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Turn Based Lovers's Reviews
Definitely one of the greatest modern strategy RPGs and a worthy successor to the classics like Fire Emblem, Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics. It's able to take the best from the famous games that inspired it, while adding plenty of unique and interesting features of its own. If you own a Switch and enjoy turn-based RPGs - then what are you waiting for?
Trails of Cold Steel IV is the grand finale of an epic series, which spans over a decade. As with Marvel movies, the more games you've played from the Trails, the better the experience. That's not to say new players won't enjoy it, as it is a good start to the series. The fans, however, would get way more out of it.
Mechajammer is a tough cyberpunk to love - with difficult combat, limited story and NPCs, and serious balancing issues with its character creation. Some players might still find something to enjoy, especially thanks to its intriguing PSX era graphics and fascinating synth-heavy soundtrack.
Ignited Steel: Mech Tactics is a fun game that'll scratch that tactical mecha combat itch. It learns from its predecessors and adds new mechanics that are fun to explore and exploit. It doesn't take too many risks, but it's a quite good first game from an indie studio. With new additional content and balance patches, it will surely become even better.
Ultimately, Punk Wars stands out as a fun game with a rough-around-the-edges indie charm. It could do with some polish; some map and texture packs would be a welcome addition in the short term, and a fifth faction could drive interest further down the road. For right now, it’s definitely worth playing through at least one of the campaigns, especially at the low price point of $20 US. There is also a free demo available called Punk Wars: Prologue if you’d like to try it first. The full game is available for Windows and Mac on both Steam and GOG and, at the time of this writing, is 10% off on both platforms.
I like Griftlands. It’s fun, and it does introduce new ideas, in the roguelite deckbuilder realm. I wish it did a bit more to make itself feel different from the other games in the genre. Combat is certainly somewhat too close to Slay the Spire and others. However, the setting and the negotiation system are great and really worth checking out. While I don’t intend to replay Griftlands, like I’ve done with other deckbuilders, I very much enjoyed my time with it.
Rise of the Third Power, I initially thought it would be a pirate-adventure, but it has to do more with war and manipulation. The battles are fun for a while but a speed option would have been preferable to those that wanted an in-between story mode (one-shot kills) and regular battles that sometimes took a while. I finished the game in about 16 hours but I still had some side-quests to do. I also skipped regular battles via story mode so that cut down on the finish time . I only did regular mode for bosses. The music was great, but I wasn't a fan of the character portraits that clashed with the game in my opinion. I also did not like the story as the circular storyline had me as a player felt like I accomplished nothing or questioning why things happened the way they did or. A skip scene option also would have been nice as scenes can be long.
Kemco RPGs have a look that can attract new and young fans but their gameplay is usually of the traditional RPG variety that classic and older fans may prefer. They usually don't have blockbuster budgets to work with so there usually isn't any cinematics or voice acting but most of that is made apparent with a quick look. Should if you are a RPG fan, Kemco is probably a company you have heard of as their games are low in price and you know what they bring to the table. This one is interesting enough that it warrants a look.
For a 15-year-old game, Lost Odyssey still holds up. The graphics may look outdated by today's standards, but the combat system and the story are some of the best from this genre. That alone makes it a must-play for any fan of JRPGs, especially those that have an Xbox of some type. It is made even more accessible through their backward compatibility program. Sadly, there is no other way to experience this gem at the time of writing.
Lemnis Gate carries with it many of the tried-and-true aspects of a team shooter that have become beloved in the genre while adding a unique timeline element that makes it its own unique entity. If it weren't for its shockingly low population of active players, this one seems like it would become a fan favorite.
Sheltered 2 is not perfect. A game with the potential to be a very good survival management sim. Albeit not completely turn-based, it possesses the right blend of features and activities to make it a WORTHWHILE play, but needs more QoL and balancing. It remains playable but under-developed in certain areas, missing features that were present in the first game. There are game breaking bugs but not as many as when first released.
Gears Tactics is the one for both the fans of the classic Gears lore and of the X-COM style tactical gameplay. While some may not enjoy the fast-paced nature of the game, others will find it to be a breath of fresh air. For those that enjoy both - well, they are in for a treat as it is the best of both worlds, which'll leave you craving for more in the future.
Decisive Campaigns Ardennes Offensive is a monster of a game! While it's somewhat of an acquired taste, for some players it'll be exactly what they've been looking for. So grab your helmet, put on Band of Brothers in the background, load your M1 Garand (or K98K) and get ready to hold the frontline.
Reverie Knights Tactics gets 2022 off to a wonderful start. Between its fun dialogue, great gameplay, and stunning visuals, this is a game that’s not to be missed. If this is what 40 Giants serves up with their first title, the future looks bright indeed.
Vagrus carves its own path in the crowded genre of open-world RPGs. Extremely difficult, but rewarding in its own right with a unique mix of strategy, management and turn-based combat. This is the one for those seekers of the unique, who can overcome some of its shortcomings and enjoy the great work done by the developers.
Brutal Orchestra is a "meaty" fine roguelite turn-based strategy game which makes great use of a peculiar pixelated art style and an exquisite soundtrack. While the brutal difficulty might turn some people away, the funny writing and good selection of unlockables will make sure the fans will gobble this one up.