In so many ways Balan Wonderworld feels like a weird game that hopes the concept will make up for execution. With extremely little to see, a minimal story to explore, and visuals that honestly do little more than remind me of simpler times, it's hard to suggest what value Balan Wonderworld adds. It certainly isn't engaging, interesting and so many of the elements are painfully basic. Throw in needless costume-changing animations (I don't need a three-second animation every time I swap), extremely small worlds, and minimal… well, everything and it's hard to be optimistic.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon understands what players expect from the beloved franchise. There is an engaging story with a troubled, but the not irredeemable protagonist, that sucks players in. The gameplay is a bit on the hollow side, though far from the worst RPG around. At worst it's just an easy and repetitive turn-based game, but nothing too hard. Combine this with stunning graphics and impressive length and it's really hard to find many flaws with Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Ultimately, there really isn't a whole lot to say about Tohu. It's a cute point-and-click adventure game with a fairly basic story and simple gameplay. You can solve the puzzles through common sense like a weight is obviously needed on a hook or through looking at what you can interact with and just messing around with it. It might not appeal to most gamers, but you get a younger gamer just looking for a simple and fun adventure and there is certainly a place for it.
While a lot of this review pokes fun at how much of an overlap there is between Nexomon: Extinction and Pokemon, it really isn't a bad game. Unfortunately, a lot of the changes made are for worse, not to mention the designs not being as pleasing, but it does fill a hole on other non-Nintendo devices. It would be nice if there were other things to help it stand out or one stand out feature, but instead, we have a heavily inspired RPG that struggles to find a voice.
As a visual novel, Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen is pretty good. It doesn't hit the heights of a masterpiece like Steins;Gate but it is engaging, interesting, and charming, all of which are more than enough to motivate you to find out what happens next. Dated designs and lackluster combat hold it back, especially if you just what to find out what happens next but are not enough to stop it. As long as you're willing to invest the time and effort to get to know these characters, it will be an experience that pays off in the end.
In the end, Arcade Spirits isn't a bad game, it's just a rather quirky and romance filled visual novel. Even though it can't transcend genres in the way Steins;Gate and a few others do, the strong focus on following your heart gives players something to enjoy. Toss in some silly references and genuinely interesting characters and it's honestly interesting if you can put in the time to see more than just the surface.
In a lot of ways that is the problem with Trials of Mana. While it looks fine and the story has all the charm you'd expect from a '90s JRPG, it doesn't have much else. Combat is bland, the worlds feel empty, there are tons of cheese and it relies on a large investment to get to the stuff that is actually enjoyable. For some or anyone looking for the original game with a new coat of paint, it's great but if you were looking for something closer to the Final Fantasy VII Remake treatment, expect to be underwhelmed.
The best way to describe One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is the best version you could hope for. Regardless of where story and gameplay lack, it's impossible to cover anything, especially when there will be more in the future and a lot of the faults are a result of this being a Dynasty Warrior game. If you can get past that, this is a wonderful tribute to One Piece and allows some of the latest and most expressive arcs shine. At least enough to think it is worth considering.
While it's great to see the franchise persist and I could probably play the original for the umpteenth time, there isn't much to be excited with here. Most of the stages are pretty easy, special bubbles only make a difference if you're lacking in skill or want to maximize points and there is only so far you can go with the concept. Less skilled or younger players will probably feel at home, as will anyone that just wants to constantly try to build on perfection. If that is you, you'll probably love it but everyone else it's an okay game that isn't bad to play with others.
There really isn't much to say about the Moons of Madness. While it poses itself as a big horror game and that there is a lot to be excited for, it never quite builds off the initial hook. Often times you're stuck dealing with boring scenes that pad gameplay and do such a good job of keeping you guessing, you forget why you were interested, to begin with. For some, it will still be great but for many, it just isn't worth it.
Like most anime/manga games, My Hero One's Justice 2 is going to hinge on how much you love the series and characters, over anything else. There is certainly enough content and depth to justify playing, it just isn't particularly amazing outside of the novelty of it being related to My Hero Academia, over wowing players as Dragon Ball FighterZ did.
Naturally, this makes it a hard sell, something the pixel art does not help with, resulting in an experience that really caters to a specific demographic. You have to understand what you're getting into and your enjoyment will hinge on whether you picked correctly or not. Even with a guide, things can be rather confusing, as the presentation of the map doesn't quite make a ton of sense with the maps shown online. It's entirely possible to follow a guide or figure it out but La-Mulana 1 & 2 requires a bit more of an investment that most are likely willing to give.
The best way to describe One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is a game designed for a certain type of fan. Those looking for a more complicated gameplay experience or to live the story will likely be disappointed, whereas anyone looking for something set in that world will probably have fun. Toss in a wide variety of wacky characters and it has enough to look forward to. Some might not enjoy the basic elements or get tired of the relatively low difficulty but for those looking to just live in the world, you'll likely be at home.
Even though very little has changed in Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] besides the finer points, it makes for a worthwhile experience for both sides. Newcomers have plenty of offline modes to test their skills or play around and a rather robust training system that genuinely wants to help you. Returning or skilled players will likely enjoy the new character and find new possibilities with the changes. Given current owners can simply upgrade it will probably be worth it, especially if you're a fan of the franchise.
Despite the rather negative sounding review, Azur Lane: Crosswave isn't a bad game, it's just nothing particularly special. Fans of Neptunia will likely enjoy the silly antics of cute girls, but others will probably fail to see the appeal. It's a character-driven adventure with rudimentary gameplay and a hollow story that manages to be oddly dialogue-heavy. Beyond that, enjoyment will come down to how interested you are in upgrading your ships or figuring out why one character might be better than another. If this sounds good, odds are you'll enjoy Azur Lane: Crosswave, whereas everyone else need not apply.
Scoring games like this is extremely difficult. I had fun, I legitimately did, running around the planet, shooting enemies and being a jerk to pufferbirds. It's just, had I stopped before collecting things I would've been at about five hours and even collecting things mostly added time due to issues solving puzzles. Once you start to see the mechanics, the adventure loses a lot of its charm and is just a weird world where you can shoot a complete enemies or jump to a hidden location/open a secret door. For some this is enough, but for most it's likely an extremely difficult sell.
Despite not being the franchises best, Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack is still an extremely enjoyable experience. This adventure starts with whimsy and ends in a way that brings the seemingly random stuff together. Toss in some cute enemies, multiple endings, plenty to see and do and it's easy to have fun with it. Sure, none of them really break the mold or offer much different from previous adventure but for fans or someone looking for a different kind of RPG, it's worth, if nothing else, check out.