Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling Into Darkness faithfully adapts the Made in Abyss series into a challenging survival RPG with an original story. However, some performance issues and uninspired game design hold back its potential to be a truly great title.
25 hours and a platinum trophy later, Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars was a really fun game from start to finish. As a fan, I hope to see more of Senran Kagura in the future and would like to see both franchises collaborate again. The game’s combat kept me going through those Yomi Training challenges and the story was a blast. The side content is something that might not satisfy players who are eager for side-quests in a traditional RPG. Anyone remotely interested in Ninja Wars should at least check out what Neptunia and Senran Kagura are all about in their respective games. At the end of the game, I definitely wanted more to play through and I think those who pick this game up will feel that same way. There’s a lot of potential for a sequel with room for an even better game, a bigger ninja war!
Soul Hackers 2 modernizes the Devil Summoner formula while retaining the unique cyberpunk aesthetic of Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers. Ringo charges into the Devil Summoner underworld with an interesting narrative and signature Megami Tensei series combat. Soul Hackers 2 is worthwhile experience for JRPG fans wanting another great ATLUS adventure.
Monark delivers a refreshing JRPG approach with a mystery filled narrative and great turn-based strategy gameplay. A fulfilling experience that stands out from many JRPGs in the past few years. For those coming from The Caligula Effect 2, Monark is worth taking a look at!
The Caligula Effect 2 improves combat, delivers an engaging story and adds a level of polish that the original game couldn't afford. From engaging characters to the wicked tunes of the Musicians, the game delivers a great JRPG experience from start to finish. This game lays the groundwork for an exciting future of FuRyu and Historia developed RPGs going forward!
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is an excellent RPG is the long running Ys series that takes the story in a darker direction. It retains the character traits that fans know and love of Adol, Dogi and other companions. The combat system is further refined with some new features to keep the series fresh for long time fans. However, the game's PS5 crashing issues might plague one's experience so keep that in mind. Overall, the game is definitely worth the time for new and old fans alike.
Genshin Impact is an incredible action RPG which takes players on a free, story and character driven adventure. The current regions of Teyvat are filled with secrets and areas to explore and enjoy. The version 1.0 has some issues but those are mostly outweighed by a really good package coming out of the game's launch.
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is an excellent game for fans of the animated series. Its a blend of nostalgia and satisfying combat. The skill tree system rewards progression with more creative moves and abilities to keep the player engaged in fights. Jack feels responsive and powerful in action, which makes this game a joy to play through.
Trials of Mana brings the original Seiken Densetsu III experience to new and old fans while offering more content to engage in. The simple and fun combat system pairs greatly with an ability system that is easy to understand. Although it has flaws carried over from the original game, Trials of Mana is an enjoyable experience from start to finish.
Need for Speed: Heat redeems the series with engaging gameplay, insane amounts of customization and remembers its past fondly. From start to finish, racing in Palm City's night lights and sunny atmosphere reminds players why they were elated fans of a once great franchise.
Daemon X Machina is a real treat for mecha fans. Armored Core veterans will feel right at home while experiencing new gameplay mechanics. The story has its typical Japanese anime tropes but it's re-enforced with interesting characters and conflicts. Gameplay is top notch in the mecha genre.
AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative is an immersive mystery-adventure that never ceased to surprise. A well-executed mystery, a host of laughter-inducing moments, and a memorable cast of characters make this game a must-buy for fans of the genre. It's strongly recommended to play the original game, AI: The Somnium Files.
Lost Judgment delivers an exciting experience for detective and Yakuza fans alike. The game builds off of the foundation of the original Judgment while bringing innovation to the series in both story and gameplay. Not only is Lost Judgment an incredible game, it sets a high standard for Yakuza and Judgment games going forward on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S with excellent performance. This is a must-buy!
Square Enix elevates the Reapers' Game even further with NEO: The World Ends With You! A stellar combat system, engaging story, relatable characters and rich content offering make this the perfect sequel to the cult classic The World Ends With You. This is a must-buy and play for fans of the original game and JRPG fans alike.
Persona 5 Strikers is a worthy sequel to Persona 5/Royal while incorporating fantastic action! This is a must play title for Persona and JRPG fans alike. It perfects Omega Force's Musou action with RPG mechanics from Persona to create an new and refreshing experience for fans to spend time with.
Atelier Ryza 2 is an excellent JRPG that marks a step forward for the series. While being a major improvement from the previous game, it introduces new features and elements that make it a more enjoyable experience. This is a must play for fans of the series and for JRPG fans who want to try something new. The wholesome journey of Atelier Ryza 2 impresses greatly!
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is an exceptional title in the series. The cast of characters is immense and interesting while the story follows it up with bombshells. An already great turn-based combat system is refined and enhanced. This is a must play for RPG fans who have already played Cold Steel games.
From start to finish, Ghost of Tsushima honors the samurai and Japanese culture to the utmost degree. Coupled with a great combat system with risks/rewards, a wonderfully crafted world to explore gives players more reasons to explore every nook and cranny of Tsushima. Ghost of Tsushima is the swan song of the PS4, a title that takes full advantage of the hardware while delivering an experience to remember.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is among one of Falcom's strongest JRPG games yet. The story of Rean Schwarzer heats up while bringing past characters into the present story, setting up an epic conflict across the world of Trails. Coupled with an excellent soundtrack, fun combat system and insane story twists, Trails of Cold Steel III is a shining example for JRPGs going forward.