- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Final Fantasy IX
Neo: The World Ends With You offers up something all its own while still keeping its roots in view. Some slow pacing and long-in-tooth writing doesn't keep Neo from being a delightful RPG. If the art style and music don't take you, then the combat and its mechanics will.
Improving on excellence, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade takes the few shortcomings from the PS4 release and improves them. While Activity Card support is missing, alongside deep DualSense support, Intergrade cements itself as the best way to play the Final Fantasy VII Remake, bar none. If you missed out on the original release, now is the time to jump in.
Song of Horror is not the perfect return to old school horror, but it makes one hell of an impression. An adaptive adversary combined with fantastic ambience more than outweigh last gen character models, iffy voice work, and lengthy chapters. Protocol Games is onto something here, and horror fans must give it a go.
An RPG classic makes its way back to the front lines. Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne HD Remaster has all the bells and whistles that came with the original fan favorite title. The minimal additions that come with this remaster do little to help or hurt the formula. Merciless difficulty drops the challenge too much to capture the game's magic, visuals only offer slight clean-up, and audio is still the same PS2 audio. While the game deserves better enhancements, getting Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne in a more contemporary accessible form is still worth the price of admission.
The side scrolling side of Smelter has a lot going for it. It has a welcome execution that doesn't demand much effort and doesn't bog you down with much, even if it is overly simplistic. The tower defense side of Smelter contradicts this simplicity, however. Bad control choices coupled with halfhearted explanations makes it a hard sell for the entire package. Smelter has something unique, but that's nowhere near enough to warrant your time.
Astro Aqua Kitty adds some Metroidvania-lite elements to the shooter components of its predecessor, Aqua Kitty, and it's all the better for it. A few decisions keep this from being an instant classic, like similar-looking zones and limited locations for loadout swapping, but nothing inherently gets in the way of the good times that Astro Aqua Kitty puts in front of you.
Synergia is the product of a small team wanting to create something important. The story between Cila and Mara is heartfelt and worthwhile, leaving you wanting more in the best way. Despite the few HUD issues and occasional glanced-over narrative point, Synergia has the heart and soul worthy of a great visual novel.
Kaze and The Wild Masks is an instant classic in the side-scrolling genre. It's a simple, well-executed formula that channels tons of different inspirations while still holding true to its own vision. The gameplay is top-notch and offers everything a fan could want, from beautiful sprite work to collecting shiny objects. Consider this a must-own among the other great side scrollers.
Very little of Neptunia Virtual Stars makes it a franchise entry worth playing. Simplicity here lacks the success of other entries, instead offering something clunky and dull. Consider this a Neptunia title barely meant for die-hard fans and no one else.
Ys IX Monstrum Nox remains another strong entry in the Ys franchise, offering up engaging combat fans will love. Visuals don't push any envelopes by any stretch and the writing has its hiccups, but Monstrum Nox has everything that makes a Ys title great.