The Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack may not offer enough for old fans to double-dip in the adventures, but there’s so much here for new fans to discover. Not just in terms of gameplay, but the evolution of this series and the characters that paved the way towards its current popularity. The extra content and quality-of-life features are just added bonuses to the adventures that await.
I feel like I can go on and on about SaGa Frontier Remastered that would extend far outside the scope of this review, but if I could sum it all up, I’d say this is the best non-linear JRPG of our time. This does come with a load of nuanced challenges that will push your patience and understanding of the genre. However, after a few hours, you’ll feel the same way.
Oddworld: Soulstorm is hands-down the best entry in the series to date. It takes everything great about these games and packages it up in a beautiful and modern adventure that mirrors its classic gameplay mechanics used for over 20 years. Some of the item management systems weigh on the pacing, and the controls take a few hours to master, but there’s just something unique in every stage that makes this adventure enjoyable from beginning to end.
Bladed Fury’s console debut has not gone unnoticed. This is a great game that takes clear inspiration from Vanillaware action games. It’s mindless hack-and-slash with a purpose and is exceptionally fun in short bursts. I ended up playing for the challenge and boss battles alone; the environments and plot were engaging enough to see the adventure through until the end.
It Takes Two is a beautiful and exciting co-op experience, that can potentially mean so much more for those who relate to this premise. Working together is not always the issue in a relationship, sometimes you just don’t get along. Across all the jumps, boss battles, and deadly puzzles, we get to witness this couple’s journey. From this, we also learn a few pointers on teamwork and having a ton of fun along the way.
Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth is an amazing Metroidvania. The environments, enemies, and clever use of magic and weapons go beyond influences as the developers truly make this adventure their own. The lack of weapon differentiation is mended by the use of elements and low-impact puzzles, but the short runtime and low difficulty may leave you wanting more.
Root Film is an incredibly stylish and beautiful adventure visual novel held down by a few flimsy opening chapters. The pacing takes a dramatic hit due to a lack of direction, which caused me to step away several times. However, the second half is where the stars align and provide a solid and memorable conclusion to those who stick around.
The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos has everything that fans loved with a little extra to make it the proper send-off for this title. The whodunit direction was a smart way to focus on the amazing writing this game offers while causing the player to break down the possible suspects and solve this mystery. This expansion is Obsidian at their best and compliments this entire experience so well. It’s just sad that there won’t be more.
Gnosia takes the rules of a social game and turns it into a single-player science-fiction experience. Each loop will present you with more questions and slowly feed you answers to what is a compelling and unique narrative. The game is fueled by an amazing cast of insane characters and over-the-top mechanics that make it fun no matter how long you play.
Maquette is a beautiful game with a compelling narrative that is a perfect weekend experience. Across its four-hour runtime, I was able to feel emotionally invested in this relationship as I begged to see it through until the end. The puzzles hinder progression, but the lack of interaction with the environment limits any additional playthroughs or unique playing experiences.