Overall, McPixel 3 is something nice for an in-between period. It’s short and not too complicated, but plenty enjoyable with some weird hijinks. The scenarios you encounter are all pretty unique, and the gags you can find will probably give you a few laughs per round, at least. If you’re looking for a shorter but weirder adventure that would feel right at home with its own laugh track, check out McPixel 3.
Overall, Yomawari: Lost in the Dark is a great title. While I haven’t played the previous two titles, I certainly want to now. Setting a great creepy atmosphere with the soundtrack and visuals, as well as a large number of collectibles to implore you to explore and put yourself in danger makes for a good time had all around. If you’re looking for something a little spooky yet cute, this might be the title for you.
Overall, Kamiwaza: Way of the Thief is a really fun game. Really niche, yes, but also really fun. The stealth aspect is pretty fun, and the stylish points earned through your actions are an interesting take. The gameplay loop is pretty easy to get, allowing you to hop right in to your thieving ways, and you will probably find yourself easily racking up mission after mission. While this may be a re-release of an old PS2 title, it has aged surprisingly well, if not in graphics then in gameplay. It’s fun and quirky, and I definitely suggest you give it at least a chance.
While Chaos;Child may suffer a bit from some poor localization and text formatting decisions, the story is rather unique and engaging, leading to a fascinating murder mystery full of twists and turns. While I would suggest going through Chaos;Head Noah (or the non remastered version even) before going through Chaos;Child for a little more backstory and context, Chaos; Child still largely works as a standalone title, and will be a good choice for anyone looking for a grittier visual novel experience.
Overall I have to rate Chaos; Head Noah quite favorably. The story is engaging, the characters are all flawed in a relatable way, the art direction and musical style match the tone and setting, and the delusion triggers keep you engaged even during multiple playthroughs. While actually using the delusion trigger is very poorly explained, there is still a lot to enjoy here. While it does get extremely dark at some points, it really does a good job of setting the tone. If you’re interested in a science/fantasy visual novel, Chaos; Head Noah is a good starting point, either on its own or as part of the Science Adventure series.
Overall, I feel like NeverAwake did a really great job of encapsulating some of the best aspects of twin-stick shooters and bullet hell genres, all while wrapping it up in a nice package that tells a surprisingly meaningful yet dark story about a young girl and her troubles. The looping mechanic in the non-boss stages and the sheer amount of customization in the form of accessories is a great way to keep the game fresh all the way through. While the game may get tough at some points, there wasn’t a time where I thought the stages were particularly cheap. Even when frustration began to set in, clearing the stage made it all the more worth it in the end. Fans of twin-stick shooters and bullet hells alike are sure to get a blast out of NeverAwake.
Overall, Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 3 is my favourite of the bunch. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure and La Pucelle: Ragnarock have what I feel is the most heart of all the NIS classic titles. If you’re a fan of the Disgaea series, you can’t go wrong with either title, and even those new to the genre have a wonderful entry with Rhapsody. The updated graphic quality from the PS1 and PS2 era is greatly appreciated, and being able to bring these titles with me on the go with the Switch is amazing.
Overall, Kokoro Clover Season 1 is a game with a lot of heart, despite a few setbacks here and there. While definitely more on the easier side, it makes a good launching point for getting a younger audience into gaming, anime, or cartoons while also teaching some lessons. Kokoro Clover definitely feels like it would be more at home on the Switch, and while I wish that’s what I had played it on, the PC version worked fine for me. I highly anticipate the release of Season 2, and I hope you will too after playing Kokoro Clover Season 1.
Overall, I have to say that Dungeon Munchies is by far one of my favorite games I’ve played recently. I had so much fun with it, and I really enjoyed what it had to offer, especially considering the small size of the team that put it together. If you’re looking for some 2D action platforming experience, I highly recommend you give Dungeon Munchies a try.
