- Xenosaga III
- Mass Effect 2
- Final Fantasy VIII
Star Ocean: The Second Story R recaptures all the otherworldly wonder of its PlayStation predecessor. The rough edges of the original are now smooth to the touch, and the enhanced visuals amplify that classic pixel art aesthetic in a way that few remakes pull off. It’s a thoughtful snapshot encapsulating RPGs of the era, retaining all the passion and whimsy I remember so fondly. I loved this look back at Star Ocean‘s past, and I hope this marks a new beginning for the series’ future.
As a kid growing up alongside some of those early Super Nintendo and PlayStation RPGs, Sea of Stars feels like the classics I remember; and I mean that in the purest sense. When you’re toddling about, hardly old enough to understand some of the words on the screen, nostalgia often compensates for aspects that may have grown less appealing through the years. However, if I were to dream up any old favorite from memory, I’d imagine it’d turn out something like this. Sea of Stars is endlessly charming, bright, and packing a ton of heart — another timeless addition among the classics.
Tales of Arise presents a refreshing sense of nostalgia in a shiny new package. At times it can misfire between its lovable but inconsistent cast of characters and political narrative, but there’s still a band of loveable heroes brandishing the classic Tales archetypes I’ve always adored. Perhaps it wields subtlety like a cudgel—placing Shionne, the woman who causes pain, and Alphen, the man who can’t feel pain, together—yet it’s that same ungraceful melodrama I remember being so fond of a decade ago. Arise elevates Tales back into the RPG spotlight, but it doesn’t leave the pieces of the past you loved behind.
When I wrapped up my experience with Nier Replicant, I realized it was the most satisfied I’d ever felt after working so hard for a particular ending. Yoko Taro asking me to relive the same experiences again and again wasn’t a repetitive journey, but a more meaningful reflection on a cycle of hate, pain, and trauma. Nier Replicant is Yoko Taro’s best work, brought up to modern standards, and finally delivered in the presentation its tale always deserved.
For Cing fans searching to relive that Hotel Dusk experience, this short adventure maybe a let down.
Sekai Project continues to introduce unique experiences to western gamers, and Resette's Prescription is another one of those surprising titles not to be missed.