A retro platformer that sets itself apart with the protagonist's transformation from a single pixel into 8- and 16-bit incarnations. Tic Toc Games' impressive pedigree at WayForward is on full display in Adventures of Pip—one of the only problems is that it's not quite as feature-rich as you'd like.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is far more than a fantasy role-playing game. It's an amazingly fleshed-out world that rewards careful, thoughtful exploration. CD Projekt RED didn't just deliver on their promise to craft an open world worthy of author Andrzej Sapkowski's lore—they greatly exceeded it.
Etrian Mystery Dungeon provides a refreshing change of pace for Etrian Odyssey fans by infusing the dungeon-crawler with challenging elements from Spike Chunsoft's venerable Mystery Dungeon franchise. Unfortunately, some clunky controls and curious design decisions prevent this roguelike from reaching the greatest heights of the genre.
The passion behind Citizens of Earth is undeniable. The execution, unfortunately, lags behind other indie titles that take inspiration from essential gaming classics. There's so much potential in this intriguing fusion of EarthBound and Suikoden, and the basics of a competent RPG are all here. The storytelling, world-building, and other elements necessary to craft a truly standout role-playing experience, however, are MIA in Citizens of Earth.
The (perhaps foolishly) brave fungal explorer makes a welcome return in a full-fledged game inspired by his six bite-sized adventures in Super Mario 3D World. While Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker certainly succeeds brilliantly in most of its puzzle-platforming endeavors, it does feel slightly short in the end, and a fussy camera can sabotage sequences that require quick actions and quick decisions. It's clear the concept has a ton of potential even after this, though, so let's hope this isn't a one-off adventure for our diminutive mushroom hero.
After six years of pleading, North American players finally get Tales of Hearts—previously a Japan-only gem in Bandai Namco’s flagship RPG series. The wait was undeniably worth it, since this entry features some of the best storytelling, characterization, and pacing in the franchise—though the combat doesn’t make the smoothest of transitions from the DS version. Those who never played the original Japanese release won’t know what they’re missing, of course, but it’s frustrating that this undeniably excellent game isn’t quite all it could’ve been on the PS Vita.