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.
I’ve always loved the Metal Slug games, but I didn’t expect these pocket sized titles to be a good as they are. The gameplay is fun, there are lots of areas to explore and who doesn’t love blowing up everything in sight for fun? The games look great, and SNK delivered another great quality soundtrack as well. I spent a few hours on each of these and I really want to play more of Metal Slug 2nd Mission since I hear there is a nice unlockable for completing all the missions. These two games made an already good collection great, and like I said in the other review, if you’re looking for fun classic games to play on the go, this is an easy pickup.
I have to say I’m very impressed with NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1. The game selection here is great, the extras (such as the boxes and manuals) are a nice touch, and the price is very reasonable. You get 10 great classic games for the low price of $39.99. The Metal Slug titles, SNK Gal Fighters’ and SNK vs. Capcom are worth that alone. I feel this is a great pickup for any SNK fans, fighter fans, or anyone that is looking for some fun classics to play on the go.
I honestly had a great time with Neptunia Virtual Stars. The Goddesses were in top form and the new characters were an amazing addition to the cast I already loved. Seeing a lot of my favorite Hololive VTubers here was a lot of fun, and I found new girls to check out from other groups as well. The gameplay was nothing groundbreaking, but I had a lot of fun playing around with all the girls’ different attacks and play styles. The lack of English dub will turn some folks off, but this soundtrack is one of the best they’ve ever done. I put about 26 hours into this one to get the Platinum Trophy, but you could put a bit more in if you want to finish off some of the crazy extra bosses the game has to offer. At the $49.99 price tag, this one is a must for fans of Neptunia or VTubers. Folks wanting a fun action game or someone curious about the whole VTuber craze will likely find something to love here as well.
There’s really nothing else I can say about Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! This is one of the best visual novels I’ve ever read. The characters are all amazing, the voice acting is top tier, the artwork is stellar, and the soundtrack is fantastic as well. This one is well worth the $39.99 price tag. You can also pick up an All Ages version of this on Steam for $34.99 and snag a patch from JAST’s site, if that is more your style. This one will give you well over 40 hours of gameplay, if you decided to tackle everything there is to see. I have no issue recommending this to any fan of visual novels. There is nothing else that mixes character work like this with action and comedy in such an amazing way.
No long, drawn out conclusion here, the Neo Geo Pocket classic, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, is the best Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection title released so far. Fun gameplay, great music and tons of extra content make this one a no-brainer for fans of either SNK or Capcom. Even if you are a casual fan of fighters, I highly suggest giving this one a shot. It’s pretty easy to pick up and play on the lower difficulties, and the amazing mini games will keep you busy for hours on end. I went into this one expecting it to be pretty good, but I was blown away by how well this title has held up over the years. This one is a true treasure that I’m glad SNK has dug out for us on Nintendo Switch.