Ultimately SWORD ART ONLINE: Alicization Lycoris takes too long to get to the point both in its combat and story, leaving the player disinterested before it even really begins. There is a good game here if you do commit to it, with some great character and world design, enjoyable combat, and interesting game systems, but it's just not worth the slog to reach it.
A visually beautiful and hilariously well-written experience let down by an overbearing and clunky fundamental gameplay system. Unfortunately, Paper Mario: The Origami King falls flat in its attempts to bring one too many things into the fold.
Granblue Fantasy: Versus is an interesting game, both mechanically sound and simple with a diverse roster. Absolutely gorgeous to behold, and mostly pleasant to hear, this is the sort of fighting game esports was made for. It's such a shame then that the single player content doesn't hit the mark, especially the often frustrating RPG Mode.
If a classic JRPG is what you're looking for, The Alliance Alive HD delivers most of what you could want, if little else. With a few tweaks to the JRPG formula, a likeable cast of occasionally dumb characters, and some interesting combat mechanics, it's not exactly breaking the mould, but it's doing a pretty good job of filling it.
Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy is more Layton, but with a host of new characters and a healthy dollop of puzzles. Unfortunately, they're weaker, more contrived tests of your mind than previously. Katrielle and the stellar supporting cast really boost the experience, as do the stunning visuals, but the sum of its parts is less than I expect from a Layton title.
With unenjoyable and clunky combat that is made much worse during the 3D segments, a laughably archetypal fantasy story, and dated character models, it's hard to actually believe that AeternoBlade II released this year for modern consoles. AeternoBlade II simply falls short of all of its ambitions, whatever they might have been.
With a lot of gameplay enhancements from previous iterations, a gorgeously rendered game world, and a whole host more besides, Luigi's Mansion 3 is easily the apex of the franchise. The sheer amount to see and do, along with the amount of adorable details, make this game a wonderful experience and one I would recommend. Sucking at games has (rarely) felt this good.
AI: The Somnium Files has to be easily one of the best visual novels I've ever had the joy of playing, maybe even ranks as one of the best games I've played this year. With superb visuals, engaging gameplay, likeable characters, and a twist-filled story to rival that of M. Night Shyamalan, this is definitely not a visual novel to be slept on (sorry).
With an insane (but great) storyline, borderline inappropriate dialogue and the fascination with crying aside of course, CRYSTAR is a decent little game. The combat and other things tend to be repetitive, but there's enough different things in here to keep the experience fresh. And after all, even with all of the gameplay flaws, you can still PET THE DAMN DOG.
Once you fall into the groove, Oninaki is greatly enjoyable, even if it initially falls flat because of its repetitive combat. The story heads to dark places surrounding the central theming, occasionally in a ham-fisted way, but still manages to have emotional impact. Ultimately though, Oninaki is a gem of a game if you're persistent in putting in the work. Tokyo RPG Factory have done it again