While Industria’s atmosphere certainly nailed what it was going for, the monotonous gameplay and rushed story left me dissatisfied. Still, I loved the ambiance and backdrop, and I wouldn’t mind if Bleakmill took another crack at it – the rest of this world just needs a few more cogs added to its machine.
LKA made the best recreation of an Italian setting I’ve ever seen in a game and I wanted nothing more than to enjoy it. However, LKA’s love of Italy is the only warmth I felt in Martha is Dead. The rest left me feeling as cold as Giulia’s dead sister.
Three Hopes runs a few chapters too long, and some late-game twists don’t carry the impact they should as a result, but my 36 hours were a great time. Three Hopes successfully and expertly integrates everything great about Three Houses into its musou format, both in narrative and in gameplay; it’s been one of my favorite Switch experiences in recent memory as a result. If you like Three Houses, you should play Three Hopes, and I’d recommend it to you even if you aren’t familiar with the musou genre. And if you haven’t played Three Houses, there’s a good chance that’ll be your next game after rolling credits on this one.
From the moment you step onto these demon-infested lands to the moment you deal the killing blow to the game’s final boss, you’ll experience plenty of surprises – the Konami Code does something really cool, for example. Infernax’s retro soundtrack that rips from start to finish, beautiful art, challenging gameplay, and a fun Castlevania-inspired design, make it worth the price of admission.
In the end, though, Citizen Sleeper is less a critique of capitalism itself, which in its defense has been done countless times in the cyberpunk genre, and more an opportunity to showcase how those under its thumb persevere and succeed despite it. Its hopeful and inspiring message is backed by a branching, heartfelt narrative, and a great gameplay loop, making it tough to put down. Add in its enriching visual style and my favorite musical score of 2022 so far, and Citizen Sleeper is a game I'll be thinking about for years to come.