The graphics and the base structure of Bravery and Greed are pretty good. The issues really come down to simple things like the entire point of collecting gold being almost useless, and the unlock systems leaving so much to be desired. The online is dead short of finding someone through Discord. It's sad because the game actually has the potential to be really good, but just needs a few overhauls to get there.
Graphically, some of the areas look great, and the story is interesting at points. The biggest problem that really drags down the experience is that combat is basic, repetitive, and ultimately uninspiring. The slot system is far more annoying than anything, and for how often players are in combat, it burns out quickly. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion feels more like a game that would be better to watch for the story, while skipping the gameplay. Zack deserved better than this.
The Gunvolt series was one of the better, and cooler, platformer series in recent history; unfortunately, the most recent games have just been entirely mediocre. Much like the previous Luminous Avenger, all the pieces are there for an absolutely fantastic game, but it never comes together. Regrettably, the story in Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 is the weakest in the series, and the two main characters are far more annoying than entertaining.
The Valiant's story is actually pretty interesting, but the gameplay (one of the core aspects of strategy titles) is just very middling. Unit issues like pathing and not all of them fighting, the fact that there's not much to really do, and the very "samey" combat unfortunately side-line the story. This feels a little too unpolished to have been released yet.
Ixion perhaps could be used as an example of flying so high... and then missing the mark and falling pretty far down. There is so much to recommend and enjoy about the game, especially if only checking the first few hours. But the more you play, the flaws, difficulty, unravelling story, and pretty much everything else frustrates to such a degree that many players are not going to finish the game, either due to the difficulty, or simply not wanting to do the same thing for five hours and hoping their ship doesn't blow up randomly.
In the end, there are too many substantial knocks against the game to really recommend it at large. For a very specific type of gamer who wants a super deep, complex series of systems to dive into and a world free-form exploration system, they will enjoy this game; but the majority of players will be put off by the unnecessary complexity at so many levels, the lack of a clear progression, and many other small knocks that really take out what could have been cool.
If this was a fan game you were showing to your friends (like it originally was) it would be much easier to recommend. Given that this is a full release and at almost full price it simply does not stack up to the plethora of other better titles. The music is weak, the difficulty annoying, and the platforming so badly controlled there is little to talk up - even to fans of Touhou.
Frozenheim doesn't do enough to stand out; furthermore, it suffers from some severe problems. The camera controls, unit controls, and just its overall feel makes it seem far more like an alpha build than something ready for release. While there are some small interesting things like finding free resources on the map, the game is not one to recommend.
Paradoxically, Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is both too long and too short. The ingredients are there to make a surprisingly awesome game, such as a type of sphere grid, tons of different moves and equipment. However, in reality it is largely a button masher that needs far too much grind which artificially inflates the length. Overall, it was surprising how good it actually was, and there is hope they make a second one.
As a huge fan of the original series, there is a lot of style drawn from it. The action is fast and looks good, and seeing the characters in another format is a great surprise. Some caution is warranted as the price tag is hefty and the lack of cross-play between PlayStation and PC might shorten the game's lifespan. While not nearly as tactical as PVP was due to its 3D plane, now condensed down to its 2D linear combat, it's a fun romp and the gallery/glossary of the lore is appreciated. In the end, as good as this game is, it's more of a reminder how much better DFO is.
Clearly a budget title, even looking past some of the obvious flaws like the laughably bad voice acting or the older console generation looking characters, the core game itself - fighting - leaves a lot to be desired. Enemies largely are punching bags with annoyingly large HP pools, but the game is unforgiving with how long there is between being able to save. Ultra Age had some clear potential but it really needed its quality spread across all aspects, the bad parts drag the rest of it down making it largely passable.
It is sad to give a rating this low to a game with this much potential. The UI in Hero's Hour is often problematic, and the graphics are just too basic to understand what is happening. Furthermore, there is a very heavy 'rush' element to the game rather than the more plodding pace of older games. If the graphics were better, some balance problems ironed out, and the UI was fixed, this would be an easy game to recommend to strategy players by a wide margin.
There is little in Magnum Lord that stands out as good or interesting. The story segments are mildly amusing, as well as a few of the characters, but the plot goes nowhere fast, and the rest of the game is hard to enjoy. Combat oscillates between two second stomps to five minute plus long slogs, all the while being far more boring than it might look. The entire other 'half' beyond the visual novel segments is laughably bad in the design and the game does little to separate itself from either better or more unique JRPGs currently out.
The tactical part of Reverie Knights Tactics is mildly interesting in its 'puzzle' nature, if it does not wear out its welcome through heavy RNG outcomes. However, severe loss of quality elsewhere really drags the experience down, the levelling/stats system is fairly boring, the character design is bad, and the story is utterly forgettable for how long it drones on between combat sections. There might be something here worth salvaging, but it would need to be hacked up and pasted back together first.
Zettai Hero Project is one of the best JRPGs you are likely to play if given the chance. Its unassuming nature belies an incredible plot of growth the player actually feels, unlike nearly every other RPG. Makai Kingdom is simply a bonus for how good ZHP is. While NIS missed a little of the mark with zero actual updates, upgrades, or anything similar, this itself still stands largely on its own as one of the best games one can ever play.
For Sci-fi strategy fans Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector is a pretty good hit, even without any exposure to the lore. There is just a lot of good things to say about mowing down aliens hordes. There are some small, but ever-present issues that drag down an otherwise really good experience. The UI is particularly abysmal, and some parts of the game really drag on and bog down, but overall it's a pretty fun deal.
While the overall package is lots of fun, it's not without a few issues. The lack of a truly driving story is by far Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream's weakest point. Furthermore, progression is in general just slow throughout, with endless backtracking. The simplified alchemy system is a mixed bag. It does little to stray from the formula and will be picked up by players exactly for that. It would be nice to see Gust take some risks and really step out with some new ideas rather than re-hashes of the same thing over and over.
AI WAR 2 is the type of game that would normally be very good. The concept and guerrilla warfare are both interesting ideas. However, this just doesn't really click or feel that interesting. Given players have access to so much stuff from the beginning, there is no sense of progression which might be the largest killer, if not the steep learning curve. Some might really enjoy it, but general strategy players won't want to hop through all the hoops.
There are some rough spots with the UI, a bit of repetition with some overworld aspects, but nitpicks aside Trials of Fire was actually highly enjoyable both as a strategy game, and a deck builder. The fact the game has some strong Heroes of Might and Magic vibes going on is icing on the cake. The problem comes through that a single play (~2-4 hours) is about all it takes to get most out of the game. After that players likely won't be back.
Soul Nomad more than Phantom Brave is the real prize in Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 1; anyone who has played it will recommend its entertaining game, dark story, and just overall high quality. This collection is fun simple because the old games are good, but the real problem is that there is zero extra content added to the package. No quality-of-life improvements, no graphics updates, nothing that make the two games more accessible. The old games are essentially great, but the package itself is non-existent and feels half-hearted. This is such a huge waste and a missed opportunity, unfortunately it drags down what could have been an outstanding experience.