Anna Marie Privitere
For those interested in trying out a social manipulation game before diving into something as depressing as Papers, Please or for anyone who’s skirted visual novels in the past due to the deep time investment typically required, Headliner: NoviNews is a low-commitment entry point.
For those who’ve stuck with Class VII through thick and thin over three games, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is the crowning achievement to an exceptionally well-written story with plenty of tears and laughter mixed together into a timeless package.
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling does an excellent job capturing the Paper Mario spirit while still being its own game and having its own identity, and the journey onto the Switch is essentially flawless. Though some of the platforming sections can be a little frustrating at times, the effort is all worth it to indulge in the fast-paced, well written tale of a trio of bugs.
In the end, Ara Fell isn’t showing off anything that hasn’t been seen in games for many years, but the full package comes together well; while the adage “greater than the sum of its parts” is sometimes overused, Ara Fell is an excellent example of the way a game can come together and simply be fun.