In conclusion this game just has too many problems to be recommended to anybody unfortunately. What started off as a good and entertaining time just became a race to finish the game as fast as possible to get away from it. The game certainly has cool ideas but there’s way more negatives than positives; with the worst of it all being that the Vita has so many DRPGs on it already – some of them being the best DRPGs ever made. For this one to come out after them just feels like wasted potential.
Senran Kagura without its iconic action just doesn’t work. Peach Beach Splash mechanics weren’t fun and in Reflexions, there’s just no content and the fun wears off after the first half-hour. Maybe PeachBall will be good since you can’t make a bad Pinball game, but otherwise, wait for Re:Burst.
As much as I find Senran Kagura to be my favorite guilty pleasure series, this one I found myself actively disliking it from the get-go. The gameplay design is certainly fun when you get the hang of it, but everything around it is just badly designed and just makes it not fun to play. As someone that’s for developers wanting to branch out and do other things, this is one of the few times where sticking to the status qua might have been a good idea.
Considering SEGA meant for this entry to be a reboot for the franchise, this overall is a pretty mixed bag. The lore and overall storytelling they have in place is good. It’s just that they need more interesting characters.How the soundtrack is implemented into the gameplay is a really nice though. Hopefully by the time we get the next entry, some if not all of the kinks will be ironed out.
In the end, despite its anime counterpart taking perversion to the next level yet stopping just before being considered pornagraphy, this game is actually one of Takaki’s tamer games of the giant breast hyper battle “genre”. Sure, it still contains the usual mechanic of clothing being ripped off and the small cinematic that comes with it is still the same as the changing dressing room mechanics. But despite all of the sexual appeal, there’s a good gameplay mechanic underneath that just can’t seemingly take off the way the game wants, which is sort of disappointing.
This game tries to say a lot by only telling you bits and pieces which is perfectly fine. Everything about it feels very well constructed as I’ve never had any issues of any kind. In the end though, while I wouldn’t call this game boring, after I finish a session of playing it, it feels pretty forgotten which is kind of sad because I was ready to love this game like I did Yomawari.
Tokyo Xanadu is a game I really wanted to enjoy. Not to say that I don’t like it, because I do, but I was expecting a bit more. For what it eventually excels at in dungeon design, it lacks in combat. For what it excels at in world building, it fails in originality and almost feels by the book. I’m not sure what Falcom was trying to accomplish by trying to make Tokyo Xanadu a derivative of their Trails franchise. I’m not happy or even upset that they do, but what they do leave me as, is very confused.
Overall, I had a really good time coming back to the series after the last entry left such a bad taste in my mouth. One might even say, my faith has been Re:Newed. Outside of some technical issues that can easily be patched out, it felt good going back to the start of the franchise with a couple gameplay tweaks. If this is meant to be a preview for how 7Even goes, I can’t wait.
Overall, if the game wasn’t so talkative when going from dungeon to dungeon and if the character designs were a bit better, I’d honestly have a better time. More so if the game didn’t make me feel like I was only going from story beat to story beat to story beat every time I beat a dungeon it would have made it a bit more enjoyable. This isn’t to say that the game is even remotely bad however as the dungeon crawling itself is a ton of fun here. While I do wish I could see the turn order in battles, it’s really no big deal. The fact that what moves my teammates will learn and when they’ll learn them is a pretty big plus in my eyes.
If those rough edges were fixed, then the game would be held in a higher regard. But for what is there, coming from the fundamentally flawed Natural Doctrine comes the fundamentally solid God Wars. Due to the fact that the game has been delayed several times to fix bugs and even include user feedback, it shows that Kadokawa was truly dedicated to making the battles the best they could possibly be and it sure does show. If there is ever a sequel for God Wars, I’ll be right there waiting.
In the end, as much I enjoy this game it feels too safe to a point where it almost feels manufactured and everything could almost be expected. It certainly plays to all of the original’s strengths which is cool, but at the same time it doesn’t do anything different outside of adding sub-areas and more interesting bosses.
At its core this is Danganronpa no doubt about it. Like DR2, the highs are incredibly high, and the lows are incredibly low. In this scenario though, the developers took everything about the series and just cranked it up to the next level.
In the end, this game is pretty out there in terms of it doing what it’s doing, as while the SRPG elements are good, there are so few far in between the amount of good yet bloated story content there is it feels like there’s no real point these SRPG parts. That said though, the SRPG elements while not terribly difficult, are certainly fun to play.
When it comes down to it, the game has so many highs, and yet very little lows. If this is truly the last game as it’s marketed to be, then it’s a shame that there won’t be a Gravity Rush with a fleshed out story and perfected combat. At the same time, with this one, there’s so much packed in it, if another were to be announced, it would be a long ways away. A game like this is incredibly special and only comes along every so often. Gravity Rush is easily one of the Vita’s best games, and Gravity Rush 2 is easily one of the best video games ever made.
Overall, Cold Steel II is a much, much better game than the first game in just about every regard, but sadly, the framerate problem still exists. The new mechanics are more than welcome as they add additional strategy into the mix. For fans of the first game, it’s time to pick up right where you left off. When the game originally came out in Japan there were quite a few people singing its praises and now I see why. While Trails of Cold Steel can feel generic at times, all of the systems in place make it certainly worth the investment.
At the end of the day, believe it not this game goes much further than looking for your dog and sister. Ultimately it’s a coming of age story about coming to terms with one’s actions and understanding life and death. Between that and the game’s atmosphere and aesthetics, the game doesn’t look like much, but it certainly brings a lot to the table. Outside of the whole “quicksaves are just checkpoints” bit, the game barely has any faults that could be recalled.
The game as a whole is still great. If you’re like me and have played the original release but missed out on the PC release and need a refresher for what’s to come this fall by all means, transfer your PS3/Vita save right over for some extra bonuses. If you’re new to the franchise, this is a great place to start.