- Devil May Cry 3
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Mother 3
Trails of Cold Steel III is an important title for both Falcom and NIS. For Falcom, it's the penultimate entry in a story arc half a decade in the making - and an incredibly engrossing one, at that. For NIS, it's a step in the right direction after Ys VIII, and proof that The Legend of Heroes' localization is still in good hands moving forward. This is a continuity-heavy RPG with 13 years of video game history, and seven titles building up to it, but the combat and world are strong enough where even newcomers can enjoy the ride. Trails of Cold Steel III is the Erebonia arc at its best.
Home to an incredibly immersive world and the best combat on the Nintendo Switch, Astral Chain is a must-play not only for fans of the genre, but the medium as a whole. It is a title that understands the importance of balancing gameplay, story, and style without ever sacrificing substance for anything else. It's more accessible than most PlatinumGames titles without ever having to compromise its core mechanics. The slower start may alienate potential fans but sticking with Astral Chain leads to a surprisingly thematic script, incredibly deep combat, and what might be Platinum's best game to date.
Aside from occasional camera troubles, Vane stands out as one of the most immersive titles of 2019. Whether exploring the world as a child or a bird, the visuals masterfully blend together in a beautiful environment worthy of exploration. In relying on visuals instead of dialogue, players can form a deeper appreciation for the world around them - one open to interpretation. Vane is not a particularly long adventure, but it's one that'll leave audiences reflecting long after the credits have rolled.
As far as presentation goes, Dry Drowning does put its best foot forward. The excellent sound direction pairs well with the muted, almost gritty art style. Unfortunately, for as aesthetically and stylistically pleasant as the visual novel is, its script leaves quite a bit to be desired.