Overall Dusk Diver 2 makes some improvements while setting itself back from the the first title, making them even out. While I think I preferred the first Dusk Diver, that is from a purely personal perspective, and it by no means makes the sequel any worse, just different. There are noticeable combat improvements, character swapping, and a fun skill tree no matter who you play as. Dusk Diver 2 does suffer from the occasional frame rate issue, and stages can drag on a bit too long sometimes, but are all different themed and entertaining to explore. Dusk Diver 2 is just as good as the first title, and I hope to continue seeing more games from this developer in the future.
AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative is a great murder mystery adventure style visual novel with a lot going for it. For a visual novel, player interaction is very high, the storyline is very engaging, and the quips and gags are really funny. While not having played the first title won’t really affect your experience, I highly suggest picking up both titles as they are really fun.
Ultimately, XEL currently has way too many issues for me to seriously consider suggesting it, which is a shame considering the promise it shows. While updates are being made, at the moment it can be an absolute struggle to get through, and even when it isn’t, the little things start wearing on you pretty fast. I highly suggest to wait at least a month for some fixes to the issues before you consider picking up XEL. I really hope the issues get resolved and the developers continue making games, because I’d really like to see more refined titles from them.
Overall, I have to say that Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 is a great addition to the series, and is easily accessible to both new players and those who have played previous titles. Gameplay and combat is smooth, bosses and stages are interesting, and it’s super fun to collect all the skills and see the cameos from previous titles. While there are a few issues here and there, it isn’t nearly enough to truly take away from the experience. If you’ve been looking for something to meet that old Megaman / Megaman X vibe, you can’t go wrong with Gunvolt.
All in all, I have to say I had a lot of fun with the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak expansion. The challenge was great, the new monsters were fun to fight, and the new additions that were added really help to enhance the game. Being able to take ally NPCs on quests is also a major new function, and I really enjoyed being able to do so, even if it was a somewhat limited capacity. While the price point may be a sticking point for some, I believe that if you had fun with Rise, you’ll certainly get your enjoyment out of Sunbreak.
Overall Yurukill: The Calumniation Games is about as weird as its title suggest. A wacky mash up of escape room and shmup with Phoenix Wright/pop quiz elements thrown in that was weirdly endearing. While Yurukill certainly fell flat in some areas, it certainly had a good showing with the cast of characters, interesting storylines, and decently integrated genre changes. I’ll be honest, it can be frustrating at times, but I still found myself wanting to continue so I could figure out the truth, and to see if I could guess at what happened before the reveal in each chapter. I laughed, I cried, I raged, but in the end, I had a lot of fun.
Overall, I have to say I really like Metal Max Xeno Reborn. While the gutted storyline and a few design choices are a little questionable, I found the combat system to be immensely enjoyable. Nothing quite like spotting an enemy over a hill and massacring them with a 100 ton cannon dropped by the last boss.
Oddly enough, despite my extreme dislike for the main character, I kept coming back for more, which is a great point towards ALICE IN DISSONANCE for their wonderful storytelling. The visuals are really impressive, character personalities are unique and actually realistic, and despite being a surprisingly fantasy reflection of real world issues, still manages to draw you in, despite how close to home some of the concepts may hit. fault-StP-Lightkravte has done a really good job of making me want to pick up the entire rest of the series, and maybe you should too.
TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity is a neat package wrapped up in a retro like 2D art style with some catchy music to accompany you while traversing the tower. While incredibly simple in nature, complicated doesn’t always mean better, and what TOKOYO lacks in complicated controls or background mechanics, it more than makes up for in engaging stages with a ton of different options to be pieced together e very day.
In conclusion, Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 2: Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound and ZHP: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman is a great combo of titles that give a good diversity while sharing similar writing and art styles. While the graphics could use some updating, it’s an absolute treasure that NIS has decided to bring titles from their classic collection into the forefront once more, and you can’t go wrong with either Makai Kingdom or ZHP, which just makes this union all the more sweet.
Overall I did have a lot of fun with Salt and Sacrifice, although there were a few moments where it got rather frustrating. With the new change up to how the game plays out, I expect a lot of people to be upset with the new direction. It’s not a bad direction, just new. I really appreciate the devs branching out in a new direction, and hope they continue to do so from now on.