- Shining Force II
- Streets of Rage II
- Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
Francis DiPersio's Reviews
From its stunning sprite work to its masterful level designs that make full use of your ninja abilities, Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider will keep you glued to your controller until the end credits roll. My only real complaint aside from the relatively easy bosses is that it’s such a short burn. With just eight levels available, skilled players will make their way through the game in just a couple of hours. Still, completionists should be able to squeeze out a few more by unlocking all of the hidden upgrades in each map. When all is said and done, if you’re a fan of games like Shinobi, Hagane: The Final Conflict, or Ninja Gaiden, Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider is a must-play love letter to the ninja action games of the ’90s.
Despite a few rough edges in terms of stage design and enemy variety, Evil West is a must-own experience for fans of the character action game genre. With a deep and engaging combat system, a meaty campaign, and a killer sense of style, it’ll leave you glued to your controller until the credits roll. If you’re a fan of Flying Wild Hogs’ brand of gory, in-your-face action, Evil West is a non-stop thrill ride through the freaky frontier that you won’t want to miss.
With its numerous endings to uncover and pixel-perfect production values, Faith is one of the most unique and exciting games I’ve played in years. And now that the trilogy is available in one gloriously gory package, there’s never been a better time to take up the cross and see what all the shrieking incantations are about. Faith: The Unholy Trinity is a masterpiece in minimalist horror that no fan of the genre should miss.
While Serial Cleaners isn’t without its issues, this macabre mop-’em-up has its moments, but only the most patient custodians of carnage will likely want to see it through to the end. The writing is fantastic and the characters all bring something new and exciting to the table with their various talents. If you enjoyed the original game and can look beyond the grime and viscera that occasionally gunk up the experience, you might just find Serial Cleaners to be a dirty job worth undertaking. It’s not much, but it’s honest work.
While rough around the edges in spots, I was utterly immersed in Dyschronia: Chaos Alternate – Episode 1′s story, thanks to its fantastic writing and interesting cast of characters. Still, with that said, I do think the game might be a hard sell for players looking for an experience that takes advantage of the strengths of the VR medium. After all, the game is, first and foremost, a visual novel. You’re going to spend the lion’s share of your time in Astrum Close engaged in conversation and watching the narrative unfold. However, if you know what you’re getting into and are looking to scratch that Ace Attorney-inspired itch on your Meta Quest 2, then Dyschronia: Chaos Alternate – Episode 1 should be your prime suspect.
If you’re looking for more brilliantly brutal gunplay and satisfying supernatural shootouts, Outriders: Worldslayer delivers the goods. But there’s a good chance your mileage will vary depending on what you hope to get out of the DLC. If you love fine-tuning your builds and tackling the highest World Tiers, Worldslayer will keep you glued to your controller for the foreseeable future. However, if you’re the type of player who’s strictly in it for the campaign and quest lines, you’ll probably want to wait for it to go on sale before pulling the trigger.
Ultimately, how much enjoyment you get out of Fobia depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re just dying for gripping gunplay with myriad monsters to encounter, there’s no denying that you’ll probably be pretty disappointed with what this title has to offer. But if you can look beyond its rougher edges, Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel offers tantalizingly terrifying accommodations for survival horror fans.
With its excellent production values and weighty melees, Final Vendetta is a fun throwback to the glory days of arcade gaming if you can look past its occasionally frustrating challenge and some quality of life issues. Still, I can’t help but think that with a bit more spit and polish, it could have been something exceptional for fans of the beat-’em-up genre. If you have the patience to see your way through to the end, you’ll be able to unlock a few extra game modes such as Survival, Boss Rush, and even more challenging Ultra difficulty mode. Though I have trouble imagining many players will have what it takes to make it that far. If you’re looking for an unabashedly old-school brawler that doesn’t pull any punches, Final Vendetta certainly delivers that much. But only the most patient of pugilists will be able to get the most out of this package.
Look, I know I’ve been piling on the praise in this review, but believe me when I say this is a game that deserves every last bit of it. I’ve probably played hundreds of them over the years. However, precious few manage to do what Dotemu and Tribute Games have managed to do here. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is nothing short of lightning in a bottle; one of those rare examples of a game that simply doesn’t miss a beat from the moment it starts until the credits roll. Sure, you may come for the nostalgia and irresistible retro-inspired presentation, but it’s the rock-solid core mechanics that offer the perfect balance of depth and approachability that will keep you coming back time and time again. If that sounds even remotely up your alley, then go, ninja, go, ninja, go and add this game to your collection. It’s a true testament to Turtle Power.
As a massive fan of the original game, I had high hopes for The House of the Dead Remake. Unfortunately, this one mostly misses the mark as far as updates go due to its constant performance issues and control schemes that range from merely unsatisfying to downright frustrating. While extras like the Horde mode and in-game achievements are welcome, it’s hard to imagine many players will want to trudge through the experience all over again after wrapping up the main story once or twice. If you’re dying for an arcade-style shooter to plow through with a friend, The House of the Dead Remake might keep you busy for an evening. Anyone else would be better off letting the dead rest.
