Not A Hero is another great title from Roll7, and another must play title for fans of games that make you pull out your hair with their difficulty, but give you the best feeling imaginable when you clear a level. The writing certainly gets a little too flavourful for its own good, but it still does a great job of connecting the experience and making you want to play the next level right away. It's a short experience, but a memorable one, although if you go for all of the bonus challenges, it'll be anything but a short experience.
Despite my gripes with the game and the struggle to make it through achingly slow opening chapter, the care and detail that went into the game is clear to see, and I know there are JRPG fans that live to appreciate the kind of meticulous detail that this game contains. Trails of Cold Steel wants you to strap in for the long haul, and as the first of three chapters it’s not afraid to take its time. If you want a JRPG that isn’t afraid to soak you in story until you’re nothing but wrinkles, this is absolutely the game for you.
Nitroplus Blasterz will no doubt fly under the radar of many, and that's a huge disappointment. With strong gameplay and a healthy amount of unique characters, it's a game that lives up to the pedigree of its developer. In a lot of ways, it even outdoes their previous titles. Casual and experienced fighting game players alike will find something to enjoy in this package, and fans of anime and Japanese media might even walk away with a few new titles to check out.
Stranger of Sword City excels at one thing, and really flounders at the others. It’s a rewarding experience if you’re a fan of challenging RPGs and gameplay depth. If you’re a fan of well-written dialogue, engaging music or proper difficulty curves though…well….there are a lot of other video games out there that may suit you better.
The Banner Saga 2 doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, it just makes the wheel bigger and keeps on rolling. Even with minor stumbles in the form of slow combat animation and initially overwhelming combat mechanics, it's a game that excels at what it aims to accomplish. Fans of the first game will love it, and entirely new players will come to love it. If you need a new tactical RPG in your life, make it The Banner Saga 2.
Atelier Sophie is a wonderful change of pace from every other JRPG I've played. The simple, homegrown story is a breath of fresh air, and the unique focus on alchemy and item gathering over combat and grinding helps it stand out even more. Most surprising of all, though, is that a game all about picking up items, navigating menus and walking around the same town for hours and hours kept me more engaged than almost any other JRPG I've played. Atelier Sophie is a wonderful game, and if you're a new player like me, it's a great way to get yourself hooked on the rest of the franchise.
Grand Kingdom is one of the most interesting things I've ever had on my Vita, combining so many ideas together and somehow making them all work. Like a weird looking dish at a foreign restaurant your cousin recommended, you might doubt it can be anything other than a huge mess, but once you get a taste of it, you'll realize just how wrong you were.
Melty Blood maintains all of the charm and polish that made it so popular in the fighting game community all those years ago. Long-time fans finally have an official way to enjoy this cult classic, and it’s an almost museum-like look into an iconic chapter of fighting games. Despite a lackluster package surrounding the awe-inspiring gameplay, it’s a game that has stood the test of time and people who are passionate about fighting games owe it to themselves to pay it a visit.
Duelyst had me hooked, as I put hours and hours into it almost every day. If I had written my review for it at that point, it would have done incredibly well in my books, with it's fascinating tactical RPG twist on the familiar card game play. But after playing with friends, I struggle to go back to playing against anonymous opponents in ranked play, and I just don't know how much more time I see myself putting into this game.