Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a Musou game that asks a lot of “what ifs.” What if Byleth didn’t come to Garreg Mach as a teacher? What if someone else ended up aiding Claude, Dimitri, and Edelgard when the three encountered bandits? What if, instead of a traditional tactical game like Three Houses, Three Hopes was a more active one? The answers to all of them, perhaps not shockingly, are rather fascinating.
There are certain otome games in which the romance is absolutely there, but might not always feel like the main focus. For example, Hakuoki is absolutely romantic, but it also a thriller offering an alternate, supernatural take on the Shinsengumi and Bakumatsu period. Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei feels similar, due to it being a Heian period piece offering its own alternate take on the events after the Heiji rebellion.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge feels like a time capsule. You can tell going into it that the people at Tribute Games deeply respected the source material. They did their research, both in terms of watching the show and playing past titles.
Even if Tempest is one of those Switch otome games that dares to be different, in terms of its gameplay, story, and tone. I appreciate what it does, even if that does mean I needed to spend a lot of time with it to unlock routes and endings. It’s just a shame that I encountered so many crashes.
Card Shark is a game that made me feel daring, and I was glued to my Switch trying to outsmart my opponents. Yes, every once in a while I’d come across a con I didn’t enjoy as much as the others. But considering the assortment of tricks you learn and the way the challenge grows, it still can feel very satisfying.
Touken Ranbu Warriors is an odd sort of Musou game. It’s a completely single-player experience, for one. Its cast is small, which is surprising given there are over 200 characters in Touken Ranbu proper. While it focuses on historical battles, it chops things up to focus on parts of a whole. It’s a very niche entry in a series that itself is on the edge of the mainstream. Not to mention it is one that simplifies the situation. Perhaps even excessively!
Have you ever looked at a crossword and thought, “This makes me think, but not as much as I’d like?” Perhaps you played a few KenKen puzzles and considered it not your thing due to the use of numbers? Maybe you started getting into puzzle games with Wordle and want to move on to something new like it. Knotwords combines elements from all three into something that feels distinctly refreshing.
However with Seven Pirates H, the latest adventure, it feels lacking compared to the other entries. There is the same level of fanservice people familiar with the series would expect. (I’d say in some ways, it feels pushes the envelope more than past games.) However, there doesn’t seem to be as much content and gameplay as other installments.
There are times when Kickstarter projects will involve “bonus games” as stretch goals. For example, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s crowdfunding campaign led to Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is that for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. However, while the Inti Creates bonus game is a compelling and rich title in its own right, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is “just okay” and feels like a clunky collection of fetch quests.
Atelier Sophie 2 is an upgrade to the original game, but you really have to love Sophie and Plachta to get the most out of it.