Like many genres steeped in nostalgia, there has been a first-person dungeon-crawler renaissance, specifically on handhelds. One of the key factors of this slow, undeniable resurgence of the genre is Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey series. Etrian Odyssey’s focus on providing a challenging and rewarding dungeon-crawling experience over an expansive narrative was admirable, but the potential for a story-focused adventure was there.
Two years after the release of the original Untold, Etrian Odyssey Untold 2 is here and takes the concept of a story-focused Etrian Odyssey title and expand on it. Unfortunately, like the original, it doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Puzzle & Dragons is an odd beast. The game taps into my love of puzzle games and an appreciation for awesome artwork. Still, the mobile original’s never-ending grind and constant prompting to spend to build a better team makes playing less of a delight and more of a chore. Without the pressure of stamina and with a definitive beginning and end, Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition avoids those pitfalls and plays into the concept’s strengths. Still, is it worth investing $30 in an experience so similar to a free-to-play phone game? READ MORE
Attack on Titan has proved itself to be a popular anime and manga. With success both in Japan and with Western audiences, a game adaptation was inevitably. 3DS title Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains released in Japan in 2013, and has finally made its way to the West. Taking advantage of the 3DS’s local wireless and online play, is Humanity in Chains able to capture the exciting story and battles of the series? READ MORE
When it was originally released in America in 2012, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 was largely overlooked. That’s not surprising: it was an original Nintendo DS title launching nearly a year after its successor hit the market, and it came just six months after Devil Survivor Overclocked, which, despite being a half-measure in many ways, was a much-needed complex RPG for early 3DS adopters who had little in the way of quality titles.
With a 3DS re-release, Devil Survivor 2 has another chance to capture the attention of the game-playing public. And it should, because Record Breaker makes an already-great game even better. READ MORE
Sometimes, Etrian Mystery Dungeon likes you a lot. You’re its pal, and it wants you to have a nice time. You’re gonna be buddies for dozens of hours, after all. Other times, Etrian Mystery Dungeon misses out on its morning coffee or something, and takes its frustrations out on you with a targeted viciousness. In sum, surprise! It’s a Mystery Dungeon game! READ MORE
The schism of the farming game world — that of developer Marvelous and Western publisher Natsume —is finally starting to show its repercussions. Since Marvelous decided to hand its Bokujou Monogatari series to its own team at XSEED and Natsume forged ahead with its Harvest Moon IP, it’s easier to see what each brought to the table. In Natsume’s case, it turns out that’s not much more than enthusiasm and good intentions. With its first separated release in Story of Seasons, Marvelous shows this move to have been only a good thing. READ MORE
Intelligent Systems has had a pretty good strategy game track record. With many successful and multiple entries in both the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series under its belt, the company took a chance in adding another strategy game to the mix. Does Code Name S.T.E.A.M. do enough to shake up the formula and add another excellent game to its repertoire? READ MORE
I might have mentioned Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate a few times over the last two years. You might also notice that we don’t have an actual review of MH3U here on Snackbar Games. The reason for this is that I bought it the same day I bought LEGO City: Undercover and that review took precedence; by the time I was able to play MH3U, it was too late for any review to be useful. I don’t have that problem this time, as indicated by the over 80 hours I’ve already put into Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate since picking it up — which officially makes it my second job if you do the math! READ MORE
Citizens of Earth feels like a tribute to the SNES classic (and tragically underplayed) Earthbound. I am a huge fan of that game for its irreverence, setting and gameplay, and Citizens of Earth takes liberally from its best elements. It’s genuinely funny and strategically deeper than it first appears, while leveraging its characters and setting well. Its attempts to reclaim the magic of its source material are largely successful, but most of all, it’s just a lot of fun to play. READ MORE
The release of X & Y was, in many ways, one of the best things to happen to the Pokémon series. The entries finally moved into a polygonal world, and streamlined many of the processes that were considered to be tedious in previous games. It’s been roughly ten years since Ruby & Sapphire released, making them (until now) the oldest generation without an updated edition. Like HeartGold & SoulSilver before them, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire update the mechanics while preserving the original’s world and quirks, and these latest releases serve as a reminder of exactly how much X & Y changed the game. READ MORE