In the end, No Place for Bravery lives or dies based on the strength of its combat system. Other aspects like its graphics, music, and storytelling are passable without being outright noteworthy, but an action RPG must nail its combat, and here the game falters.
Citizen Sleeper is the kind of game one has to be in the right mood for. The setting is cold and alienating, while the overall mood for much of the game is a desperate struggle for survival against stacked odds. Once the stress of this abates, however, there are some genuinely lovely moments of characterization and storytelling that are absolutely worth it to experience.
Where you fall on Souldiers probably depends on whether you were an early adopter. [...] However, with great challenge comes great satisfaction, and the journey along the way is just so memorable; there were times I could literally not put the controller down, even after hours of playing.
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.