Trails from Zero has been well worth the wait. This is a classic Falcom RPG - an engrossing, crime-fighting adventure through one of the property's greatest settings. The experience as a whole does get bogged down in tedious side content and some poorly aged design, but fantastic characters and fascinating story beats hold everything together. Based on our time with Zero, we can't wait for Trails to Azure in 2023.
SD Gundam Battle Alliance is one of the best Gundam games in what feels like an age. A highly addictive gameplay loop carries the experience, consisting of bite-sized missions, snappy combat, and the thrill of discovering and unlocking new mobile suits. The grind can feel a bit aggressive at times, and the story's vapid, but there's a clear love for all things Gundam here.
Saints Row is a largely successful reboot, even if it sometimes feels dangerously outdated in terms of open world design. Its story and characters can be hit and miss, but the experience is carried by fun gameplay and an endearingly dumb sense of humour. Despite the new faces, Saints Row is definitely still Saints Row - just bigger and probably better.
Sword and Fairy: Together Forever won't satisfy everyone. Action enthusiasts will be disappointed in how underutilised the combat system is, and those looking for a lovingly crafted story will have to stomach an especially poor English localisation. But even with its obvious flaws, Together Forever has undeniable charm in its endearing characters and elegant presentation. An enjoyably breezy RPG, if you can keep your expectations in check.
Digimon Survive's uniquely dark take on the standard Digimon storyline is enough to carry a title that's sometimes poorly paced and basic in its approach to gameplay. A visual novel with RPG elements bolted on, it's difficult not to feel as though the creature taming and combat aspects of Survive could have been bigger and better. But ultimately, a mix of endearing characters and eye-opening plot points make this another worthwhile adventure in the digital world.
DNF Duel is an approachable, explosive fighting game. Although it doesn't quite stand out from the crowd in terms of having an instantly recognisable style, it's great fun to actually play. Crazy combos, a cool character roster, and a nice selection of game modes makes for an appealing package. Once we've been able to put the title's online offerings to the test, we'll be updating this review with a score and additional details.
Wild Arms is like a dusty old book in video game form. It's a bit crusty by today's standards and its style of storytelling seems outdated, but there's an undeniable charm to how it's presented, and the creative spine of the experience still holds up. Despite some tedious gameplay elements and a battle system that doesn't truly click until hours into the adventure, Wild Arms remains a classic PS1 title. It's a memorable journey across a uniquely desolate fantasy world.
If you can stomach its rough exterior, Shadowrun Trilogy is an easy recommendation for RPG fans. The games' straightforward structure makes them approachable in ways that other tabletop-based titles on PlayStation aren't, and the role-playing options are engaging throughout. Combat could do with a bit more punch, and the technical issues are an annoyance, but there's a lot of value to this well written sci-fi-fantasy package.
Trek to Yomi is a decent samurai action game, elevated greatly by its superb presentation. Clocking in at only a few hours, this is a brief but ultimately satisfying tale, stitched together by some simple but very effective environmental design, and a combat system that rewards careful play. It's not quite side-scrolling Ghost of Tsushima, but it is an impressively atmospheric love letter to samurai cinema.
Fortunately, the controls are tight and slashing baddies feels great in that old school button-mashing kind of way. The level design is largely enjoyable as well, offering hidden paths, secrets, and a good amount of variety in both visuals and gameplay. Meanwhile, the boss battles are consistently intense and require some serious precision later on — a dangerous mix if you're already struggling with Ganryu 2's stiff challenge, but rewarding to overcome all the same.
Parts of Chrono Cross really haven't aged well, but it's still a charming, characterful JRPG that evokes feelings of the genre's golden age on PS1. It's a game that deserves better than The Radical Dreamers Edition, which, at least at launch, is a dreadfully poor remaster. Crippled by frame rate issues, it beggars belief that a title from 1999 could run this badly on modern hardware. Unless you're desperate for the nostalgia, we strongly recommend waiting to see whether Square Enix releases a patch to improve the package on PS4 and PS5 before buying.
Aside from the near total lack of side content, The Kaito Files has everything that you'd expect from a Yakuza-style experience. Its shorter length actually works in its favour, allowing for a well paced story that doesn't get caught up on overplayed plot points or filler missions. As RGG Studio's first crack at a proper expansion, it's a roaring success.
It's easy to see why Crusader Kings III is so revered on PC. It's a brilliantly deep and dynamic strategy title that simply never stops giving — but you'll need to commit to learning its near countless intricacies before diving in proper. A dangerously addictive game once you're invested.
The Ascent's a solid, if somewhat repetitive shooter, propped up by eye-popping environments and a reasonable amount of RPG depth. If you can stomach some grindy mission design and the occasional buggy interaction, then there's explosive fun to be had here.