- Kingdom Hearts Series
- God of War Series
- Legend of Zelda Series
I greatly appreciated Atelier Sophie 2 and it serves well as the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Atelier series. Like prior titles, Sophie 2 is a fun slice-of-life game where the stakes aren’t astronomically high, but the story is fun and the characters are lovable. It was great seeing Sophie and Plachta on yet another adventure, one that I would recommend to newcomers to the series and veterans alike.
Opinions can differ, but I wouldn't laugh at anyone who says that this may be the best Atelier game to date. Due to the fact that the protagonist is the same as in the previous game and that the story builds off of the prior one, I highly recommend people play Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout. However, for those who have played the previous game and want to know whether this one is worth your time, it certainly is.
This game truly is the Samurai Jack game that fans have been longing for for years. Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is clearly inspired by the original God of War games and follows many of the same patterns. There's enough fan service in this game to keep fans happy, while simultaneously being enjoyable for a new audience. If you're a fan of this old-school style of action-adventure game play, I recommend this title.
For those who have never played Under Night In-Birth, this version is the definitive version to buy. UNICLR is an incredible anime fighting game that has held up well over the years. The online mode isn't as active as one might wish, but the story, visuals, game modes, and gameplay are fantastic. I recommend this to new players and veterans of fighting games alike.
This is the DBZ RPG that we have been waiting for since the Legacy of Goku series on the Gameboy Advance. The game gets repetitive after a while and the battles can be too easy and mindless, but there's a lot of heart and attention to detail in this title.
Gunlord X is probably the greatest spiritual successor to the Run 'N Gun games of yore like Contra and Turrican. The adventure is rather short, but the style is beautiful, the bosses and levels are varied, and there are many secrets to unlock. Do yourself a favor and spend the $10 to have a high intensity nostalgic afternoon.
Heroland is a very enjoyable experience for PS4, Switch, and PC owners. The graphics are cute and unique, the combat is enjoyable and surprisingly engrossing, and the game's overall charm is praiseworthy. Despite some canned in dialogue and my desire for "some" more serious parts, I really enjoyed this game and I think any fan of the genre will as well.
Atelier Ryza is a great starting point for the series for those who have yet to bite the bullet. It kicks off a new saga and changes the formula enough to keep veterans of the series interested as well as attract a new crowd. If you're thinking of buying a relaxing JRPG on your console of choice to unwind after a long day, this is the title to pick up.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was a breath of fresh air in 2013, breathing new life into the dying JRPG genre. This breath still resonates with audiences today and the game holds up in every way. With such a beautiful world, score, characters, and plot, it's hard to find much to hate. Level 5 and Studio Ghibli really knocked it out of the park with this entry.
I cannot recommend Legend of the Skyfish to anyone. The title is very obviously meant to grab your attention and convince you that it is at all similar to The Legend of Zelda series. Unfortunately, there is very little charm to this game. The gameplay gets repetitive quickly and the difficulty spike occurs too late in the game to save it.
Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland is a game that can be enjoyed both by fans of the Atelier series, newcomers, and those who would otherwise never consider it. This is a great jumping in point due to the fact that, while loosely considered a sequel to an eight-year-old trilogy, it is a completely self-contained game without the stress of older time restricted titles. This game could have done more to innovate upon the previous titles, but it is extremely enjoyable all the same.
Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Paintings is a game that can be played and enjoyed by both fans of the series, newcomers, and even people who would otherwise not consider it. It is a fine conclusion to the “Mysterious” series that is made more enjoyable when played after Atelier Sophieand Atelier Firis. It could have done more to innovate upon the previous titles, but it gave me a ton of enjoyment. If you like Atelier games, you'll like this game.
Valkyria Revolution never should have existed in this state. While its predecessors were a breath of fresh air in the J-RPG genre, this spin-off is as generic as it gets. At times, it seems that Valkyria Revolution is a parody of J-RPGs, taking all of the tackiest elements and poorly shoving them together.
Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku is the first in the series to hit the PS4 and continues the series tradition of providing players with high quality and surprisingly deep dungeon-crawling. The retro feeling of the game is enough for the nostalgic crowd to be happy, but the game feels modern enough for any fan of the dungeon-crawling genre to enjoy. Progress and enjoyment from the game can be derived from 10 minute sessions as well as 5 hour sessions. Cladun doesn't take itself seriously, so I recommend it both to people who want to min-max their RPG characters as well as to those who just want to blindly dungeon-crawl.
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Journey is a game that can be played and enjoyed by both fans of the series, newcomers, and even people who would otherwise not consider it. It may not be a complete return to form for the series, but It does a great job of mixing both modern and classic Atelier games. I believe that it ranks slightly higher than the last entry.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a collection of very exciting, yet overpriced, adventures. Composed of two games and a movie, this collection gives fans of the series a lot to chew on as they wait for the elusive Kingdom Hearts 3. This is not a good starting point for newcomers and to them I recommend playing both 1.5 and 2.5 before they buy this title after it drops in price.
My Name is Mayo is a parody of a game. When you strip down a modern AAA title to its very core, this is what you get. Like "Desert Bus" before it, this game shows what a modern video game fundamentally is; absurd. For $0.99 you can proudly walk away with at least 51 trophies and declare, "Oh, now I get it!"
The Bug Butcher is exactly what the name implies and more. Sporting 30 levels, each usually lasting less than 2 minutes, there is a strong urge to try "just one more time" to beat your high score. Fans of the Pang/Buster Bros series will feel right at home with this game.
Assault Suit Leynos, simply put, is an updated version of a 1990 game. I do believe that it is worth the cost to upgrade for fans of the original game and also for fans of 2D shoot 'em ups in general. However, the game simply will not appeal to the vast majority of gamers in 2016.