If it takes some JRPG or dungeon crawling mechanics to help broaden the appeal of the kind of storytelling experience that Danganronpa champions, then so be it. Zanki Zero isn't really "new"; underneath the dungeon crawler window dressing it's too similar to its predecessors thematically to stand out as a bold new statement.
It's a fairly by-the-numbers dungeon crawl that borrows the Steampunk aesthetic, and offers some genuinely clever twists, as far as combat goes. There aren't too many dungeon crawlers on the Switch, and even within that category Vaporum is flat enough that it doesn't come out on top, but it's a pleasurable way to bust a few hours on a weekend nonetheless.
It's rare that I find a game so completely inspiring that it continues to consume my thoughts beyond the game, and encourages me to learn something new. I've always had an interest in Chinese history and artistic tradition. I've always had an interest in poetry. I've never had an excuse to delve into Chinese poetry and the history of its poets before Lyrica. And I'm so thankful that Lyrica has given me the reminder and excuse to do so.
The World Next Door isn't perfect, but is shows that Viz is - for now, at least - willing to take on a project that's a little different and oddball. Colourful, creative, and generally well designed, it's worth forgiving this particular title its teen B-tier narrative tropes.
Games like Yoshi's Crafted World always get overlooked and quickly forgotten - they're not explosive enough, the graphics aren't realistic, and you can't make memes about how it's "destroying" you. But, this game is the perfect foil for all those other titles being produced, and while it's a different manifestation of quality, it's every bit the standard of any expensive, open-world blockbuster out there.
The bright, charming, and community-focused story, in a world without a great evil or catastrophe to reveal the ugliness of humanity, means that Nelke, like every other Atelier title, is the perfect foil to the unrelenting angst and anger of so many other games out there.
It’s the small moments where you get to simple appreciate Chocobo for the adorable character that he is that it’s at its best, and accompanied by the comfortably familiar and accessible dungeon crawling that it has, this is a relaxing, pleasant, joyful game, and I hope it sells brilliantly, so Square Enix can realise that this is one mascot that shouldn’t be put on ice.
Apocryph's stylish commitment to the classic shooter genre tradition, and its dark fantasy vibe, make it the most distinctive and appealing of these games. That design also lets the game down when it comes to delivering a satisfying shooter, but people who can still pick up Heretic or Hexen and enjoy them for what they are will also be able to get a couple of hours of frantic fun out of Apocryph.
Fate/Extella Link is a delight. It takes beloved characters from a beloved anime franchise, and then appropriates the Koei Tecmo Warriors gameplay structure with such style and panache that Koei should be taking some notes itself. If only the developers hadn't gone with the ham-fisted sci-fi elements. Fate doesn't need that stuff.
Blood Waves is the kind of trash that reflects badly on all indies. The developer has taken an established, popular genre, copied the basic elements of it wholesale, but done so in such an incompetent and soulless manner that it's hard to see the game as anything but pure cynicism.
Left Alive is a bundle of genuinely brilliant ideas, let down by frequently shoddy execution. A resoundingly anti-war war game, with a deep understanding of the way that war complicates personal and societal morality, Left Alive asks all the right questions that a game about war should.
Eternity is a misfire. It's such a pity to see a project that had such good intentions fall to the wayside, but it's hard to share the feeling that for a new developer, making its first game, Eternity is an overreach in just about every way. I'm sure we'll see something much more refined and mature next time around.
I'm all for developers to look for ways to reenvision the classics - look at how incredible Tetris 99 is in breathing new life into a puzzle classic that's over 30 years old. What I have no tolerance for is games that only do the most superficial thing to spin a classic as a "new game." History 2048's "history" adds nothing to 2048, so right down to the title, this game is a false promise and a poorly executed mess.