While G-Darius HD is mostly just an arcade title with some upgraded visuals, that’s not really a bad thing. This is still one of the best made shmups to ever grace any platform. This port does add things you would expect like leaderboards, video options and a quick save feature. I think for the $29.99 asking price they could’ve added a bit more to this, but I wouldn’t really call it lacking in features either. If you are a big Darius fan, you should probably jump on this soon. You’ll be really pleased with how well handled one of your favorite titles was. If you just have a passing interest in these games, you may want to wait on a sale to dive in.
Even though this took a lot longer than I expected, I really had a great time with Mary Skelter Finale. This is everything I could’ve asked for in a story conclusion, with a great ending and tons of extra content. The dungeon crawling is a ton of fun, even if the maps are huge and puzzle-filled at times, and the combat has enough depth to keep you coming back for hours on end. If you’re a fan of the series, at $49.99 the asking price is a no brainer. You will love this. In fact, fans of the franchise that haven’t snagged up one of Idea Factory International’s fantastic Limited Editions, should highly consider it. At roughly $105 it isn’t cheap, but it is packed with goodies like a hardback novel set, soundtrack for the entire franchise, a poster and more. If you have never played Mary Skelter and want to see what it’s all about, this entry includes all of the story bits from the previous games, so there is no reason you couldn’t jump in right here and have a great time as well.
I am very glad I decided to review Metallic Child. I had so much fun exploring each level and watching Rona’s story unfold. The combat here is easy to get into, and has enough depth that advanced players have plenty to dig into as well. The bosses were all unique and a lot of fun to challenge, and the little extras they threw in here were a great bonus. Things like Rona’s customizations that give her starter weapons or perks, a ton of unlockable messages that build the world, and even some awesome fan art to unlock. It took me around 10 hours to complete the main story, but I could easily spend another 10 obtaining everything and doing post-game challenges. This game is well worth the asking price of $24.99. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys a good action game, or a cute android protagonist. You won’t be disappointed if you pick this one up.
At the end of the day, I have to say I had a great time with Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle. The characters and story are great, and the game is very easy to pick up and play. The online modes will let you battle with your friends online and this adds a ton of replay value to the game as well. I think some of the later boss battles are completely unfair and will frustrate some players. You just have to stick with it and change your deck up accordingly until you take them down. I put right around 35 hours in this one and there is still some post game stuff I could take on. If you’re a fan of the Shadowverse anime, this one is well worth your coin at the $49.99 price tag. Fans looking for a good collectible card game to pass their time with on the Switch would do well to snag this one up as well.
Samurai Warriors 5 is one of the best games I’ve played this year. I didn’t think I would be saying this when I started playing it, but the more I experienced this title the more I got into it. That’s a rare thing for me in gaming these days, and I’m very thankful when it happens. The art style, storytelling, and music are all top tier. While the combat hasn’t changed a whole lot, the tweaks make it fast and a ton of fun. I do wish there were more weapons and characters to choose from, since this series has a ton of both that didn’t make the cut here, but this a great start for a refresh of the series. If you are a fan of Samurai Warriors, pick this one up today at the $59.99 price tag and you will be very satisfied with this entry. If you have never picked up one of these games before, this is a fantastic starting point for you. If Koei Tecmo keeps up this level of quality, this series has a bright future ahead of it.
Akiba’s Trip is still one of the most unique franchises in gaming. I mean, what other game can you pick up a crazy weapon like a rice cooker, beat down a vampire with it, and then strip their clothing? This may sound crazy, but it’s just a ton of fun. The story is great no matter which path you choose, and it took me around 28 hours to complete all three of them. There are still some sidequests and items I need to collect to have 100% of everything. There are some annoying bits of combat and some muddy textures, but these are very minor flaws. If you were a fan of the previous release, you should definitely pick this one up. You’ll find more of what you love here at the $39.99 price tag. If you are new to the series, this is a great place to jump in, since this is technically the first title in the franchise.
Touhou Hyouibana ～ Antinomy of Common Flowers is a pretty decent fighting game. It’s fast, fun, easy to play, but has some meat for advanced players as well. I think the online community not being there hurts the replay value of this one a bit, but if you have some local friends you can duke it out with, you should have a great time. Touhou fans should be all over this one, but the $34.99 price tag is a bit much for what you’re getting here, but if you can snag this one up during a sale, I think most people would be satisfied with the quality.
At the end of the day, Guilty Gear -STRIVE- is a very solid title. The game looks and plays fantastic. The artwork and overall aesthetics here are the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if Arc System Works really made this game more accessible to non-fighting game fans, but they did simplify things a bit. I still feel like in order to really enjoy this one, you’d have to get used to all of the advanced mechanics the game has to offer to play with online competitors, since there are very few options for players to enjoy offline. There is a very basic Arcade Mode, Training, Survival and, of course, the anime Story Mode. The Online Versus Mode is where this one really shines, and they have done a great job making it work for players of all skill levels. While I think the lack of some single player modes and the smaller roster holds this back a bit, it’s still one of the best anime fighters I’ve played.
I had a great time with Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX. I love the story, characters, and the alchemy was a lot of fun to play around with. The new quality of life additions such as new cauldrons, battle speed up and a dash button were very welcome additions. The fact that this release has a new outfit for Sophie, added photo mode, some new story bits, a great digital artbook and all the DLC from the previous release, is just icing on an already delicious cake. It took me right around 45 hours to finish the main story and the post-game. At the $39.99 price tag, if you have never jumped into the wonderful world of Atelier, now is a great time to do so. Folks that own the previous version, I would still say pick this up cause I feel like the upgrades are worth it, but maybe wait for a good bundle sale.
Bravely Default II is a classic RPG for fans of old school turn-based games. These types of games are a treat these days, as most modern RPGs have gone to a more active-based combat system. Old guys like me love to play games in the style we grew up with but with a modern spin, and this game does just that. Some folks will think this one is grindy, but if you use the bait that allows for multiple battles at once that give big EXP and JP bonuses, you can build up your party really quickly. I put about 75 hours into this one and achieved the true ending with all jobs mastered. This is a wonderful return to form for this franchise and worth every penny of the $59.99 price tag. If you are fan of classic RPGs or love a good story, don’t sleep on this one, snag it up as soon as possible. You’ll be glad you did.