Still, after getting fully sucked into Persona 5 in 2017, I had fully intended on playing Persona 3 after so many people had told me it was their favorite entry. While the systems don’t hold up when stacked against the newer titles, I found its bleaker tone more endearing and lovable. It takes work to get to the end, but the complicated, messy, weird story is worth it.
I'm even more baffled by the enemies for which I don't even get the correct tools to fight. Bravely Default 2 makes it easy to find all enemy weaknesses when I use a turn to inspect them, but some enemies are weak to energy types that I didn't gain access to for a whole two chapters after I first encountered their symbol. The peak of this frustration was when I fought a boss with a beefy minion that was vulnerable only to electricity and light, and completely invulnerable to all physical attacks. I had one character who could cast electrical attacks, and I still had yet to see light energy.
It's crucial to slow down, take a breath, and watch everything, even when I want to rush through to find another clue. On the other hand, Telling Lies provides subtle reminders of the dangerous reality of rifling through stolen, encrypted files, and the level of secrecy required by that act. That tension helps the game crackle with life and urgency.
The other key loop in the game lies in all the armor you can craft, and the massive trees of weapon upgrades available. Most armor comes from harvesting parts from monsters, with some extra bits of ore or bone thrown in for good measure. Each set of armor comes with strengths to different types of elements, but what will surely sway many players between one piece and the next is the look; there are certain sets I still covet. Since there is no feasible way to get a full five-piece set from killing a monster one time, it takes multiple kills to collect all the scales, membranes, quills and pelts required.
It's hard to deny how much of a blemish Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite's visuals are, but it would still be a mistake to skip this entry for that reason alone. The fast tagging system and the Infinity Stones change up the series' standard mechanics and open up so many options for creative play, no matter your skill level. Infinite is expressive, exciting and fun to play, but the visuals inspire more eyerolls than the hype this series deserves.
What the first Splatoon did well is still built into the sequel's barnacle-encrusted DNA, and now it's on a system that you can stuff in your bag or play on the couch. It's baffling that Splatoon 2's best feature is held back by a frustrating lack of proper online support, and in many ways, it's the same game with some new tricks. But there are still enough imaginative additions for anyone who played the first game to death, especially via its strange, captivating supporting cast. It may be much more of the same, but the same is still pretty fresh.
Tekken 7 is a sweet reward for anyone who's been following along for more than two decades, but it could do a lot more to onboard new fans — especially considering the uneven story and lack of a strong tutorial. Still, if you want to spend the time (and look for help on YouTube), Tekken 7's unforgettable characters and fluid fights are worth the work.