At its best when its focus is divided, Like a Dragon: Ishin! is a fun Bakumatsu sandbox. It doesn't have the engrossing standout minigame like the cabaret or business management challenges of previous titles, and its time period means it also doesn't pack a fun arcade. But its jack-of-all-trades approach still resonates.
While it's unlikely to transcend genre preferences, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a gift for those who love JRPG trappings. There are lands to explore, combat systems to optimize, and lore implications for longtime franchise fans. And at the very least? You certainly get your money's worth.
Increased enthusiasm for tactical role-playing games in recent years is leading to a wealth of fun indie experiences in the genre. Dancing Dragon Games, a small JRPG developer, partnered with Dark Deity publisher Freedom Games for its own entry, Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga. It isn’t just an homage, though, offering overlaid tactical systems that make it feel mechanically distinct. The scrappy release isn’t much of a looker (though there’s some nice sprite work!), but the gameplay is what matters, and there’s a lot of thought to it.
Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Forbidden West is the sort of game that is easy to anticipate. It’s big! It’s full of interesting stuff to do! Many were sold on the promise of the PlayStation 5 at launch by the prospect of sinking days and weeks into a new Horizon. Thankfully, Forbidden West delivers on that promise in many ways.
Fans of golf RPGs? We’ve had a tough time of it lately. Recent Mario Golf entries have failed to deliver the depth of the Game Boy gems. The sequel to indie hit Golf Story, Sports Story? It’s on the way, we hear, but not as quickly as fans would want. So if you like this particular combination, you may be seeking out a stopgap.
Oink Games’ line of analog titles is all about packing value into an attractive, portable package. It makes sense, then, that Let’s Play! Oink Games is similarly slick. The collection, out now, includes four of the studio’s most popular releases, packaged up for both local and online play.