493 Published Reviews
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.
Mary Skelter 2Switch
In addition to its gameplay, Mary Skelter 2’s story is its main selling point. Filled with twists, the narrative is enjoyable and is a notable improvement over the first game. Players looking for a complete overhaul with the story will likely be disappointed, but those who were disappointed with the ending of the original will likely be much more satisfied with the sequel’s.
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.