Enjoyment of Fallen Legion largely comes down to whether fighting battle after battle continues to feel fresh and if the prospect of panic inducing boss fights elevates your heart rate in a good way. The story is interesting and learning the fate of both Rowena and Lucien provides a degree of motivation to continue but certainly isn’t enough if combat becomes to feel like a slog.
In the case of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, this joy originates from the complete freedom of exploring the beautiful and fascinating city of Balduq, and from the never ending optimism and sense of wonderment from the main protagonist, Adol Christin. Mix in a well paced story filled with twists and turns and a combat system that perfectly straddles the line between precision and chaos, and you have an experience as carefully crafted as the seemingly endless prison that is the focal point of the story.
Most fall short of this lofty goal, but every so often a game like Cyber Shadow manages to capture that special feeling of 8-bit gaming so perfectly. Made by a single developer, Aarne Hunziker, and with the help of a publisher who also managed to capture the NES magic in a bottle in Yacht Club Games, Cyber Shadow is just as enjoyable as any of the legendary titles in two-button gaming.
Unfortunately the timing of its release couldn’t be worse. With the runaway success of Hades still fresh on the minds of Switch owners, the classic mystery dungeon crawling of Shiren comes off feeling much more older than it actually is.
Enjoyment of Cloudpunk is really going to boil down to whether or not you enjoy the story. As well developed as the characters are, the story doesn’t necessarily provide anything revolutionary or unique. The back and forth between Raina and her AI dog are often entertaining, and a few interesting personalities are met along the way, but unfortunately Cloudpunk just doesn’t quite do enough to maintain my interest.
Few titles exist that feature one of the best combat systems ever created with a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Trails of Cold Steel IV is quite frankly one of the best RPGs I have ever played, and I cannot wait to see what the future of the franchise has in store.
The beautiful artwork and sprites are complemented by terrific sound design that gets the heart pumping in a good way. Those looking for a challenge and have the patience to withstand countless deaths, all in the name of incremental improvement have another title worth putting in many hours of roguelike joy.
The Long Dark is not only one of the best survival games available, it also features a thrilling story with twists and turns at every corner. Thanks to the multiple play modes that provide many many hours of entertainment, The Long Dark is truly the type of game to want if ever stranded on a deserted island, or stuck in a lone cabin in the middle of the Canadian Arctic.
Robots Under Attack! may not be bringing any terribly new ideas to the genre but what it does, it does well. The clean and clear aesthetic along with clever level design accomplishes what it sets out to do: provide a short and thoughtful experience. Whether you’re looking to kill a few minutes on the bus or wanting a brain workout before bedtime, figuring out how to blow up a bunch of robots is a satisfying use of time.
A few minor complaints aside, Atom RPG does a wonderful job of bringing the classic feel of CRPGs to the Nintendo Switch. It would be reasonable to expect a number of bugs to be present in such a complicated title from a group of indie developers, but the team did an exceptional job putting everything together.