The reality is that if you're going to make an arena score-attack game featuring zombies, you're going to need to do something really different at this point. Undead Battle Royale doesn't get there. It's not even close. There's nothing outwardly wrong with it, but there are so many other games you could be playing instead, and every second that you spend in this game you will most definitely be thinking that exact thing.
You know what? I was going to give this game the respect of a full review. It's unmitigated trash, but I firmly believe that everyone's creative ideas deserve the respect of full and proper criticism. But then I kept playing and this game became too insulting to my intelligence to entertain the idea of giving it any respect in return.
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.
This is a game that actively sets out to be a generic FPS with a medieval humans-vs-orcs theme. It doesn’t even try to be a good one. The developers know, surely, that the game isn’t remotely competitive with the better examples of the genre – even in the indie FPS space.
Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story is one of the strongest arguments that copyright should remain on literature into perpetuity. I don't really believe that, of course, but when any hack can take a classic novel of such gravitas as War of the Worlds, and turn it into a delivery mechanism for a form of propaganda that the author stood diametrically opposed to, there's a problem. Not only has this developer completely insulted the author's memory and undermined the integrity of his work, but they've willfully delivered a game that completely misinterprets everything about the source material... and as a fan of Wells, good literature, and good video games that's just an insult to the intelligence.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with mobile games ported to console – I’ve played a number of good ones myself. However, Pascal’s Wager is the wrong kind of mobile port. In a genre that demands precision, responsiveness and a clarity of vision, this is a bungled mess of janky, unresponsive controls, shoddy presentation, and little meaningful thought put into why the game even exists. As such, it is the perfect example of every mistake to avoid when making these things.
I wasn't expecting much from Space Stella. It's a Trooze-published game, after all. But what I actually good exceeded my expectations in the most wrong way possible. I don't like bandying around terms like "unplayable" much, since "unplayable" implies that the game cannot be completed, and most of the time it's juvenile hyperbole for "this is just a game I don't much like playing because it has some flaws in it." But Space Stella is genuinely unplayable. Even if I could handle the sickeningly janky gameplay (which I can't), I have a visceral desire to avoid playing a game so shallow, uninspired and downright empty as this one.
Anyhow, I digress. To come back to where I talk about the grift. The grift here is that each of these titles offer platinum trophies that can be "earned" with no effort required whatsoever. You'll sit through a laboured and completely ineffective 10-20 minute sermon on nonsense, play it through a couple of times to meet all its conditions, and then you'll get your trophy. I don't know if anyone still actually cares about those things, but as pathetic as it is as selling point for a pathetic series of games, it actually works. If these games didn't annoy me so much I'd be making a joke about how Sony's allowing hardcore Christian content onto the same platform where they've turned into puritans over anime boobs.
I was genuinely excited to play Lily of the Hollow - Resurrection. It seems like such a beautiful little visual novel and while I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece of localisation based on its low price, I was expecting to be able to read it. But that just cannot be done. Developers from Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and every other emerging game development centre through Asia-Pacific, listen to me carefully: You can have the most beautiful aesthetics and a heartwarming concept for your game. If the localisation isn’t going to be good, though, do not bother with an English release, because it is going to get reviews like this one. Make “invest in proper translation” your big resolution for 2021. I do not want to play any other games like Lily in the Hollow - Resurrection ever again.
The game has an intriguing premise and I want to believe the developers had some intelligent ideas behind what they're doing, but between the painfully shallow strategy, the laboured (via translation) writing, the mundane, uninspired presentation and the shonky interface and UX, there was nowhere left for me to go to find something I admired about this game.
That is your "reward" for "playing" the perfect game, and if you don't find some deep philosophical implications in that - enough to make you miserable to the point that you just give up completely - then you're not thinking hard enough. On the plus side, that's the point where you'll realise you'll never play the cruelty that is Snakes & Ladders again.
In the end, the started and overt point of Archlion Saga is that it was developed to introduce people who are less familiar with JRPGs to the genre. The developers failed in doing that, since anyone who plays this as their first JRPG won't touch another one for a very, very long time. No one likes having their intelligence insulted, even if they are completely new to something.
In an odd way the game gets the benefit of the doubt because the translation is that bad that we have to assume that it's something great in its native language (and indeed there is an option to play in Japanese if you'd like to). But that doesn't help the people who have been suckered into buying a visual novel they thought would be playable in English.