’t miss this.
There is definiteley some value here for those who would recognize all of the characters and events, but even that elite will have to navigate the gameplay, which for all its playable characters is about as deep as a puddle and just slightly more fun.
If you are someone who loves the source material or just generally can dig the quirky, light, and very Japanese appeal of this kind of title, Phoenix Fiesta is worth a shot. If, however, you came for a deep JRPG or a sophisticated action game or a thrilling, edge of your seat visual novel, be aware that you will most likely come away feeling disappointed.
Thanks to a dynamic and challenging play experience, there are plenty of reasons to get back up after you meet your untimely end in Shiren the Wanderer. Fans of this genre know exactly what they’re getting into and fans of RPGs in general may find the formula fresh, fast, easy to pick up and exciting to play. The lack of online support may render the co-op useless for many, but even without it the game’s rather enjoyable.
The artwork is simply stunning, so fans of Japanese animation or games in general have something to come for. Unless you’re a hardcore genre fan, it may also go far enough to scratch your rail shooter itch. If then you’re also allured by the story and getting to intimately know all of the main cast members, then I think you’ll love this game. Again, it’s packed to the brim with Japanese fan service which I myself generally love. In a sequel though, maybe it can add some interesting gameplay to supplement that.
God Eater Resurrection is a fun action RPG with a dark atmosphere and story. You’ll also find very deep customization options, fast combat, and a wonderful multiplayer experience. The characters are likable, even if held back by the omission of the original voices. There’s a lot to discover and complete in the game; completing the story mode alone will take upwards of 40 hours and there are scores of additional missions. However, without playmates the game loses a lot of flair and devolves into a harshly repetitive and far less effective romp with one guy, a huge enemy with tons of health and a few sidekicks to revive you if you get knocked out. There is still fun to be had alone, simply not nearly as much.
Grand Kingdom is a JRPG for those bigger on game-play than flashy production values and gripping narratives. For its effort to do something interesting with the combat system alone it's worth getting, especially when (to this very day) the genre largely leans on a basic, decades-old turn-based combat system. Fighting and navigating the game board can require strategy at times and so too can sinking your teeth into the tremendous amount of content in this game. While Grand Kingdom makes some strange game design choices at times, it remains mostly a breath of fresh air in a particularly formulaic genre.