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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With a time-traveling story, turn-based combat system, and cast of characters that could have been lifted from such classics as Chrono Trigger — complete with robotic party member — it’s a shame that it is ultimately let down by an unengaging narrative, extremely tedious gameplay loop, and a combination of a lack of challenge and crushingly high encounter rate.
But the game, though having a clean and perfectly adequate presentation, doesn’t do very much to put its best foot forward to wow the player presentation-wise, and the finger-numbing clicky gameplay might be just a bit too underwhelming for some to ride this train all the way to its final stop.