Jorge S Fernandez
Though it may require a bit of patience to get to the sweet stuff, Atelier Ryza is a wholesome and addicting experience that RPG fans will gleefully gulp down, even if they've never dabbled with the Atelier franchise before. Thanks to the strong visuals and countless gameplay features, now is the best time to jump in on this niche series, which may end up becoming much more recognizable thanks to this latest solid entry.
For better or worse, The Alliance Alive is the very definition of a mid-tier RPG. The visuals and story fall under the line of "good enough" that they don't necessarily have to aim for greater heights, while the content is practically bursting with customizable features and mechanics that will drive stat-lovers into a joyous frenzy, even though the time it takes to reach to the juicy center is a bit on the long side.
In the end, Mini-Mech Mayhem's charming aesthetic might win kids over, but whether or not they'll have the patience for the tedious controls and length of matches is another thing entirely. The concept of a strategy game playing out on a virtual board is an intriguing one, but like many PSVR experiments, this one fails to execute its ambitious concepts effectively, much less create an alternative experience to traditional console-based strategy games played with a controller.
When all is said and done, for anyone who has a desire to pick up a VR magic-casting simulator, The Wizards: Enhanced Edition is the better-controlling option, though it lacks much of the overall polish found in The Mage's Tale, particularly when it comes to exploring areas (there have also been a few cases of progress being halted due to the occasional glitch, forcing a restart of the level).
All in all, The Mage's Tale is an ambitious title that incorporates a lot of neat features that would prove charming in a perfect VR environment, but instead demonstrates the infancy of the technology when so much of it fails to register properly. There are still fun moments to be had during the instances where everything works, but an uneven control scheme results in an uneven experience regardless of intentions.
Beyond those changes, this is still the same game as the PS2 original, and much of the gameplay still holds up, minus some cheap one-hit death puzzles that prove extra frustrating since they occur during some unskippable cutscenes. While the experimental combination of Survival Horror and Capcom-style Action proved more successful with its sequels, Onimusha: Warlords is still an entertaining prototype that is worth a revisit for fans and a first look for newcomers.