None of these faults make Adventures of Mana a particularly bad game. It's just a primitive action RPG that, in many ways, seems outmoded in this day and age. While it may hold some appeal for nostalgic Game Boy fans, I wish Square Enix had gone to the trouble of remaking the game in a less perfunctory way. As it stands, this one's difficult to recommend to all but the most ardent RPG enthusiasts.
Nearly 14 years after first bursting onto the scene, Melty Blood has aged to the point of near-perfection. While a few aspects of the package leave something to be desired, the fact remains that, at its core, this is a supreme fighter with a diverse roster and deep, compelling mechanics that merit your attention.
Ultimately, Star Fox Guard's relationship to the adventures of Fox McCloud is skin deep. As spin-offs go, it's not a compelling addition to the series, so much as it is a substantially unconnected, but inventive take on the tower defense genre that is lucky to be riding on the coattails of an established franchise.
République is a competent stealth game that leaves plenty of room for improvement. While it weaves a number of intriguing plot threads into an interesting story full of socio-political motifs, it's ultimately an uneven ride that could have done a better job conveying its ideas.
This is a brutal hybrid of Metroidvania and action RPG that will beat players down and have them coming back for more. Though it doesn't stray far from its inspiration, Salt and Sanctuary is a finely-crafted tribute to From Software's work and is absolutely dripping with the signature cartoon aesthetic and punk rock style fans of Ska Studios have come to know and love.
While Far Cry Primal is a well-made experience, one I enjoyed a great deal, it oftentimes had me thinking about the routine the series has settled into, and envisioning a future where the Far Cry formula may not be as compelling as it once was, no matter how extraordinary the setting.
Even though I still have no idea who most of these characters are, that didn't end up mattering to me in the end. Nitroplus Blasterz is a fast, smooth, strategic, and generally enjoyable fighting game that has found a happy medium between accessibility and depth. Provided a decent-sized community builds around the game, this is a fighter I could see myself enjoying for a long time to come.
This fusion of visual novel of rhythm game isn't exactly perfect, but speaking as someone who loves Persona (and Shoji Meguro's work in particular), I really enjoyed my time with this one. It might be pure fan service, but sometimes maybe that's enough.
Its pace may be too plodding for some and it certainly seems somewhat backwards or dated in relief with other modern strategy games, but Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence still remains an ornate and absorbing title that kept me engaged for hours on end and surely will continue to do so.
At its core, Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker is still a satisfying fusion of classic "MegaTen" and strategy gameplay. And with the new story content and other additions and enhancements, this is definitely the best version of the game. Whether it's enough to warrant a second purchase is debatable, but given a choice between the two, this is without question the one to get.
Meanwhile, the gameplay is a heady, engrossing experience. But it's also one that is frequently undermined by the tedious and protracted nature of enemy turns. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a decent, respectable game with some truly euphoric highs amid equitably frustrating lows.
Despite those minor gripes, Roll7 has easily outdone itself with this one. OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood is a massive step up from the original game. It's a gorgeous, worthy successor that's even more absorbing and difficult to put down. Get ready for your next gaming obsession.
Persona Q can be grind. It can be frustrating, and, at times, it made me want to fling my 3DS across the room. It's also a heartwarming love letter to Persona fans, and an engrossing role-playing game, among the best the 3DS has to offer. Let go and enjoy the ride.
Natural Doctrine isn't atrocious, but it does have a lot of issues. It's as frequently enjoyable as it is repugnant, an experience that will often blindside you with cheap deaths that reek of artificial difficulty. Some will enjoy it, sure. But it's a hard sell to all but the most staunch and patient SRPG fans. And even then it will undoubtedly test those players' resolve.