510 Published Reviews
Final Fantasy VII RemakePS4
Final Fantasy VII Remake is an admirable foundation to build off of for future entries, especially in terms of its standout combat and some wonderful examples of building on the premises of the original game. Fans familiar with Final Fantasy VII should enjoy numerous moments of unbridled and unashamed nostalgia of revisiting their favorite places and characters under a new light, while newcomers should get just enough of a glimpse as to how and why so many were originally captivated long ago.
When Element Space is bad, it’s bad to the point of having to fully close the game and lose anything from a few minutes to a few hours of progress. When it seems good, I began to wonder if it only felt that way because almost every other part of the port feels unfinished. Overall, I appreciate parts and pieces of Element Space, but it cannot hold its own within the genre. Element Space has potential, but potential often isn’t enough.
Iron Danger is a unique tactical game unlike most others out there. Clocking in at around 12 hours long, it doesn't overstay its welcome. It's an interesting take on a tactical style, but I don't think it will leave a lasting impression on me.
Persona 5 RoyalPS4
If you didn’t like Persona 5 I can’t say for sure that Royal will change your mind, but you’ll likely still appreciate how it addresses the original game’s flaws. I loved getting to revisit my favorite cast of characters, the visuals and sense of style are still unparalleled, and the combat and dungeons stand out as some of the best of any RPG I’ve ever played. Persona 5 Royal is phenomenal, and if you go into it with an open mind I'm sure it'll take your heart just like it did mine.
At first glance, Nioh 2 might be more of the same, and on some level that is true. But what Nioh had to offer was an incredibly good, extremely enjoyable mix of elements that worked surprisingly well together. Nioh 2 simply embraces all its predecessor did well before, improves on some aspects that were there, and even allows you more freedom to enjoy the game however you want to play it.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DXSwitch
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is going to end up surprising a lot of people. Once you get past the initial few hours, it becomes clear why the series has sustained such a fan-base over a long period of time. Although it has its share of annoying faults, the entertaining story, the huge amount of content to complete, and the fun, simplistic gameplay makes it a great choice for Pokemon fans and dungeon-crawler fans alike.
Langrisser I & II is like a studio adding color to a classic Hollywood movie from the golden age. It's not necessarily better now than it was, but a touch up might make it more appealing to some. In the end, the remakes of the first two Langrisser games don't quite add anything to make them automatically better than their original counterparts - it's more just a different take on the original games.
Hero must die. againPC
As flawed as it may be, I find it impossible to hate Hero Must Die—I just hope that the developers can have another chance to make a follow-up. They more than proved that the concept could work, and there are some real makings for a truly fantastic RPG. What we’re left with here might not be a must play in its own right, but is absolutely the type of unique experience you won’t likely forget.
Rune Factory 4 SpecialSwitch
All in all, it was a great time. Playing Rune Factory 4 Special reminded me of why I was so attracted to these games as a kid and reinvigorated my love for the franchise again. While it does lack some features that other games of a similar genre have added, such as the much needed same-sex marriage or further character customization, it was still a great play.
KATANA KAMI: A Way of the Samurai StoryPC
Being a small-scaled spin-off did hamper some of its more ambitious ideas. Nevertheless, Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story isn’t quite the Way of the Samurai game I wanted but that doesn’t make it terrible; there is just an untapped well of potential that it ultimately fails to reach though.
SNACK WORLD: THE DUNGEON CRAWL - GOLDSwitch
Snack World also doesn’t seem to be able to decide who its target audience is. Although the colourful world and poppy music may seem geared at children, there are a lot of systems for players to learn and some surprisingly difficult missions. It’s all wrapped in cute references to RPG’s and pop culture, but getting through Snack World’s latter half is no cake walk (pardon the pun) and that might confuse potential buyers.
Steins;Gate My Darling's Embrace is a charming VN that pleasantly surprised me with just how high quality it is. Its nothing groundbreaking, but if you go into it expecting a fun nostalgia trip with your favorite characters it’ll definitely deliver. The comedy made me smile, the translation is high quality, it felt great to revisit the original game with a different spin on the setting, and the characters were as just as enjoyable.
Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe PackSwitch
The other games are great, but Escha & Logy is one of my favorite games ever made. The gameplay is honestly perfect, the story is touching, and the soundtrack still hasn’t been topped by an Atelier game since. The entire Dusk series felt like GUST flexing their talent for three whole years, and I hope these ports coming out means the release of a fourth game in this trilogy like with Atelier Lulua and the Arland Trilogy.
