With no New Game + mode, the game’s replay value consists of collecting missed items from scratch, which won’t likely inspire a second playthrough amongst adult JRPG fans. Despite all this, Destiny Connect – Tick-Tock Travelers – is a success. It’s an intentionally limited game aimed at a young audience who will no doubt enjoy it. For everyone else, however, it feels like a poor video game conversion of a cute Pixar movie and one that should cause pause before purchase.
With fast, frenetic gameplay and numerous modes, the student in Blast Zone! Tournament may have surpassed the master in Bomberman in gameplay if not visual design. Old-school Bomberman fans will enjoy the classic mechanics and the new modes, and newer fans will no doubt appreciate the online multiplayer and the expansive battles, but it’s hard to say whether the largely identical gameplay and poor presentation will convert any non-fans of the genre.
Screambox Studio has done a superb job creating an accessible arcade shooter that appeals to genre fans both new and old, with adrenaline-pumping ‘bullet heaven’ gameplay and a replay value that makes it hard to put down. While there are some minor issues with the presentation and the main bosses they don’t detract from the relentless fun that can be had and with the knowledge that it can also be played in a local co-op mode, you can only hope that the developer has the chance to make a sequel and include some online features.
With its upgrades and online functionality, The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match represents the best KOF has to offer on a 2D axis. While it must be said that there are more accomplished 2D fighters available, for those looking for deeper combat and a more involved experience there are few better alternatives.
Dragon Star Vanir takes on the goliaths of the genre showing that a shorter more impactful punch is just as effective as a 100-hour behemoth, providing an experience both memorable and enjoyable with an adjustable story and addictive systems. While the inconsistency of certain plot points acts as a minor annoyance, the game’s biggest self-inflicting wound is not with the gameplay itself, but rather the game’s presentation handicapping its mainstream sales for potential sequels.
Trails of Cold Steel‘s remaster might just be the best version of the game, but the developer’s barely passable effort makes it hard to recommend as a repeat purchase, with the Japanese audio being the only worthwhile addition. For anime and JRPG fans who haven’t ventured onto Class VII’s campus, it’s an easy recommendation with its excellently crafted world likely to inspire many to embark on the 4-game journey. While its niche appeal might deter a wider audience, those who do give it a shot are unlikely to come away disappointed, despite its rough edges.
With re-releases, remakes and sequels buzzwords of the gaming industry these days, innovative video games such as ‘Do Not Feed The Monkeys’ only come around once in a blue moon, and therefore they should not only be commended but encouraged – especially as it’s from an indie developer. So, while there are some issues preventing this from being executed perfectly, it’s still as fun as a barrel of monkeys.
It’s impossible to recommend this game, or even this series, when it gets a new low-quality entry every single year. No story, tense music or any decent action to speak of, this feels like a fan-fiction web browser game getting a yearly FIFA update. If you’re an ardent fan of survival horror games, then perhaps it’s worth following the incremental updates as it may eventually result in a decent release, but let me assure you, it’s not now and it’s not Outbreak: The New Nightmare.
So while Ray’s The Dead has an interesting and unique gameplay mechanic, it’s hard to recommend it in its current state. And although its 80s references and zombie theme captured a niche audience on Kickstarter, it’s difficult to say whether this inconsistent effort could appeal to a larger group – even when its issues have been fixed.
Judgment is a very good game that could have been great, if not for its uninspired detective gameplay mechanics. Aside from that one negative, it offers great drama, addictive action and a variety of activities that rank Judgment as one of the best the Yakuza series has to offer. It’s also a good introduction to the Ryu Ga Gotoku universe without having to play all 7 games of Kiryu’s story, making it a recommended title for new fans as well.