Some criticize JRPGs for being weird, having too much talking, brain-dead gameplay, being pretentious, and even pandering too hard to be likable to nerds. I can think of one game that fits those criticisms, and it was trying to honor the best of them. YIIK? Yuck…
All in all, Fallout 76 comes off as the core gameplay experience you’d find in Fallout 4, only with multiplayer sort of tacked on somehow. There’s no real overarching story and no NPCs to really speak of, and yet there’s a giant map to explore and collect things while just getting stronger. It’s the modern Bethesda Fallout experience, distilled to that core gameplay loop.
A line from a certain character is very apropos to how this game sees our current year politics and culture: "Everything is political, Sean." I think the game has a good road movie story in there with the two brothers, however the heavy-handed politics are written for pretty much only one crowd: the folks who think our current president is literally Hitler..
If you're looking for a game that presents a story that is pretty grounded in reality yet presents some twists and interesting character development, you should consider checking out Before the Storm. Still, you should be wary of the game's performance issues and don't expect mind blowing writing.
Oninaki is an enjoyable RPG if you’re looking for a melodramatic hack-and-slash RPG from yesteryear, and if you properly explore its Daemon mechanics. The game may have some missteps, but I think Tokyo RPG Factory could really shine with more time and a bigger budget.
Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest and greatest entry in the long-running fighting game series focused on excessive murder and crazy Asian-inspired supernatural things. The formula is bloodier, more refined, and improved upon, and this feels like the definitive Mortal Kombat game.
I really hope Inti Creates explores more of this universe seen in Dragon Marked for Death, as I think they have a solid new IP to work on in future titles. There are snippets of DLC that go into the Dragonblood Clain, but I definitely want to see more. Now with a base, they can refine and experiment!
Little Dragon’s Cafe is an interesting attempt from Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada that plays to his strengths. The game takes you away to a rural, sparsely populated island and drops you into a cute and heartwarming story about strangers growing together.