Sometimes, I feel like I was pretty much dragged kicking and screaming into this age of DLC and microtransactions. With its on-point, classic gameplay and plethora of easter eggs and unlockables, Streets of Rage 4 reminds me that you can punch back and maybe throw a Grand Upper or two to reclaim those good old gaming days from before. It’s just a joy to be able to happily walk those familiar streets once again without having to rage about what was once lost. From one old-school gamer, well played Streets of Rage 4 dev team. Well played. Now go and remake Guardian Heroes.
Sakura Wars doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights set by its predecessors but it remains a worthy attempt at not only resurrecting the long-dormant franchise but also modernizing it for a new audience. Despite its flaws, there really are no other games like it, and I think the developers should be commended for releasing a game like this one despite the risk it entails, especially when compared to more popular genres. If the idea of fun interactive storytelling mixed with a nice helping of steampunk and robot hijinks sounds good to you, then Sakura Wars just might blossom into your kind of game.
If you loved the Animal Crossing games of the past, New Horizons will definitely scratch your itch for the series and then some. And if you’ve never played the game before, now is as good a time as any to start. Admittedly, Animal Crossing isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re the type who craves more heart-pumping action. If you want a charming, laid-back game that tickles your creative fancies, however, this latest entry in the Animal Crossing series just might expand your horizons.
Final Fantasy VII Remake does the impossible by not only building on the original but surpassing it in some aspects. Admittedly, it has its fair share of stumbles due to uneven side quests, some shaky dialogue as well as pacing issues. Its excellent presentation and combat, however, combined with a more fleshed-out narrative that shows the developing bonds between its characters, make this a wonderful take on a timeless classic. I can’t wait to see what the series comes up with next.
Persona 5 Royal remains an excellent rendition of the classic 3D JRPG formula and all that entails. If you felt burnt out by the first game, this likely won’t change your opinion. If the original P5 left you wanting more, however, then Royal just might steal your heart again. And if you never got the chance to play the original but love JRPGs, then get this new version for sure. For fans of the genre, this is about as good as it gets.
U.A. High School’s heroes and their villainous rivals return for another round in My Hero Justice 2, complete with a bigger cast that builds on the fun combat of the first game. Unfortunately, the story mode remains bare-bones, which represents a big missed opportunity for a game whose roots lie in storytelling. It’s still a fun anime fighter that’s easy to pick up and enjoy. But it also could have been so much better.
Overall, I quite liked my experience with Langrisser I & II. Granted, certain aspects of the game might feel dated to folks used to more modern tactical JRPGs. As someone who remembers playing games like this as a kid, however, those same classic aspects make me feel warm and comfortable — just like slurping a hot bowl of chicken stew. If you’re a fan of old-school tactical games, the Langrisser I & II remake just might fill you up.
Its platforming and minor issues aside, Darksiders Genesis provides a fun hack-and-slash experience that further fleshes out the world’s lore at the same time. The addition of Strife to the mix also provides a nice change of pace over his more serious brethren. If you love Darksiders or are looking for a different take on the Diablo formula, Darksiders Genesis is worth a trip to hell and back.
Cindered Shadows is a nice addition to the Three Houses experience, especially for folks who have played the game heavily and want more or just need some extra variety to add to their replays. The difficulty might frustrate more casual fans and it would have been nice to have more class options for your crew. If you’re looking for an excuse to travel back to Fodlan, however, Cindered Shadows just might be your ticket.
The premise behind Arc of Alchemist’s world and its story is a good one. The implementation, however, could be better and the game feels incomplete due to its uneven combat as well as its awkward interface and systems. Given my affinity for old-school JRPGs and cute character designs, Arc of Alchemist should be a game that I absolutely love. Instead, I now find myself wondering what could have been.