484 Published Reviews
Darksiders Genesis, assuming some of the technical limitations are ironed out, could be a fun co-op romp for ardent fans of the franchise. For those looking to try out something new, there are better co-op games, and better Darksiders games.
STAR OCEAN First Departure RPS4
Star Ocean: First Departure R is a fine port of a mediocre RPG. It's great that the game is playable now on modern platforms outside of a PSP UMD, but the all same flaws are still present, and a couple of small opportunities to potentially smooth out the experience weren't made. Check out the game if you are curious to experience the original Star Ocean story in some form, but it doesn't stand tall against its peers.
Romancing SaGa 3PS4
Although Romancing SaGa 3 is a wonderful game, I hesitate to recommend playing this game without any prior knowledge of the series or what to expect. The obtuse nature of the game is very different from many other traditional RPGs, and I advise interested new players to go into the game with an open mind. Veterans of the series, on the other hand, will know what they're getting into, which is essentially the definitive version of Romancing SaGa 3: a port that improves aspects of the game without ruining the appeal of the original.
STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen OrderPS4
Looking beyond the technical hitches, Jedi Fallen Order is an extremely strong, confident Star Wars adventure that shows how much potential the universe still has in gaming. If this is the A New Hope of Star Wars games, then I can’t wait to see the Empire Strikes Back.
I firmly believe that the games would’ve benefited from another year in development. Even if the region itself hadn’t seen many changes, just patching up the presentation a bit, adding a little more content to mess with during the post-game, and fixing the story’s unfortunate pacing could’ve done this game wonders. There was a chance for these games to be some of the best in the series, and it’s just depressing that the final product that we’re left with is so utterly flawed.
Conception PLUS: Maidens of the Twelve StarsPS4
As a whole, I’m confused with what Conception was going for. It’s not necessarily a bad game, but I’m hard-pressed to find anything it does exceptionally well outside of the localization. It was an enjoyable time once I turned my brain off, but the gameplay doesn't remain engaging and the constant use of sexual innuendo is goofy at best and exhausting otherwise. It’s a solid remaster of a PSP game, but it never felt like anything more than a cleaned-up PSP game -- maybe that description alone is enough.
DORAEMON STORY OF SEASONSSwitch
Although the title lacks some of the popular features of other farming simulators, such as dating, Doraemon: Story of Seasons is a charming game that I think is great for kids and a great starting entry for the genre. It doesn't add anything new to the genre, but if you wanted a game that is a great farming simulator along with an establishment of a popular IP, then Doraemon: Story of Seasons is worth a look at, as well as being a much better game to play for a younger demographic. But there are plenty of other competing options out there and it will probably not be your go-to title.
Disco Elysium is a wonderfully written RPG that defies preconceptions of what RPGs can be. Whether or not it somehow marks its own paradigm shift or inspires a new sub-genre remains to be seen, but for now, I encourage anyone who wants to experience some of the best game writing on offer to give it a try.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret HideoutSwitch
Ultimately, though, they’re the kind of wrinkles that can be smoothed out in a sequel, and it’s pretty likely that Atelier Ryza is the first of its own trilogy. Even with the wrinkles, though, it’s a great jumping in point for newcomers to the series, with its simpler approach to alchemy and lack of time limits to adhere to. While I may have enjoyed Atelier Lulua more, that title comes with three other games’ worth of baggage to deal with. Atelier Ryza is a fresh start, and a perfect title to jump right into the series with.
Disgaea 4 Complete+Switch
I wasn’t expecting to have this much fun with Disgaea 4 Complete. The story didn’t blow me away, but the humorous dialogue and amazing cast go a long way. It’s still an incredibly addicting game with multiple endings and an insane amount of content. If you’ve already spent countless hours on the Vita version you might not find too much of a reason to grab Complete +, but this is the definitive release of one HL of an SRPG. That’s all from me, I’m off to go kill some more time in the Item-World now, dood.
Ys IX: Monstrum NoxPS4
When all is said and done, I still greatly enjoyed my time with Ys IX… but there’s a lot to be said about consistency. While parts of Ys IX are better than portions of Ys VIII, the overall experience’s inconsistency holds it back. As someone that has played every version of Ys VIII, I can’t help but compare Ys IX as it is now to Ys VIII with its Vita release. That being the case – I’m hopeful that we can see an expanded version of Ys IX in the future that fixes many of its faults, too.
The Outer WorldsPS4
The presentation being lacklustre should in no way be a dealbreaker though. Obsidian have crafted a smart, witty, deep RPG experience that feels confident in its own shoes. It keeps its focus on having good role-playing mechanics, whilst still managing to have an involved combat system that improves on what we’ve seen done in the genre before. Microsoft and Obsidian seem set on making The Outer Worlds a franchise, and if that’s the case then this is a hell of an introduction.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IIIPS4
Trails of Cold Steel III is an absolutely massive game, as even with utilizing turbo a large portion of my playthrough, I still sunk over 90 hours into the game by the time the credits rolled. There's so much more I could talk about. Side activities like the new card game, Vantage Masters, which is absolutely a Gwent styled game on its own - with dozens of characters throughout the adventure willing to play a set with you - and more. At the end of the day, however, I'm just happy to see that the series appears to be in good hands with NIS America.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete EditionSwitch
All in all, it’s hard to argue against this collection, even with those small technical issues. For less than a full-priced game you are getting not one, but two great and substantial RPGs. Cyber Sleuth is easily among the best Digimon games and stories, while Hacker’s Memory might have its downsides compared to the base game but still is an good game on its own. If you ever enjoyed Digimon but haven’t played either of these games, then this is the way to experience modern Digimon at its best.
