River City: Rival Showdown leans more heavily on the RPG elements that the original River City Ransom brought to the beat em' up genre with a stronger focus on a narrative and exploration. Being on a handheld, the new game prioritizes the single-player experience in its core design which loses the charm of the couch co-op that made the original game so memorable to many players back in the day. River City: Rival Showdown ushers in some big changes while still does a good job bringing the original River City Ransom into modern times while still honoring its Kunio-kun roots pretty well.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA has its share of flaws but its very satisfying combat more than makes up for it while the fun exploration and good story kept me going through all of it. Ys fans will love this one, and those new to the series are sure to get some enjoyment with the solid fast paced action that might turn them into fans as well. This is definitely a game I would like to have with me to play if I ever get shipwrecked on a deserted island.
I kept thinking that Fallen Legion was a much more expensive game with just how it looked and sounded. The art and music are standouts, despite their modesty. Everything else would have greatly benefited from more polish, but there is great potential in these games. I cannot wait to see what the developers make next.
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada brings plenty of welcome elements to the formula and makes me excited for what Omega Force holds for us in the future once it fine tunes everything introduced in this game. While it brings plenty of shiny new features, it feels smaller in scale compared to the last mainline entry. But those new little things do add up to a lot. Spirit of Sanada offers a fresh take on the Warriors experience that can be very welcoming to newcomers and veterans alike.
Toukiden 2 is a great leap towards a much needed evolution, it dares to add new things and challenge tradition. Hunting games usually get an enhanced edition that adds all kinds of stuff and I eagerly await what Omega Force will bring on next time around. In the mean time, I’m gonna play more of this game for few more dozen hours.
Atelier Shallie Plus may close the curtains of the Dusk trilogy, but it is a good place to start for those new to the Atelier games and can even be a good way to ease into the series. The story doesn’t get overly serious while maintaining a lighter tone than your typical JRPG. Being on a portable like the Vita, this entry makes it easy to pick up and play where you can get things accomplished in short sessions. Atelier Shallie Plus is perfect for anyone ever interested in trying out an Atelier game.
The price is on the lower end, but may still be too much for the entire package for most players. It can be knocked out in a few sessions in a weekend, so if you are desperate for a somewhat competent metroidvania and have plenty of patience to spare, Exile's End might have something for you.