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Ben Thompson

Zanarkand

Favorite Games:

55 games reviewed
76.7 average score
80 median score
32.7% of games recommended
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The enhancements fitted to Atelier Lulua easily make it the most approachable game in the subseries, despite it not being completely free of faults.

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The Arland series thus far – especially Meruru – has taught me that going out of my comfort zone with RPGs can be quite a rewarding endeavor.

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The Atelier Arland series continues to amaze me in ways I never expected from the outset. Atelier Totori, like Rorona before it, features deep, engaging gameplay systems which demand thinking and strategy despite people frolicking around in what is to be considered the alchemical equivalent of “tutus.” The story isn’t going to be the driving force of the whole experience, but it does have the potential to wrap up neatly enough in the end. The pacing here is so much smoother than that of Rorona, to the point that I wish that this would have been my first foray into Arland. Alas, you really should play Rorona before diving into this one, unless you don’t care about the story and characters whatsoever. That said, if you enjoyed Rorona, definitely give this one a go. It won’t blow your socks off, but it is still worth your time.

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While not a perfect game, nor will it be for everyone, Atelier Rorona can easily provide hours of entertainment for those that dig time management, intricate crafting mechanics, and especially multiple endings/playthroughs. Resource management is a must in order to get the most out of the experience, and your familiarity with the franchise may end up affecting the overall opinion you form of the title when it stands on its own. As I’ve come to experience first hand, growing pains might detract some from fully appreciating the game, especially if you aren’t interesting in playing through it more than once. That said, the core mechanics have certainly piqued my interest, and I’m genuinely looking forward to my next outing in Arland, and there will be another soon!

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May 22, 2019

Undead Horde achieves some of its aspirations, but not in a way that is likely to leave a lasting impression on you.

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May 20, 2019

Quest of Dungeons might be one of the oldest rogue-likes on Switch, but it is easily one of the most entertaining for the price.

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May 13, 2019

Darkest Hunters is not a bad game, especially given its price point. But the content itself quickly feels just like you're "going through the motions", save for some of the more thrilling scenarios against bosses.

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The focus on masquerades and pushing it to a legitimate political centerpiece, as well as infusing it with otherworldly magical properties, is both refreshing and interesting take on the "detective's tale". That is why it is all too unfortunate that Masquerada's potential is marred by poor, repetitive combat and meaningless character progression – which would not be an issue at all if it weren't billed as an RPG in the first place.

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May 7, 2019

The blend of rogue-like/lite mechanics, RPG elements, and Zelda-esque dungeon diving makes The Swords of Ditto: Mormo's Curse a delight, but only if you are willing to embrace its zaniness first.

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May 2, 2019

Fans of 16-bit era JRPGs itching for their next meaningful experience need look no further than Shadows of Adam.

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