- Pokémon Black Version 2
- The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
- Yoshi's Island
For the sake of fairness, I’ll admit that I genuinely enjoyed playing through Malgam Lord, and I think that it definitely has a niche fanbase that will enjoy it just as much—if not more than—I did. Despite any personal enjoyment, however, I can’t help but feel as though it’s ultimately a very middling game. While Maglam Lord does have some decent high points in terms of its story and setup, its bland level design, repetitive combat, and compressed crafting system weigh it down to an unfortunate degree.
Compared to what people experience in today’s gaming scene, Shadow Man Remastered might not seem like much, but after spending a little bit of time with it, it’s easy to see why it was brought back and made better than ever. Despite any of its flawed “N64-ness,” Shadow Man Remastered is a legitimately fun adventure at its core, with plenty to offer to its player base. Sure, it may get a little repetitive and backtrack-y at times, but, given that the game is several decades old at this point, I’d say that it’s absolutely withstood the test of time when everything’s been said and done.
There isn’t too much to say about Dimension Tripper Neptune: Top Nep outside of what I’ve already said. It’s a short, and incredibly stylish, arcade-style rail shooter that plays almost identically to Space Harrier. I do think, however, that this might be one of the few Neptunia titles which could bring in a larger crowd than normal. It may be entirely rooted in a very fanbase-centered meme, but it’s legitimately a fun and addictive little game—and one which deserves the attention of both arcade shooter fans and Neptunia fans!
Danganronpa Decadence works well for several different reasons. Not only is it a great way for fans—both pre-existing and prospective alike—to dive into the three core titles that truly helped to sculpt the series into something spectacular, but the additional bonus title, Ultimate Summer Camp, is a neat, albeit very much noncanonical, way of celebrating the plethora of weird, wonderful, and wild characters that have graced our TV (or Switch) screens. Sure, three-fourths of the game, technically speaking, isn’t “new,” but that’s no reason for anyone to pretend that the decadent, 4-in-1 Danganronpa combo pack is nothing less than spectacular.
There are a lot of words that I could use to describe Olympia Soirée, and most of them are positive. Even if social commentary isn’t the reason why you play video games (goodness knows it isn’t mine), Olympia Soirée‘s decision to fearlessly tackle situations that parallel ones within our own world shouldn’t cause you to shy away from its wonderfully romantic story lying in wait. If you’re a fan of Otome VNs, I doubt that this one will let you down!
Much like a real anniversary, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition is less about embarking on something new and more about happily re-living some wonderful, past moments. It was a great game then, and, even 10 years later, it’s still a great game—made even better by the bundle of Creation Club DLCs thrown into the mix. Skyrim‘s been around for a long time, now, and, whether you like it or not, the Anniversary Edition shows that Skyrim has still got the ability to stick around for at least a little while longer (I’m sure we’ll get TESVI eventually, though!).
Not every sequel can surpass the original, but it’s safe to say that The Caligula Effect 2 is bigger and better than ever before. I can’t say that I was initially expecting a sequel to The Caligula Effect to even happen in the first place, but The Caligula Effect 2 is absolutely a case of something happening that I didn’t even know that I wanted—and I’m extremely glad that I was able to spend some quality time with it.
New World is a fun, solid MMORPG packed with plenty of enjoyable content that will keep players busy for a long, long time. Sure, it might have some imperfections, but I’m hopeful that the game will address all of those as it continues to grow—and I look forward to being a part of its community while it does.
It’s not a stretch to say that Shin Megami Tensei V has set a new standard for JRPGs. It’s amazing to see how far along this series has come since the initial inception of Megami Tensei, and the fact that ATLUS can continue to improve the series without compromising its core features. Shin Megami Tensei V has been a long time coming, but the wait has absolutely been worth it—and I’m more excited than ever to watch the SMT franchise continue to grow.
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.
Abomi Nation knows exactly what it wants to be, and exactly the type of person that it wants to appeal to. And, best of all, it accomplishes everything that it sets out to do. While it might oversimplify its approach to exploration a bit too much, there’s no getting around the fact that Abomi Nation is a phenomenal Nuzlocke experience that Pokémon fans will not only love but immediately feel comfortable with once they begin playing.