The world setting of the Dusk Trilogy is one of the bleakest of all the Atelier games but that doesn't mean that it's a depressing story. The enthusiastic and endearing alchemists persevere through this dark world to create a warm uplifting tale that's sure to put a smile on your face. All three games will see you exploring, crafting, and battling monsters but there are plenty of differences between each game that keep things really engaging and a real pleasure to play though.
While the idea of being able to influence the evolution of your clan of apes seems novel and exciting the reality is that it's a bit of a repetitive slog. Through bad decisions or sheer bad luck, it's far too easy to wipe out your whole clan which means that you'll have to start all over again from the beginning. It's an interesting experience but one that's tough to recommend to anyone but the most patient of gamers.
Even if you're not familiar with Blacksad's previous adventures, fans of games like L.A. Noire or any of the Telltale adventures will find something to like about Blacksad: Under the Skin. It's a real shame, then, that the game is so buggy on release. Numerous technical issues really spoil what would otherwise be a very entertaining whodunit.
I really can't stress enough how absolutely gorgeous this game is, the exquisitely detailed pixel art style and the brilliant narration combine to create a really atmospheric game. The random nature of the floor layouts and the different combat style of each character means that every time you venture into the depths of the dungeon, you're sure to have a very different but incredibly enjoyable experience.
The game can be quite the challenge until you really get the hang of all the various systems, being able to manage what your people do and who they fight is incredibly addictive. It's also really thrilling whenever you manage to pull your clan back from the brink of disaster. If you're a fan of strategy games then it's definitely worth giving Northgard a try.
Investigating gruesome murders in AI: The Somnium Files is fun even though it's not particularly challenging. What really makes this game worth playing is its gritty sci-fi story and engaging characters. The mix of oddball characters work perfectly together to make you experience a rollercoaster of emotions, and piecing together all the threads of the story will reveal some surprising plot twists.
Decay of Logos is a game that's an absolute joy to get lost in. It's not going to hold your hand, and it expects you to indulge your curiosity by exploring hidden pathways and seeking out the land's dark secrets. While the combat can be quite tough, it feels much more accessible than games like the Souls series - it won't take too long before you're ducking and dodging like a pro.
It's a shame that Labyrinth Life didn't choose to go the route of Criminal Girls 2, where it released with mini-games in tact but had artwork that was redrawn by the original Japanese team to be a bit less smutty. Releasing the game without many of the naughty mini-games means that you see it for what it truly is; an uninspiring dungeon crawler that, apart from the challenge dungeons, is a bit of a dull slog to play through.
You can really see that the developer has tried hard to address the criticisms of the first game. The mini-games are a fun new addition to the combat system but don't totally eliminate the repetitive nature of the fights. The memorable cast of characters and kooky storyline helps to keep things fresh but ultimately this isn't too different from the first Citizens game.