Bravely Default 2 left me feeling quite depressed. As pulse-pounding as the game’s everchanging, high-stakes battles can be, marathoning my way through them felt like a siphon on my serotonin. There’s a harsh limit on how many times I can feel elated by seeing the numbers go up, and once the cheap thrill of leveling fades I’m left wandering a desolate world lacking in identity and conviction. The game’s a grim reminder of where “love letters” can go wrong—I need a little more than a reminder of a game I enjoyed 15 years ago to keep me going, especially one built on expectations set up by its own predecessor. Sometimes adoration for former greatness isn’t enough.
undefined.For all the game's problems, though, it provides some truly excellent moments that I'll remember for a long time. I shouldn't be shocked that a major AAA game like Village would fall into AAA traps, but there's something special about Village that felt like it could escape the franchise's own sordid past and deliver something as revolutionary-if not more-than RE7. But, like all things camp, maybe we'll reevaluate the game's banality in a decade or two; Village might be a cult oddity in good time.
Lena Raine's fabulous soundtrack also must be commented on, which glistens with life but feels airy and sparse as if to mimic the gaps in color you have to fill over the course of the game. Despite being a pretty "wholesome" game, it doesn't mince words and never presents a simple solution to serious issues. I'm really happy I played Chicory-it's one I truly needed to play, and I hope a lot of people get something out of it too.
Moving the point-of-view from a lauded white celebrity to a Japanese man out of his depth is a bold move, and one that shows the glaring flaws in the court system and the inherent racist sentiment that guides it. There's not a single case that feels like a throwaway-each serves as a chapter in Naruhodo's path to understanding his own drive for his profession, and carts the player along a grand adventure that overcomes the somewhat static nature present in the original trilogy. It's an absolute must play for any mystery fan out there.
She has an immediate chemistry with Eastward's cavalcade of supporting characters, which are numerous and varied in their importance. I wish the game paid more mind to letting her character breathe, and allowing her to engage with the plot on her own terms. Instead, I'm left feeling like Eastward is a bunch of beautiful puzzle pieces that fail to come together.
The grind to the top is ascetic and practiced, with grand ambition and keen diligence towards paying the franchise's history its proper dues. It's an undeniably dark game, but quite optimistic in its intentions and eschews edgy clichés. Shin Megami Tensei V is Atlus's contemporary masterpiece, and one of the finest games this year.