The Indigo Disk takes a few steps forward for Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. There's some genuine challenge, a nice variety of activities, and a fun new world to explore in the Terarium; if you love Pokémon, you'll absolutely enjoy what's on offer here. But the DLC drops the ball in terms of narrative, offering an unsatisfying and rushed conclusion to Scarlet & Violet's story, along with the grindy BP system and those ever-present performance issues. It's fun at best and disappointing at worst, with a lot of missed potential left on the picnic table.
Super Mario RPG is here in all of its weird, wonderful glory for a new generation to experience, and sets a new standard for how to do a faithful remake right. Delivering a beautifully preserved, pure experience for fans of the original and an accessible entry-point for genre newcomers, the game's infectious charm, writing, and polished gameplay do so much to elevate this beyond what might have been merely a simple RPG starring Mario.
It's impressive just how AstralShift has managed to weave together all of these different parts so effectively in Little Goody Two Shoes. The atmosphere is unmatched and the story is genuinely intriguing, with Elise making a great protagonist who – despite appearing selfish and bratty – just wants a better life for herself and whoever she falls in love with. We're so close to being in love with this game, but a few frustrations just hold this game back from having a fairy-tale ending for us. Still, for the unique ideas alone, we'd recommend checking this out.
The Teal Mask is a fun diversion for Pokémon Scarlet & Violet players that builds on the base game's strengths, but also exposes its weaknesses that much more. Fortunately, those strengths sparkle and Terastalize into a breezy, fun experience that delivers some rich regional storytelling, great characters, and some fantastic new Pokémon. We wanted more, though - more love and care put into the visuals and the battles. The Indigo Disk has a chance to build on the foundations The Teal Mask has laid, and we hope that's exactly what it will do.
Capping off the Crossbell and Cold Steel arcs with a nice little bow, The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie hits some high highs – such as with C and the True Reverie Corridor – and when it does, it's an RPG fan's paradise. But as an overall package, it feels like an easy excuse to get a huge number of characters together rather than do something meaningful with them. It's far from the series' best, but fans will find a lot to love here, even if we'd recommend seeking it out on another platform for the best experience, or waiting for a patch.
It's impossible to talk about everything that makes The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom so incredible, and making many of those discoveries yourselves is part of the magic. It's also impossible to overstate just how much there is to do in Hyrule this time around. Much like its predecessor, this is your playground for the next however many years to come, with a little sprinkling of that older Zelda fairy dust mixed into Breath of the Wild's formula. It's a glorious, triumphant sequel to one of the best video games of all time; absolute unfiltered bliss to lose yourself in for hundreds of hours. We can't wait to see what the world will do with the game.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Azure takes everything that's excellent about Zero and runs a marathon with it. It's one of the best-paced games in the series, with some of the best characters, best music, and easily the best setting. The Crossbell Arc is a hugely compelling two-parter that captures everything that makes the Trails series what it is perfectly, and Azure in particular deftly balances high-stakes drama, political intrigue, and poignant character moments. This is one Switch RPG we won't be feeling blue about anytime soon.
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is an utterly addictive, perfectly tuned celebration of all things Final Fantasy. It's a deceptively simple-looking game that, once you get under the hood, you'll discover it has teeth and demands practice and patience if you want to unlock everything. It gives back what you put into it, and we're struggling to put it down even now. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the series' 35th anniversary, and this makes it a must-buy for Final Fantasy fans and rhythm game enthusiasts. How other storied, sprawling game series' haven't followed suit with their own rhythm games is baffling when the results can be this magical.
In a series renowned for its stellar writing, twisting plots, and wonderful characters, The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero is a stand-out RPG. Narrowing the focus of its story to one state, and honing in on a smaller cast of characters, makes for a fantastic and engrossing adventure that is about both intimate relationships and huge, secretive scandals. The fact that this is just one half of a duology means that, while the story wraps up nicely here, we have tons of questions that we're itching to get answers to in Trails to Azure. If you haven't played Trails, it's time to overcome that barrier, because there's no better place to zero in on this fantastic series than in Crossbell.
Live A Live has been well worth the long wait. This remake reintroduces an influential, unique JRPG to the wider world with aplomb, with a cacophony of different gameplay styles, music, and visuals that somehow hang together beautifully. Despite looking like Octopath Traveler and perfecting the HD-2D visual style, you'd do well to remember that this is still a Super Famicom RPG, with many of the frustrations that come with ‘90s RPGs still intact in this remake. Still, we admire that Square Enix decided not to change too much with this remake, instead delivering an authentic and faithful update to the game that the majority of players outside Japan missed nearly three decades ago. This is a piece of gaming history we have loved getting to experience for the first time.
Regardless of my feelings on the final changes, or at my annoyances at the reptetitions, few games touch my soul as deeply as this series does. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… is still an experience that will always stick with me, whether I think my hard work has been rewarded or not. The original 2010 release came with many caveats, and Replicant has softened many while bringing some of its own, but this is a game that makes me think and feel more than most others. It’s tedious, mindless, and even frustrating at times, but this rerelease makes a peculiar, melancholy and beautiful game much easier to recommend.