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this WorldSwitch
YU-NO had just as many glaring flaws in its story as it did innovative ideas, and this remake does nothing to fix or improve them. This was out of respect for the original author and I get that, but it is still a shame. For those who aren’t bothered by any of the issues I mentioned, you’ll probably appreciate the optional improvements to streamlining the gameplay. I would have loved the game more if it didn’t undermine such a brilliant and natural set of progression mechanics with a weak cast of characters and inconsistent plot.
Arc of AlchemistSwitch
It's an embarrassment and Idea Factory clearly knew what a stinker the game was with the haphazard axing of the game's originally planned English dub and NA physical releases. Arc of Alchemist is the worst game that I have ever reviewed, and I sincerely hope that Idea Factory takes the time to really consider how this game came out the way that it did. I know they can do better than this.
Kingdom Hearts III Re:MindPS4
Whether or not you’re going to get much out of Kingdom Hearts Re Mind is really going to depend on how much of a fan of the series you are. If you’re a super-fan, then chances are you’ve had it pre-ordered from day one and you’ve likely got no complaints about it, but if you only played Kingdom Hearts 3 for the Disney worlds or to see what the fuss is about then Re Mind is an incredibly hard sell at its asking price.
As it stands, it's hard to recommend these ports. It's still Utawarerumono, and if my experience playing the games on Vita are anything to go by - blurry graphics probably won't ruin your experience - I still have to hope that these issues will get patched up in the coming weeks. I certainly hope they do.
Dragon Ball Z: KakarotPS4
In the end, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot feels like it doesn’t know what it wants to be. As a Dragon Ball love letter, it’s nearly perfect, featuring an amazing world and attention to detail. But as an RPG and action-adventure game, it’s only good. Its combat can be fun and some of the more in-depth elements are a good change of pace, but a lot of it feels pointless or time-consuming. Dragon Ball Z fans have a lot to love here, but RPG fans might find themselves wishing for something more.
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost SoulsPC
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is a serviceable dungeon crawler that doesn't have anything going for it. Being relatively simple in dungeon design and difficulty, but still containing characteristic quirks found in the genre, it might actually be a decent entry point into Wizardry style games as long as you are willing to figure things out without the help of tutorials. However, there are certainly better dungeon crawlers out there that are more worth your time.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE EncoreSwitch
Players that have already played and beaten the original Wii U version might find that there isn't much reason to get this game other than that you can play on your Switch. If you haven't played this before, it's a great addition to your library, especially for fans of Fire Emblem and the Shin Megami Tensei series, although I do feel that it’s quite the missed opportunity for not restoring some of the deleted content from the original Japanese version.
Shenmue III is a game of half-measures. It ultimately delivers on its promise of the continuation of the Shenmue story for fans that have been waiting on it for years, but that doesn’t mean it delivers on that promise well. Shenmue III could have been so much more, or at least tried to wrap up Ryo’s tale, but instead, we are left with another cliff-hanger. Deep Silver and Ys Net delivered a game that works but is as unambitious and dull as Ryo’s dialogue.
Monster Hunter: World - IcebornePC
All told, Monster Hunter World's PC offering is in a much better place than it was initially, and even then it was never a slouch. There's a lot of credit to be given to all of the support that the title has received over the last year and a half, but also a lot of headache that comes with the staggered release. In a burgeoning era of cross-platform play, having a delayed release here feels a bit out of time. With that considered however, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is a game that's easy to recommend without hesitation.
DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2PC
The game comes with all of the DLC in a bundle pre-packaged, but that's mostly useless unless you're going to be playing the game well past the credits roll. One nice thing is that the game allows you to visit worlds that players on both PS4 and Switch have developed! I assume the same must be true the other way around, and PS4 and Switch players should be able to visit PC players' worlds since the game's launch on Steam. Not exactly a "PC" specific bonus, but still one may be worthy of a shout. Overall, this is a very solid port.
SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONSPS4
SaGa Scarlet Grace is an RPG that took a lot of risks, to be sure, but the end result is a fascinating RPG that you won't truly find anywhere else - one that you owe it to yourself to play. Even SaGa's normally obtuse nature isn't nearly as much of a barrier this time around, as the game comes included with Tips that can help you get started with the world. Scarlet Grace is easily the best RPG I've played this year, and might just be the most memorable game that I've played in a very long time.
Life is Strange 2 - Episode 5PC
Life is Strange 2 is not always comfortable to play, but that’s essentially the point. You’re supposed to be heartbroken about everything that Sean and Daniel go through. You’re supposed to take the experience and reflect. Reflect on why they had to fight so hard just to survive, and why the Diaz brothers had to suffer so much prejudice along the way. A simple happy ending would not work for the story that Life is Strange 2 set forth to tell. Episode 5 is every bit the conclusion that this series deserved, no matter how painful that is to truly say.