While it may lack the extra content fans of the series might expect to find, Lost Judgment: The Kaito Files is easy to recommend to armchair detectives looking for another exciting case to crack thanks to its satisfying combat and developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s masterful storytelling. If nothing else, it definitively shows that if the contract issues surrounding actor Takuya Kimura prevent him from reprising his role, the Yagami Detective Agency would still be in perfectly capable hands.
Gal*Gun Double Peace makes the jump to the Nintendo Switch fully intact and slightly undressed. Whether flinging pheromones at frisky schoolgirls on your TV or in handheld mode, the game runs well and its vibrant visuals, while not particularly detailed, still manage to pop off the screen the same way they did when it was first released in 2015. Solid performance aside, however, just how much enjoyment you’ll get out of this risque rail shooter depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re already a fan of the franchise and itching for more fanservice-filled firefights, you’ll undoubtedly find those here. However, if you’re looking for a satisfying shooter that will test your reflexes with thrilling boss battles and exciting locales to blast your way through, I’d probably wait for The House of the Dead: Remake to shuffle its way onto the Switch instead.
While not perfect, Andro Dunos 2 is an excellent revival of Visco’s 16-bit shooter series that deserves your attention. With its killer retro-inspired presentation, driving music, and plenty of exhilarating boss battles to test your mettle, it’s a game that’s easy to recommend to anyone who has a passing interest in shoot-’em-ups. If nothing else, it makes me excited to see what else publisher PixelHeart has in the works for Visco’s other IP. If the upcoming Ganryu 2 is anywhere near as good, nostalgic Neo Geo fans should be in for a treat.
So, does Persona 4 Arena Ultimax hold up in the eight years since its debut? Absolutely. Arc System Works and Atlus' slugfest of a spin-off is just as satisfying now as it was the day it was first released. The game's easy to pick up yet challenging to master gameplay is suitable for fighting game novices and pros alike. And the excellent Story Modes that further flesh out the narrative are must-play experiences for fans of the franchise. Of course, if you already own the game and all of the DLC, there's little reason to plunk down the cash for this version. But if you've yet to see what Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is all about, there's never been a better time to step into the ring.
While its technical shortcomings are hard to ignore, there’s an undeniably solid shooter buried beneath Kingdom of the Dead‘s bumps and bruises. With fantastic presentation and a satisfying arsenal of weapons to wield, it’s a worthwhile throwback to a simpler time when monster closets were plentiful, and stopping to reload your guns was unheard of. If you’re a fan of DOS-era shooters and don’t mind a bit of jank, there are far worse ways to spend a weekend.
The King of Fighters XV is a knockout entry in SNK’s flagship fighting game series. Smartly building upon the foundation of its predecessor, it ups the ante in subtle yet meaningful ways that should satisfy even the most discerning fans of the franchise. While the ways the Rush Combo system has been expanded upon probably won’t change the minds of those unimpressed with it in the previous game and the character selection is slightly pared-down, the rock-solid online performance, breathtaking visuals, and satisfying fighting system that pins it all together will keep you coming back for more.
It’s been a long road to release for Dying Light 2, and at times its future seemed uncertain. However, having braved the ruins of Villedor for this review, I’m happy to report that Techland’s long-awaited follow-up to their survival horror RPG is a smashing success. With its mix of gripping narrative, hard-hitting combat, and exhilarating exploration, Dying Light 2 is a spectacular sequel that breathes new life into the franchise.
Clockwork Aquario isn’t without its shortcomings, such as its occasionally uneven challenge to its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it runtime. However, it’s hard not to appreciate finally being able to experience this long-lost piece of gaming history three decades later. With its distinctive presentation and solid platforming action, the game’s a delightful throwback to a simpler time, when the arcades represented the pinnacle of what video games could be and rainbow-haired heroes and heroines dominated the landscape. If you’re looking to take a trip back to those glory days of gaming and don’t mind the issues I mentioned above, Clockwork Aquario is time well spent.
If you’re a fan of Left 4 Dead and VR shooters, then After The Fall comes easily recommended. Its cross-platform co-op is an absolute blast regardless of which platform you’re playing on. And when it comes to replay value, the game’s loot and upgrade systems will keep you coming back for more as you work to craft the ultimate arsenal of zombie-killing hardware. Still, I can’t help but wish the game had just a little bit more to offer players out of the gate. Depending on which difficulty you choose, you can barrel through the game’s five stages in just a few hours. And with just a handful of zombie types to encounter, things can start to feel a little repetitive after a while. Still, if you’re looking for Left 4 Dead-style thrills on your favorite headset, After The Fall is as close as you’re going to get, and a solid addition to any VR gamer’s library.
The VR platformer genre has seen plenty of innovation since Lucky’s Tale made its debut with gems like Japan Studio’s Astro Bot and Polyarc’s Moss. Still, while it may not be quite as ambitious as those aforementioned adventures, revisiting this family-friendly fox for another go-round on the Oculus Quest 2 was an irresistible treat that my inner child savored from start to finish. It’s a quick burn to be sure, but if you’re looking for a lighthearted romp for your new headset, Lucky’s Tale is pure platforming magic and a must-own addition to any platformer fan’s library.