Ultimately, as a fan of Made in Abyss I’m disappointed more than anything given the potential of the source material. The game’s writing carries most of what’s good here and it’s a good introduction to the first part of the manga’s story.
So if you like immersive sniper combat and the satisfaction of landing those sneaky headshots, then Sniper Elite 5 is a game for you. The game is nothing but wall to wall tactical and precise sniping, bombing, and assassination. There’s some running and gunning, but if you play the way the game is designed, you won’t be doing much of that.
The change to 3D and other changes introduced in Rune Factory 5 are well intentioned but poorly executed. Asides from some new quality of life features, I’d only recommend this game if you’re a fan who’s already exhausted all the content of Rune Factory 4 and just wants more Rune Factory, and if you haven’t played the fourth one already then you definitely should.
Ultimately, Triangle Strategy is a strong narrative RPG with an identity all its own. Triangle Strategy is a worthy successor to Final Fantasy Tactics, but if you’re like me you’ll have to learn to remove that expectation and let the game have its own identity.
Lost Ark tries to be an MMO however and features a shared world (with multiple “channels”, similar to WoW's controversial “shards”). But with a limited amount of NPCs and resources at any given time this is probably for the best. For a free to play game, the graphics are fairly good for an action RPG.
Ultimately, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker continues the game’s legacy of immersive storytelling, fantastic music, and inspiring dialogue. Which is fitting, as Endwalker is to be the end of the current saga of Hydaelyn and Zodiark. This statement which has left gamers scratching their heads over what will come next.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is a faithful adaptation of the tabletop game, and a direct improvement from Pathfinder: Kingmaker. The army management system is more hands-on than the kingdom management of the previous game, but it’s a less fulfilling experience. Fans of fantasy RPGs like Baldur’s Gate, Tyranny, or tabletop RPGs would be well-served to give this game a chance.
Fans of the earlier entries in the series will have little to complain about, and it’s a great new story for beginners to the franchise as well who find the older games inaccessible. But all this comes with one caveat: Please do not come into this expecting a realistic historical story. You’ll only end up disappointed.
Fans of classic JRPGs will find a lot to like about Cris Tales, and a high tolerance for random encounters will help. Casual gamers will have an easy time digesting this game, but those random encounters will quickly become a problem for those lacking the tenacity and patience.
World End Economica ultimately stands out as a modern classic of the visual novel genre. But like classics, they’re not for everyone. Players might be put off by the first game, but anyone who has even an inkling of interest by the time the prologue is done would be well served to try and see it through.
Players will find themselves enamored with the game’s grimdark aesthetic and art direction; and while there may be some hiccups with the stage design or some frustration with the combat, Ender Lilies is a welcome addition to the Metroidvania genre that is likely to satisfy a broad swathe of gamers.
The game manages to catch a large assortment of players. Fans of the anime will definitely want to follow this adventure in the land of Lodoss, while those unfamiliar with the series will find the game to be a satisfying standalone game with an easy enough story to follow.
Ultimately, World Splitter is a game that should be taken at face value. It’s a creative puzzle-platformer that’s rough around the edges. Six worlds and a couple dozen stages that can all be completed in under 6-8 hours if you’re clever. It’s a fun diversion, and those who enjoyed the Flash games of yesteryear will find World Splitter to be a comfort. But for those expecting a little more for a full game will be left wanting.
You’ll have fun if you like puzzle platformers, but you’ll lament what Balan Wonderworld could have been, and deserved to be. I do want to close out saying that I did enjoy Balan Wonderworld, but I can appreciate the fact that it’s an unpolished game oozing with wasted potential. I just have a soft spot for 3D platformers.
Those looking for a platforming challenge will want to steer clear of the heavy narrative focus in Lost Words. Meanwhile, fans of visual novels will likely be able to overlook the lacking conventional gameplay and really appreciate the story and beauty of the game.