Despite a few issues, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a remarkable achievement that evolves the series formula in exciting ways, all the while weaving an emotionally charged story that is sure to be remembered for a long time to come. It makes a strong case not just as one of the best games of the year but as one of the best of all time.
Soul Hackers 2 is a game that compares unfavorably to the recently released SMT V which I consider one of the series best. However, even when viewed on its own merits and nothing else, it falls far short of excellence due to its poor pacing, simplistic combat and endlessly dull dungeon crawling.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak offers new content that is not only impressive in scale but also in its quality. While there are some notable elements like difficulty in searching for multiplayer games and afflicted variations being a bit over tuned holds it back from being a perfect expansion, the positives very easily outweigh the negatives.
As it stands, DNF:Duel is not a fighter I will continue to play as it’s not the kind of experience I’m looking for in a fighting game. However, that is not to say that I don’t see the value in having a game where bombastic, overtuned characters do dumb things to each other as I don’t believe every fighter needs to be meticulously balanced and brutally deep to have a place in the FGC. All that really means is that I’ll just be watching instead of playing.
With added quality of life features and improved pacing, AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES – nirvanA Initiative is an impressive follow up to an underrated gem and one that should be on the radar of anyone who appreciates compelling stories in their video games.
Salt and Sacrifice is a greatly ambitious title, melding a number of gameplay elements from other popular series but it comes at the cost of overall polish and focus, leaving a frustrating experience that feels like a step back from its predecessor.
Triangle Strategy weaves a mature story full of intrigue and places the player in an unenviable position of having to make some very tough choices with meaningful consequences, all the while challenging them to face encounters that will test their strategic mind. In other words, it’s a compelling good time.
As a brand new IP, Ghostwire: Tokyo shows a lot of promise with its strong animation work, solid combat and interesting world design, but it falters along the path to the finish line with a story arc that feels rushed along with an excessive use of typical and tired open world game design tropes.
Monster Hunter Rise on PC is the definitive version of an excellent entry in this long running franchise and whether you are a veteran of the series or a rookie, looking to jump in for the first time, it’s the perfect opportunity to grab a weapon and start hunting some monsters.
SMT V is a welcome return to home consoles for the series with an intriguing world to explore, filled with challenging encounters that are immensely satisfying to overcome. If not for the technical limitations of the Switch holding it back from being experienced in its best possible form, it could have been a new classic.
Despite coming from a development studio that most people see as a one-series company, Blue Reflection: Second Light is a charming RPG with a clear identity of its own with a worthwhile story to tell and I’m glad I had the opportunity to check out after missing out on the original.
Lost Judgement is a step up from the original in almost every way with improved pacing, a more polished combat engine and a laundry list of fun side activities to get lost in. If not for the pedestrian detective elements, this could’ve been a new classic in the genre, and despite its notable flaws, it is still a story well worth experiencing.
When it’s all said and done, Tales of Arise features a likeable cast of characters, compelling story and one of my new favorite combat engines, not just in the Tales series but in all the JRPGs I’ve played so far and if not for the pacing issues and the PC port’s technical issues, it could have set the bar for JRPGs to follow.
While there is some semblance of enjoyment to be had here for those who like to see numbers go up, to see a series I’ve adored and followed for nearly two decades take inspiration from garbage mobile games in the spirit of greed and becoming bastardized as a shell of former self, breaks my heart.
After half a decade of playing the “will it or won’t It get localized” guessing game, to see the Great Ace Attorney Chronicles see release in the States is an event worth celebrating indeed and doubly so as it was done well for a pair of games that weave an intriguing storyline well worth reading all the way to the end.
Despite a rocky development cycle amongst a series of open and closed betas that had the FGC divided in their impressions of the game, Strive has released in its best state so far and presents itself as a solid foundation to build upon for many iterations to come in the future.
Despite my complaints, it’s clear that the remake is most definitely the best way to experience what Nier has to offer. The improved visuals, performance and additional content are all much appreciated, and while it’s still a title with notable flaws, it’s infinitely easier to recommend to all who are willing to put in the time and effort to embark on a journey they’ll not soon forget.
Despite falling a bit short in the story and characters department compared to its predecessors, Bravely Default 2’s satisfying combat encounters, deep job customization and stellar soundtrack makes it a worthy comeback for this fan favorite series.
Despite some pacing issues and repetitive level design, Ys IX: MonstrumNox is a worthwhile journey for Adol that pushes the series forward in the right direction by introducing a plethora of new gameplay elements that I hope to see expanded even further in the next adventure.