In its current state, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is hard to recommend. Crafting is tedious because of the clunky way the makers are implemented, and the town is lifeless due to a lack of varied dialogue or meaningful events each season. Patches are supposedly planned to improve these problem areas (along with performance), so the game could be a decent entry in the series after some updates.
Gnosia is a game that’s bound to be incredibly divisive. While I found the main gameplay loop uninteresting, fellow writer Lilia left with a far more positive impression. At the very least, I can appreciate the attempt at creating something fresh, even if I didn’t think it worked in the end. If another game of this style was released with improved gameplay, then I’d still be willing to try it out. It absolutely has potential — potential that I feel Gnosia just couldn’t realise.
While I may have criticized Yakuza: Like a Dragon for a decent chunk of this review, there’s still a lot to love about it. Ichiban is the perfect character to usher in this new era of Yakuza, and the amount of things to do outside of the main story is almost overwhelming. However, Yakuza 8 will need a lot of work put into it to make the RPG elements more balanced and engaging.
While I’ve played worse, Vigil: The Longest Night just has too many flaws for me to wholeheartedly recommend it. The visual style, despite the bad animations, is still pleasing, and you’re generally rewarded well for exploring. I just wish that the combat had more impact to it, especially the bosses.
While the tech used for Mario Kart Live is undeniably impressive, most people will get more out of the £100 required to play it by getting Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and a few years of Switch Online instead. The way tracks are created in game limits the designs you can create, and you’re out of luck if your house has a limited amount of useable space, or flooring that isn’t completely flat. Still, there’s fun to be had for at least a few hours before the novelty wears off, and it’s hard not to enjoy seeing Mario speed around track you have made. There’s potential, just not enough for this to be worth it for most Mario Kart fans (though cats certainly seem to love it).
As a solid dungeon crawler, Moero Crystal H is often enjoyable. Filling in the map of each floor, gaining levels and skill, adding your selection of party members; it’s nothing groundbreaking, but it doesn’t need to be. As for the fanservice, it often just gets in the way of everything else. The touching minigames in particular are repetitive, and seem counter-intuitive to actually delivering fanservice. There is a lot to do in Moero Crystal H if you’re a fan of the genre, as long you’re fine with the premise — and the less-than-stellar localisation.
While the RTS sections might drag things down a little, 13 Sentinels is still a fantastic story driven game that offers up a unique experience. It’s not quite the game that I thought it would be, though in some ways that didn’t turn out to be a bad thing. The future is looking bright for Vanillaware, and I hope that their next game goes all-in on the adventure elements, without anything else getting in the way.