Like any other game in this series, SaGa can be a lot to get used to at first. You have to figure out if things like random skill activations and stat bumps (instead of EXP), enemy power scaling, obtuse event flags and generally having no obvious clues as to what the hell to do can work for you. But if you can settle into the vibe and just go with the flow, Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song Remastered is a tremendous adventure that only gets better over time.
Dragon Quest Treasures is not the console Monsters sequel of my dreams, but it does an excellent job carving its own identity out of this historied IP. It runs great for a Nintendo Switch exclusive, and is absolutely dripping with personality quirks and a whimsically romantic view of treasure hunting.
If you like anime, John Wick-like gunplay and have a certain tolerance for jagged edges, Gungrave G.O.R.E. is a fantastic use of your gaming time. If you’ve been around since Gungrave on the PS2 and Madhouse’s weirdly brilliant anime adaptation, I’m surprised you’re even reading this.
Potionomics isn’t a “chill vibes” kind of management sim. It’s a “survive misery by being ironically miserable yourself” kind of management sim. It’s like when you work at Walmart and everything about it is terrible, but you find relief in commiserating with your coworkers. But instead of having fun talking trash and doing dangerous things like mishandling equipment or flirting, you’re doing reckless magical chemistry and trading ribs with a talking owl. And flirting.
It turned out to be a pretty interesting combination of classic SMT systems, lots of nerdy skill tinkering and a story about adults fighting for a world very similar to our own and figuring out why along the way. Not bad for a series that can’t get its own name straight!
Metal Max Xeno Reborn is a totally fine game with awesome tank tinkering and a cool dog that straps a machine gun to its back and draws power from its bodily fluids. But if you’ve played the original Metal Max Xeno, you might be more confused than hyped. It’s more of the cool tank stuff, but a dramatic shift in style and tone that just makes the weird low budget JRPG feel like a weird low budget JRPG in a different way.
The Sickos need love every now and then. Capcom Fighting Collection is a weird, wonderful compilation that never would’ve existed ten years ago. And at the very least for the broader fighter audience, Red Earth is cool as hell and arguably worth the price of admission by itself.