Little Town HeroSwitch
Even though its severe issues with optimization and gameplay balance have soured me on it, Little Town Hero is a neat game that I don’t regret checking out. Listening to the amazing tunes of Hitomi Sato and guest composer Toby Fox of Undertale fame throughout my 15-hour playthrough made for an enjoyable experience after all is said and done. There are a plethora of creative ideas inside Little Town Hero and I wish it came together more cohesively. Several performance and quality-of-life enhancements will go a long way for this game if it ever receives those patches.
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced EditionPS4
It’s hard to miss the ways it influenced the genre two decades years ago and how its impact can still be seen in games today, but as a modern experience, it does require a new player to meet in the middle a bit in terms of quality-of-life and the slightly-dated presentation. Despite that, this is the perfect game for a fan of the genre like me to finally play and having an updated version of the game available to a wide new audience is an opportunity for new fans to see exactly why it remains so highly regarded to this day.
Indivisible is extraordinary. It’s a very focused game that cuts out a lot of the fluff in RPGs. There’s no skill trees, no crafting, no mundane ‘kill 10 of this monster’ type of stuff, no weapon or armor system, and not even money to spend things on. There’s one basic currency you collect to upgrade your attack or defense. I think this works in Indivisible’s favor in an era filled with games full of massive checklists, endless progress bars, and so forth. Lab Zero has an admirable vision of where it wanted to take Indivisible; it may be a streamlined experience, but it’s a damn good one.
DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive EditionSwitch
Dragon Quest XI isn't going to be a game that is going to win any award on innovation, but it is a game that has great fundamentals on what makes a traditional RPG good and does it perfectly. If you have already played the previous release of Dragon Quest XI on PS4 or PC, there are plenty of quality of life changes added here to give it the Definitive Edition tag and Dragon Quest XI S is a must-have title for anyone's game library.
As it is, it’s hard for Code Vein to stand out in a group of games that have attempted to be more than just a Soulslike. With good ideas in terms of gameplay that are poorly executed and interesting themes that go completely unexplored, Code Vein ends up being unfortunately just another average Dark Souls clone with a slightly different flavor that it doesn’t even try to offer in spades.
Despite everything, I enjoyed my time with Borderlands 3. Not to say that the game as a whole isn't good – but rather despite all of the game’s numerous technical troubles, I do believe that once everything is said and done, Borderlands 3 will be a game that most series’ fans will be more than happy with, and a title that is more than worthy of recommendation. I just don’t think that day is today.
The Surge 2PC
The Surge 2 makes several smart gameplay refinements from its predecessor that polish up some rough edges, and environmental design & traversal have improved considerably. However, the lack of enemy variety, disappointing boss encounters, and overreliance on blocking prevent The Surge 2 from making the full next step into being a great action RPG.The Surge 2 makes several smart gameplay refinements from its predecessor that polish up some rough edges, and environmental design & traversal have improved considerably. However, the lack of enemy variety, disappointing boss encounters, and overreliance on blocking prevent The Surge 2 from making the full next step into being a great action RPG.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's AwakeningSwitch
When it comes to looking at remakes and remasters, the one question you really have to ask is, does this improve upon the original game? Thanks to a beautiful presentation, fantastic gameplay that more than holds up today and some significant gameplay tweaks, Link’s Awakening shows that old-school Zelda has just as much of a place in contemporary gaming as it did back in 1993.
AI: The Somnium FilesPC
AI: The Somnium Files is a must-play for fans of detective games. It’s risky, creative, fascinating, and feels like the next step for the visual novel medium. There are plenty of valid worries I’ve seen pop up from people who felt burnt by ZTD, but I feel like all of those were addressed here. It’s far from perfect, but the flaws are incredibly minor and it still delivers the strongest narrative I’ve seen from a game all year. Fans and newcomers will find a lot to Love with AI, don’t Sleep on this game.
While Minoria is far from perfect, it does show a lot of promise for future titles. Minoria is not connected to the Momodora for a few reasons, but it’s clear Bombservice wanted to try some new things within the Metroidvania framework and it succeeds in some aspects but needs work in others. If anything, Minoria makes me excited for a Minoria 2, where a lot of the wrinkles are ironed out and all of the gameplay mechanics gel together better.
While it shares several of the same trimmings, I ended up finding an experience that was unique and stands on its own merits. I feel like it's an easy game to criticize for lots of reasons that I wouldn't disagree with -- but I was thoroughly impressed with the handling of the setting, the tone of the narrative, the character interactions and how those meshed with the underlying systems and mechanics, that I simply found myself uninterested in clinging on too strongly to a list of imperfections. Greedfall is an ambitious game that punches above its weight, one that RPG fan owe it to themselves to try. 8 / 10