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.
Overall, I have to say that Seven Pirates H has a lot of promise. There’s a solid basis for sea based exploration, the battle system is pretty fun, and the music is pretty catchy. Unfortunately, this effort seems undermined by how short the game is and how small the explorable areas are. If Seven Pirates H was more like the Moero titles in terms of dungeon length and bonus zones, I feel like Seven Pirates H would have fared much better. Even the upgrade system, where it allowed you to adjust your stat distribution, was an interesting idea, just falling flat against the backdrop of small areas with not much to them.
Overall, I have to say I quite enjoyed my time with Crystar. While the combat and areas you progress through tended to get a little repetitive, the storytelling, art, and music direction, as well as an interesting cast of characters, is what really keeps the title together. While I wouldn’t recommend picking up the Switch version if you already own Crystar, it is quite nice for a title that you can pick up every so often to go through a floor or two, or some of the shorter stages, without feeling the burnout.
Overall, I have to say I absolutely love how they’ve evolved, and continue to evolve, the Atelier series. Atelier Sophie was probably my favourite post PS2 Atelier title, and Atelier Sophie 2 doesn’t disappointed. With a more refined combat and alchemy system, and interesting weather feature, and improved graphics and character animations, Atelier Sophie 2 : the Alchemist and the Mysterious Dream is a must play in the Atelier series.
In conclusion, Aztech Forgotten Gods is a fun title with a cool movement and combat idea that was implemented fairly decently. The game isn’t very long, but is full of a charm that is quite nice to see. While there are a few technical issues and a lack of explanation for some of the abilities you get, Aztech Forgotten Gods was still quite enjoyable.
Overall, I had an absolutely wonderful time with Ocean’s Heart and loved it the whole way through. With that old-school Legend of Zelda vibe in both gameplay and art style, add in some unique twists and takes, and couple it with an immersive world, and you really have a recipe for success. While there were a few technical problems and design choices that I didn’t agree with, most of the time it wasn’t a big enough issue to truly worry about for the most part. With tons of bonus quests, caves to explore, and a secret boss, Ocean’s Heart is sure to keep you well entertained!