Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ is a pain in the arse. When it hits right, it sticks the landing with acrobatic precision. That juicy core, the multiplayer, and endless content - these all get the thumbs up from me. Its damn aspect ratio in conjunction with some lazy balancing and clunky menus do quite the number on an otherwise great title. This makes the game incredibly hard to recommend, especially to newcomers to the series or genre. Ultimately though, I did end up having quite the good time - flaws be damned.
Mighty Goose is the most fun I've had all year. It’s loud, it’s explosive, and it’s 100% awesome. The game doesn’t take that long to ‘beat’, but comes with a fantastic NG+ mode that dials that 11 all the way to 12. What few niggling issues I have with the game pale in comparison with the fun that I had with it. It’s a blast on your tod, or with a mate, so there is no excuse not to get honking.
Sun Wukong vs Robot is a mess. It looks bad, sounds worse, and plays pretty poorly to boot. The only reason you would play this is if you were desperate for a Metroidvania and only had a fiver to spend. Even then, the game is not worth that price, especially when some of the best games in the genre can be bought for slightly more off sale, and less on sale. It’s the 10 pence mixup of the gaming world – disappointing, cheap, and it barely registers on the serotonin scale but might give you diabetes all the same. Hard pass.
Legend of Mana was a game that took a little while for me to truly understand. I went in expecting something, and it gave me something completely different. Heck, so different I can’t recall any game quite like it. It is captivating enough to play for hours on end, but it’s also bite-sized enough that short pick up and play sessions are ideal (hurray for Switch players). If deep mechanics and JRPG systems are what you want, Legend of Mana will disappoint. If a string of wonderfully crafted fairy tales set in a phenomenally realized world with secrets hidden around every syllable is your cup of tea, then Legend of Mana is an easy recommendation.
Overall, the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection is possibly worth considering. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 1 is still a fantastic game, and Sigma 2 is not a bad game, despite being a downgrade. You are still being lugged with Razor’s Edge of course, but that may be a tax worth paying. Unless you’re on Switch. Switch owners should stay far, far away from this collection. Ryu Hyabusa deserved better and we can only hope he gets it on the other platforms.
Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning is, in my opinion, not worth playing. It doesn’t do anything egregiously bad, it just doesn’t do much above passable either. In a world with a seemingly infinite supply of games, there are better ways to spend your time than trundling through a mire of mediocrity.
Battle Axe is a game that contains around 40 minutes of unique content and struggles to keep its gameplay interesting for even half that. It’s boring, repetitive, short, and uninspired. It also comes with a shockingly high entry fee of £25 (or $30 USD), which is beyond egregious for the amount, and quality, of the content on offer. Visuals, controls, music, and big-named contributors are not enough to save Battle Axe from crushing mediocrity.
Overall Pacer is a good game. It stumbles from time to time with flaccid weapons and a lack of an active online community, but in just about every other category, it does a corker of a job. When compared to other games in the genre, it holds up favorably and if you are a fan of said genre, then, honestly, this is one worth checking out. Heck, this is a pretty damn solid starting point too.
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is a mixed bag, to say the least. Its strengths don’t necessarily lie in its qualities as a game, but its inclusion in a genre that is inherently addictive. The formula the genre uses has been refined and mastered to the point it has become quite the potent drug, and Olive Town can administer that narcotic effectively when it wants to. The issue is, I found it didn’t have any staying power. I was hooked whilst I was playing, but once I put it down, it was a real struggle to pick it back up. There were just too many niggling little issues that hindered my enjoyment long term. As far as farming-sims go, this one is passable and worth checking out if you have exhausted other, better games in the genre.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest may have a run-time shorter than its title, it might fumble some of the characters, but it absolutely nails the landing. As someone who is relatively new to Visual Novels, it has opened my eyes to the potential of the genre, the scope in which the genre can encompass, and kept me engaged cover to cover. If you want less anime tiddies, and more gritty, grimdark monster mashing, then I cannot recommend this title enough.