Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate chooses quantity over quality. While it includes tons of characters, the bland level and mission design lose their allure far too quickly, which is a shame. With a little more care and tweaks to mechanics, it could have been a strong entry in the series.
Shenmue 3 feels instantly outdated, but at the same time is seemingly uncompromising in its vision. Despite some fun mechanics, lots of distractions, and a restrained take on combat, my nostalgia could only partially gloss over the weak characters, story and progress gating.
Despite being a spinoff game, Judgment does everything that merits it standing on its two feet. An engrossing narrative, great characters, and a wealth of side content make for a thrilling adventure - despite some niggling story beats and under-utilized mechanics.
Dead or Alive 6 serves up great fighting mechanics, solid offline mode variety, and looks good while doing it. If you're a fan of the series, it's well worth checking out, even as this latest entry stumbles in the online arenas and the disappointing approach to customization.
Jump Force is an exercise in wasted potential, which is a real shame considering the strong roster of characters and engaging worlds they all hail from. The combat is lackluster and repetitive, despite being punctuated by flashy iconic special moves. Heavy grind and boring mission structure turn saving the world into a chore.
Another worthy entry into the series that still distinguishes itself from the rest. Diverse characters, unique mechanics, and pick-up-and-play nature make it extremely accessible. Despite a few fumbles in training modes and mediocre story elements, Soulcalibur VI is a great fighter at its core.
Even if you're not already a fan, Valkyria Chronicles 4's engaging story and interesting characters will win you over with a WW2-inspired setting that doesn't shy away from dark subject matter. For veterans of the series, this new chapter will give you a good run for your money, despite some unintuitive menus and wonky character mechanics.
An excellent entry into anyone's JRPG collection, Dragon Quest XI will have you wondering why more of the series hasn't made its way to consoles. It manages to capture the spirit of genre classics with memorable locations, engaging explorative elements, and fun combat.
Mechanically, Yakuza Kiwami 2 is the best offering in the entire series. With the abundance of fun distractions, quirky side stories, break-neck and brutal combat, and the franchise's signature dark, if sometimes convoluted story, newcomers and veterans are in for a real treat.
Shining Resonance Refrain is a decidedly adequate game. It has dozens of hours of content, but those hours include passable battles, an average story, tired MMO elements, and a mediocre dating sim to boot. It's not going to twist the arm of someone who's sworn off JRPGs like Persona 5 would, but it could do just enough to satisfy die-hard fans of the genre.