The Forgotten City is an easy recommendation for those who place more emphasis on storytelling than action combat. It is an engaging mystery set in an intriguing location, and the time loop mechanic makes it quite forgiving of mistakes, even going so far as to encourage players at times to break the Golden Rule themselves to trigger the next jump back in time.
What’s clear is that this game won’t win over those who were previously on the fence about the series. While the narrative, combat, and management aspects all work as intended, they probably appeal to different audiences rather than create one cohesive experience; those finding satisfaction in one particular area may end up being frustrated in another.
The Yakuza games are very much their own thing, and are so densely packed with content that they may require some palate-cleansers in between. But for those who don’t mind doing some serious homework in the form of three mandatory amazing-in-their-own-right prequels, this collection is easily a must-play.
Even after having completed the game, it’s hard to know exactly what to make of Paradise Killer. The concept of an open-world murder mystery is very intriguing, and the world offers enough piecemeal rewards to spur on thorough exploration. But the flip-side of that same coin is the potential to severely hamstring the pacing of the already difficult-to-navigate narrative.
Death end re;Quest 2 carries over most of the first installment’s major aspects — both good and bad — while also distancing itself enough from its predecessor to make it feel almost standalone. However, the removal of a number of unique ideas previously implemented means the shortcomings are much more apparent this time around, and the formula established by the first game is starting to wear woefully thin.
It would be easy to dismiss it merely as a novelty, as other peripheral-based games certainly have been in the past. But that would be doing a disservice to the ingenuity with which the designers have found a way to get players to try out a workout routine and, even more impressively, stick to it.
While it isn’t a flawless experience and absolutely refuses to hold the player’s hand, it does manage to set itself apart by virtue of its unrelenting difficulty, all while telling a story that comes closer to Lovecraftian fiction than many of its contemporaries.