Fuga: Melodies of Steel is a game filled with constant tension. Seeing all of those adorable children didn’t prepare me for how much fretting and consideration that would go into my every move. How a handful of bad tactical decisions can result in your tank getting blown to pieces or worse, seeing one of the main characters die permanently to save the others.
Cotton Reboot is a remake of 1993’s frantic “cute ‘em’ up” Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams. Well, cute in a Castlevania kind of way, as you’ll be blasting all kinds of ghouls, zombies, and undead monsters as you try to get a few pieces of candy. And save a kingdom or something. Not exactly a big concern for our lead witch, Nata, who’s only interested in laying waste to hundreds of living creatures if there’s some tasty treat involved.
Samurai Warriors 5 gives you a sense of incredible herculean power as you play through it. Few other action games give you such an ability to cleave through crowds of foes that stand in your path, and it’s undeniably satisfying to be able to swat a few dozen people aside. Not that this series and other Musou titles don’t give you that same play style and feeling, but the mixture of political intrigue in its story and the striking new visual style make this entry well worth playing.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is an unashamedly ruthless platformer. Originally on the Master System, it follows the title character in a quest to punch scorpions and die from being bad at rock-paper-scissors. There’s more to it than that, but you’d be forgiven for never knowing that because this game is the bad kind of challenging. With slippery controls, big enemy hitboxes, and a tiny, tiny attack, you’re going to likely spend most of your time repeating the same few levels and seeing your ghost floating out of your body.
R-Type Final 2 is a satisfying shmup with many challenging, carefully crafted stages. Having so many different ships gives it a ton of replay value, and also gives you many strategic options for how you tackle a given area. I wish it had a more striking, clear visual style so I could appreciate the designs and stages more (and die less to dopey things).
Root Film takes players on a lovely tour of the Shimane Prefecture, giving them a glimpse of historical places, customs, and characters as they work to solve grisly mysteries. Unfortunately, the journey is the only compelling thing about this weak visual novel, as its story is somehow told too quickly and the game is filled with things that waste the player’s time. It’s far too drawn-out, yet somehow too short at the same time.
Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is a crushingly-difficult game, so if you’re looking to be brutalized, it is excellent at it. It features a handful of tools to help less-masochistic players through as well, making for a great package whether you just want to see the sights or emerge victorious from a game that feels like spite given form.