Minor annoyances aside, Toukiden 2 has some truly addictive gameplay and tonnes of content to chew through. The game's dripping with atmosphere and looks great, with plenty of varied, large open world areas to explore. Meanwhile, the battle system is satisfyingly fast paced, and nothing quite compares to the power trip of ripping off the body parts of a giant demon.
A Rose in the Twilight is a gorgeous yet gruesome game filled with lots of clever puzzles. And although it won't take you too long to explore the setting, there are collectibles as well as a fun speed run mode to keep you busy. The pure innocence and bravery of Rose in the face of the castle's cruelty makes for a haunting journey - one that'll stick in your mind for some time.
While not perfect, Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is fairly impressive to look at. It has a beautiful and intriguing world, so it's a bit of a shame that you don't get to learn more of the history behind it. Still, there's a tough but fun battle system to get to grips with and plenty of puzzles to solve. If you prefer your RPGs to be more relaxed and serene then you may struggle with this one, as the fast-paced combat system means that button mashing your way through it will quickly lead to the game over screen. But for as much as we enjoyed our time on Mahera, a poor combat camera and plethora of bugs let it down – here's hoping for a quick patch.
Overall Operation Babel is a frustrating experience. The game mechanics aren't explained particularly well, and so you'll need a lot of patience to figure out how everything works. If you're a newcomer to the genre then you're better off playing something like Ray Gigant. While Babel has some interesting mechanics, it definitely lacks a lot of the polish of similar titles like Stranger of Sword City. Simply put, there are a lot of quality dungeon crawlers out there on Vita that do a much better job than Operation Babel.
You'll spend far more of your time watching cutscenes then you will exploring dungeons and defeating enemies, so while the combat system is quite basic, the eclectic mix of characters and twisting storylines will hold your interest through to the end. Thus, if you think of Akiba's Beat as a visual novel with some light gameplay elements instead of thinking of it as an action RPG, then you'll probably enjoy it a whole lot more.
If you're a JRPG fan and can see past its dull dungeon design and grindy friendship system, then there is still fun to be had here, but you'll have to push through layers of tediousness to get to it. The Caligula Effect is a game with plenty of good ideas, but sadly, they're just not executed very well. It feels like developer Aquria has tried to implement so many ambitious concepts, but it doesn't actually take the time to flesh them out, and instead, repetition has been used to fill in the gaps.
God Wars: Future Past is an SRPG which feels less future-facing and more like it's stuck in the past. It does nothing to try and redefine the genre, but it does have a number of well executed mechanics including a compelling job system. SRPG fans should find just enough to like, and newcomers may also stumble across some tactical fun.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is an exhilarating adventure with plenty of secrets to uncover and a wonderous island for you to explore. If you're a fan of the series or are even just a fan of RPGs in general, then Lacrimosa of Dana is an easy title to recommend. Its fast paced combat system and intriguing storyline will keep you hooked throughout.
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is a fantastic sequel which will have you thinking about various plot points long after the credits roll. There's a great new cast of characters as well as five new adorable little bundles of mono-craziness to get to know. School life has never been so deviously deadly.
Mary Skelter: Nightmares has some really interesting features and an impressively dark atmosphere. While a lot of the mechanics within the dungeons will feel familiar to genre fans, the levels themselves are very well crafted. There's also a unique battle system to master and the random element of Nightmares chasing you down dark corridors will definitely get the adrenaline pumping.