- Pokémon Black Version 2
- The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
- Yoshi's Island
Death’s Gambit: Afterlife isn’t without its share of perplexing decisions, but, all-in-all, it’s a fun Soulslike Metroidvania with just the right amount of challenge. Sure, finding your way around the game’s world can be a little frustrating, but at least it’s fun once you get to where you need to be—and that, in my opinion, is what matters the most.
Arboria is what I’d like to call a “status quo” game—as in it fits in with the current “gaming climate” (or whatever you want to call it) very nicely, but fails to make any kind of a splash. You play games like these because they’re already made up of components with which you’re comfortable, and, as a result, end up cozying up to said new game with relative ease. It’s not a bad thing to like, or even create games like these (several of my personal favorites fall into this category as well!), but, without that special “drive” to go the extra distance, you’ve already gone as far as you can go before things have even gotten started with that. Simply put, Arboria‘s just fine—and that’s all there is to it.
Final Fantasy IV was a great game when it came out in 1991, and, 30 years later, Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster is just as great. The only thing, in my opinion, that could have made this game better would have been the inclusion of the Lunar Subterrain from Final Fantasy IV Advance. But, hey, “almost perfect” is still pretty good, too. Whether you’re a Final Fantasy veteran or are looking to get your feet wet, I can’t recommend Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster enough.
There’s no arguing that GRIME is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful Metroidvanias ever created, and it’s obvious that a lot of love was put into it. Unfortunately, the attempt to create some kind of compromise between Dark Souls and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow created a product that, while still undoubtedly fun, felt a little too lukewarm at times to truly be considered “great.” I think that if certain things got revamped, GRIME could be a totally killer Metroidvania. But, until then, it’ll just be “good.”
When it comes down to it, Astria Ascending is a charming blend of new and old, and a very enjoyable RPG experience overall. I’m always happy when I see a game successfully emulate the spirit of the ever-sacred old-school RPG, and I can happily say that Artisan Studios really outdid themselves with this one!
Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 1: Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle Remastered / Soul Nomad & the World Eaters may only be the first in the Prinny Presents series, but it’s already off to a phenomenal start. Whether you played these titles when they first came out or are heading into them for the very first time, this two-in-one bundle is something that you won’t want to skip out on if you’re even remotely interested in SRPGs.
King’s Bounty II is an excellent compromise between new and old and is a great time in general. As I’ve already mentioned, keeping a series going for a long time is difficult, and I’m sure that coming up with a proper sequel almost a decade after the last game was released was a difficult task. Difficult or not, however, 1C Entertainment managed to make it happen—and their final product is pretty great!
Crimson Spires isn’t quite like any VN that I’ve played before. It’s familiar in form, but, thanks to a heavier Western emphasis regarding its narrative, feels fresh and new in many ways. Whether you like action, suspense, or romance–or just want a new VN–I highly recommend taking a trip to Bataille. It’ll be so good that you won’t want to leave! …Not that you’ll have much of a choice in the matter.
Dragon Star Varnir is a fun JRPG overall, and, while it might be a little on the niche side, I’d still recommend it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure which version to recommend. Sure, the Switch version comes with a bunch of DLC and is entirely uncensored (did I forget to mention that?), but the graphics are, like, really crunchy—and I say that as someone who normally doesn’t care much about graphical quality. If that isn’t enough to drive you away, though, then the Switch version’s probably the way to go. The more content, the better, right?
It’s been said that good things come in small packages, and WitchSpring3 Re:Fine is about the best JRPG equivalent of that saying that you’re going to find. Eirudy’s adventure around Derkarr is a full JRPG experience boiled down to a breezy 10 – 20 hours, depending upon how you play and what kinds of things you’d like to do. If you’re itching for adventure but don’t have much time, or just have an appreciation for cutesy, easily digestible JRPG action, WitchSpring3 Re:Fine is probably worth your while.