Trails of Cold Steel III was a very fun RPG, containing all the good parts from II which I loved, with better pacing thanks to the Turbo Mode, and a story that sets up the next entry rather well. The story’s the main draw for returning fans, and newcomers are better off starting from Cold Steel I, but if you can only join in on this entry due to the Switch exclusivity, then you will still be able to get tons of fun from this game. Just be absolute sure to beat this before starting Cold Steel IV, as that’s definitely not a game to make your first under any circumstance, recaps be dammed. Thankfully, Cold Steel III is well worth a full playthrough, even if it’ll take you quite a bit to do so.
Deleveled is a paint by numbers, minimalist platformer, entering a swamped genre with not much on offer. The controls are fine, the puzzles are pretty tricky, and the concept is fine, but there really isn’t that much to write home about with Deleveled.
Like before, the RPG Maker Player app does make buying the full game for play purposes feel a little redundant, and the region locking is incredibly stupid, but I can gladly say that even newcomers will find fun reasons to tinker around and just goof off, and this game did the series justice on Switch. I really can’t believe the tutorial is unaccessible after the first attempt, though, since that is a mind boggling design flaw that will no doubt frustrate newcomers, but if you somehow can get past all that and are willing to become creative, this is a enjoyable tool to take up learning if it interests you and you have no access to a PC.
Herzog Zwei was a great conclusion to the Sega Ages line, cramming as much references and bonus stuff as I could have possibly wanted in such a release, and truly feeling like a proper sendoff. As one of my first RTS games, this was a really fun introduction to the genre, and the helper and tutorial modes do a great job of making this a customizable experience for newcomers and veterans alike!
I may have been quite late in getting to covering YIIK, but in the end, was this worth the wait and time for me, as an RPG fan and a fan of 90s games and visuals? Honestly, I did come out really enjoying the art style for its cool quirky looks, and some of the music is legitimately awesome, but on the other hand, you have a horrid battle system and some voices that sound as if they were recorded from a tin can. It’s a weird mess all around, and even now, I don’t recommend you check this out. Just buy the soundtrack if you have to get anything out of this game.
Hakuoki Edo Blossoms was one of the two PS Vita long-haulers I had always planned to cover, but never got around to before shelving my PSTV. Thankfully, I’m back in the fray and was able to check this adventure out on its intended hardware, and it’s fairly enjoyable, following up on Kyoto Winds rather well. The fact you can pick your route immediately is a huge plus, and I enjoyed learning glossary terms as much as I did years ago in Kyoto, but otherwise Edo Blossoms is a fairly typical visual novel that you’d probably be best to play after the original. The MSRP for this game has lowered on the PSN, and for the $10 price point, I absolutely think it’s worth a buy to continue the story, though if you’re a physical hunter, this one’s more rare than the original, so be wary.
Liege Dragon is a rather boring adventure, and it didn’t do that well even as a remake. The game’s mechanics feel even more simplistic when combined with the rather unpleasant presentation, and when the old version from 2011 looks way prettier and more fitting of the simplicity, that’s a pretty sad sight to see for a remade game like this, and I feel that some sort of option or tribute to the game’s original look would have been a pretty neat feature to see.
Serious Scramblers was really fun in spots and gave a good glimpse into how this experience could be refined into an addictive time waster. Unfortunately, the slow lack of variety along with the lack of a vertical mode in a game screaming for it makes Serious Scramblers something that I can only really recommend if you’re into short and cheap experiences, rather than as an addictive arcade-like time chaser.
La-Mulana 2 is an excellent sequel to the original masterpiece. The combat is still just as satisfying as before, the puzzles aren’t nearly as cryptic but are still fun to solve, and the adventure is a fun one overall! My only real gripe is that it does have a slow start, unlike the first game, since it tries to ease the player in before opening up to the same sort of glorious open-ended exploration that made the first game magnificent, yet it’s still a great adventure with lots of different ways to replay it.
Tamiku easily nailed all the sweet spots I look for in a scorechaser: addictive gameplay loops, simple controls, trial and error, it’s all here, and Tamiku does a godly job with it all, to the point I honestly believe this could be made into a NES homebrew game due to just how authentic it feels! The only real gripes I have with Tamiku are a few: one being that I do wish the game would have an endless, randomized mode that would shuffle the order of stages around, and the other being that the lack of online leaderboards is a real shame, especially due to how this game’s practically screaming for them.