Monster Monpiece is certainly not the average digital card game. Upgrading cards requires players to rub down their would-be monster girl soldiers and it features a heavy dose of visual novel style storytelling. It is, however, an okay story at best and a decent card battler. It doesn't stand out much from the field other than its "Crush Rub" upgrade system but, hey, at least it's uncensored.
Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea makes amends for the mistakes of the original by wrapping up the Dusk trilogy nicely. The addition of Ayesha and Logy to the mix is not only fun for combat but vital to the entire narrative. Longtime fans will find plenty to love here while newcomers will find the item synthesis engaging and the combat dynamic.
World of Final Fantasy is a love-letter to the entire Final Fantasy franchise and its diehard fans. This is pure uncut Final Fantasy directly injected into your veins. Newcomers to the franchise will find an accessible battle system to work with but a completely convoluted and, frankly, bad story to deal with. The soundtrack is worth sticking around for, though.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst sets itself apart from its counterpart, Monster Hunter, with combat that is fluid, fast and fun for a gameplay loop that is addictive. The crafting is deep; the story is engaging, and fans of the genre should pay attention.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is one of the absolute best JRPGS for the Nintendo 3DS this year. It improves upon SMT4's systems in definitive ways while addressing many of the nagging issues that served to hold its predecessor back.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is a great visual novel that is slightly diminished by its lackluster antagonist. The iteration on the rich world developed by the original anime is solid and well-paced. A fine addition to the genre on both home consoles and handhelds.
King of Fighters XIV brings one of the genre's longest running franchises to the current generation with mixed results visually. The gameplay is deep should players want to explore it and friendly to newcomers just jumping on with the series. The soundtrack is fantastic and the net code is far improved over its predecessor. We have a winner folks.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is a humorous and risque on-rails shooter that features rubdowns, schoolgirls shot with euphoria and even some tentacles to boot. It is far less offensive than it will be pegged to be but quite funny and featuring a great localization from PQube. Lock and load, lewd dudes.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven delivers a truly authentic visual representation of Hirohiko Araki's work. CyberConnect2 nailed it visually but failed to iterate on their past works with other licensed anime products to produce, instead, a forgettable 2-on-2 fighter. JoJo deserves far better.
Zero Time Dilemma is a more than fitting end to a series already known for its gripping narrative and compelling characters. Director/writer Kotaro Uchikoshi has outdone himself here and delivered, most assuredly, his magnum opus. This is narrative risk-taking and some of the best storytelling available in the medium that manages to overcome its presentational flaws to offer a must-play experience.
Corpse Party, a new port of the 2008 remake of the original, will bring exposure to the title's great narrative for many. It is, however, decidedly lacking in comparison to the PSP remake of 2011 or the upcoming 3DS version. It can still bring the spooks but it simply doesn't go as far as the other versions. Play those instead.
Demetrios - The BIG Cynical Adventure, from the one-man operation at COWCAT, presents a forgettable tale of Bjorn Thonen and something regarding saving the world. The bad quips and immensely unlikable cast make for a sub-par adventure game that looks great but sounds and feels uninspired.
Koihime Enbu is an accessible anime fighter that focuses on spacing, fundamentally sound play and the Fatal Counter system. The art direction is great though the music is a bit forgettable. If only the online community on PC existed this game might have real legs as a gateway game into the fighting game genre.
Cyber City 2157 is a jumbled mess of a visual novel that fails to deliver on the core promise of the story. It has numerous avenues to explore but none of them are very interesting. It has a great look to it with retro-tinged graphics and a soundtrack that is surprisingly strong. They don't make up for the awful localization or lazy writing, though.
Summary : Senran Kagura: Estival Versus continues the series forward momentum of compelling character-driven narrative and addictive and accessible combat in the best-looking entry to date. The light-hearted tone pairs well with the brawler gameplay x musou meets visual novel. Don't buy into the hate and give this one a shot.
Trillion: God of Destruction manages to overcome a trope-laden story and deliver realized characters that you'll ultimately send to their demise. The journey is the emphasis, though, as grinding is key. Small victories on the road to the end are what this game is all about. The combat is lackluster but the overall package will still appeal to fans of the genre with its better than average story.