Nier Replicant Ver.1.22474487139... is the best way to play a genuinely amazing game. The flaws of the original version have been smoothed out some more, and while it still struggles with tedium and grind, the bright spots stand out. Even if you're not traditionally into JRPGs, I can recommend Nier because its unique story and tremendous voicework make it stand out as an extremely well-told tale. Be prepared to curse the designer who decided that one of the most common items you need to upgrade weapons has what feels like a 1% drop rate.
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is really for the existing fans of the series. The recap of the series thus far isn't enough to get people caught up on what's going on without losing lots of detail in the process. The rhythm mechanics are good, but they have a learning curve regarding the hit area and which system you're working with, not to mention the occasional moments when the game can drop inputs.Overall, it's worth checking out as a companion piece to the main games rather than as an essential primer.
You're going to have a love-hate relationship with Paw Paw Paw. The story is wacky but not necessarily funny, with a presentation that's at odds with itself. The combat is easy to grasp but has a tendency to frustrate. The campaign is lengthy but feels too long due to the repeated backgrounds and long grind needed to handle the abrupt difficulty spikes. If you're not too discerning about your beat-'em-ups, then the game is a decent way to while away a weekend. Otherwise, you might want to hold off until you've at least beaten some other, better genre titles first.
I enjoyed Saga Frontier Remastered, and it's unarguably the best version of the game, but you need to have some patience and a genuine fondness for PS1-era experimentation that fails as often as it succeeds. Saga Frontier is fun and interesting when it isn't being tedious or bewildering. Fans will probably be quite happy with the new version of the game, and it's the most accessible version of the game for newcomers. Don't be surprised if you pick it up and end up lost, confused, and wondering why the heck Lute got his own scenario.
The Last Show of Mr. Chardish is a gem of a title. Although some may wish that the story encompassed more than just one character in a detailed manner, the tale is fascinating due to the subject matter and the flashback/reverse order in which the tale is told. The actual gameplay sections are engaging even though most of it is rather simple, and the inclusion of a few secrets rewards those who would rather spend some time exploring each play rather than rushing through them. It's short but feels perfect in length, and those who enjoy a good narrative would definitely enjoy this game.
The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante is one of the better games of its kind I have played in recent memory. The world-building and writing are enthralling, and the prospect of guiding your character from life to death is a fun and challenging exercise. I would have loved more interactivity, especially in dialogues, and some decisions seem predetermined and stacked against you a few too many times to truly feel open. In the end, that doesn't detract from the otherwise fun RPG adventure novel. If you're yearning for a good RPG adventure that is heavy on the reading side, I'd highly recommend The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante.
Witcheye is one of those games that lives and dies on how much you love its quirk. The controls take some getting used to, and it is frustrating to see yourself miss on some easy gems while you're learning things. Once you get everything down, you'll find the game to be pretty short but very enjoyable. Considering how cheap the title is, fans of non-traditional platformers shouldn't be afraid to try Witcheye.
Like a good number of story-based indie platformers before it, Lost Words: Beyond The Page has the potential to stick with you long after you reach the end credits. The game looks and sounds wonderful, and the gameplay feels novel, even if it isn't challenging. It is the story that you will remember the most, especially since the different perspective gives the tale even more of an emotional impact. For those who crave story, Lost Words is well worth checking out.
While it has some story pains, make no mistake: It Takes Two is a fantastic game and a welcome 2021 surprise. Grab a friend or loved one; find a co-worker or bridge buddy. Regardless of who you pair up with, this is one adventure you'll want to share together.