If you love these small, niche JRPGs and can snag a copy of Dragon Star Varnir at a discount, I'd say pick it up. The $60 price point for recycled assets and a game that has more reading than voice over just seems a little too steep for me. But hey, that's just one girl's opinion.
After the hours spent with Lulua, her bestest gal pal Eva, and the other members of her menagerie, I must admit that I am hooked on Arland. Knowing that the Arland Atelier Trilogy Plus collection was released on the PS4 not too long ago, I foresee new additions to my digital backlog in my immediate future. But for right now, it's back to deciphering all of these remaining Alchemyriddle pages!
All in all, Fade to Silence has been an enjoyable experience for me. It's got the resource management and camp building that I seem to be drawn to and challenging but not Soulsbourne level enemies to tackle. The glitches are easily fixed with patches (knock on wood that they are in the pipeline), and there's a decently sized map to explore with hidden passages and caverns to loot.
After an entire calendar year in Portia, there's still so much more for me to do. There are new areas to unlock and explore, buildings to reopen, and I still haven't convinced Gust that we should be married and become a powerhouse architect firm. I may not reconstruct every single lost relic that lays beneath Portia in the ruins, but I'll be damned if I don't get Gust to wear my ring.
In a week where I had two puzzle-platformers land in my lap, Degrees of Separations comes out on the bottom. The entire time I was playing it, all I wanted to do was switch back to The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince. Especially once I hit the third world in Degrees of Separation, where puzzle solving was no longer a fun challenge, but a grueling test of my patience. I wanted to love it; the art, the soundtrack, and the story were what had my heart set on enjoying while playing this one. I hate to say it, but I'm not sure if I'll ever attempt to put all the stars back in the sky.
Holy Potatoes! We're in Space?! sticks to its strengths, keeping true to their time management roots and nailing those parodies. That tutorial battle took me a little longer than I thought it would, but eventually I got the hang of it. There was some trial and error during the first mission as I had to switch my brain from thinking this was A Weapon Shop?!. But once I put on my Mal Reynolds suspenders, it was smooth sailing. Now I'm the best damn pilot in the galaxy, zipping all over the place blasting baddies out of the sky. I even have a furry sidekick. This could be your life, too, since Holy Potatoes! We're in Space?! is out now on the PlayStation 4.
If you're looking for an indie RPG that tugs at your heartstrings, Smoke and Sacrifice is that game. Sachi fights her way through the unknown, scavenging for tools and food. She pushes past the obstacles in her way driven to bring her lost child home. A mother's perseverance and strength give me those Kleenex commercial feels. It'll take about twenty hours to complete the story and side quests, which is a good length for an indie game of this scope. And those of us who get emotionally invested in games like these might want to have something comforting at hand. My go-to: a giant bag of M&Ms and some good Japanese whisky, neat.
One of my favorite things about Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 is that it's not shy about its appropriation of other video game franchises. There are Romans disguised in costumes giving nods to franchises like Super Mario, Pac-Man, and Rayman. Take a few minutes to look around when you reach new areas and see what Easter eggs you can spot. The game has also made sure to match the humor of the comic series. The awful puns, roast boar for health, Obelix's complaints about being forbidden from drinking the magic potion. All of those nostalgic feelings came flooding back within minutes of starting the game. Like I'm ten again, sitting in my favorite chair with a stack of Asterix books from the library. It's most definitely a game built for the Asterix & Obelix fandom.
With so many choices left unexplored and far too many hidden items I have yet to discover, 11-11: Memories Retold is a replayable title with new experiences for me to discover. What if I don't send that picture to Julia and send this one instead? And where is that last card game I seem to have missed? It only took about four and a half hours for me to complete the game once. Surely I can spare another afternoon or two to bolster my trophy count and make some tough choices.
Although my journey with The Path of Motus was short, when I put down my controller and went to bed for the evening I was still thinking about the message within. It reminded me of a lot of events in my life that I'd rather forget. Any game, no matter the size and scope, that can drag those dredged up feeling from the hole I buried them in is both a blessing and a curse. Now excuse me while I shovel them back down and drown them with ice cream. (Thank the gods this game came out during National Ice Cream Month.)