The JRPG is going through an oddly fruitful point in its life right now. On one hand, it is undeniable that the genre lacks the cachet that it had during the 32-bit era, and it is doubtful it will ever reclaim that. However, publishers like Atlus, Nippon Ichi and XSEED — long regarded as some of the biggest risk-takers in publishing — have taken it upon themselves to ensure that many of the more offbeat titles in the genre actually make it outside of Japan. That has never happened on this scale before, and it is the only way that a game like Conception II would have ever seen the light of day in English-speaking territories. READ MORE
Throughout Dynasty Warriors history, one constant has been in place: do not, under any circumstances, pursue Lu Bu. He’ll kill you, probably. But, after so many years of not pursuing him, one must wonder what Lu Bu’s side is. As he lays waste to the battlefield, is his ferocity a reflection of his inner demons? Maybe he’s just misunderstood; he wants to be pursued by that special someone, but doesn’t know how to express his feelings. Luckily for us, Tecmo Koei and Omega Force finally address these burning questions and more in the spiffy PS4 (and other platforms) update, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition. READ MORE
The original Ragnarok Odyssey proved to be a great early hit for the Vita, finding success both in and outside Japan with its loot-driven hunting formula. With what is both an expansion pack and a revamped base game, Ragnarok Odyssey ACE refines its gameplay and adds content, along with making the move to the big screen with a PS3 release. READ MORE
It’s been about 13 years since the release of Final Fantasy X. With two online games and two console entries since 2001, how well does it hold up? Is it worth revisiting the world of Spira again?
Absolutely. If you ever needed a reason to play either one of these games, this would be a great time to do it. READ MORE
Ever since the humble beginnings of the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, we’ve seen releases of large swaths of arcade-style games. These titles, from Geometry Wars to Super Stardust, have populated these services from day one. Vlambeer, the creative team behind Super Crate Box and Ridiculous Fishing, is back with Luftrausers, a 2D action game that feels like it’s a lost gem from a bygone era. It continues the unstoppable trend of arcade-style downloadable games in style.
If you’ve played a game in the Ace Attorney series, imagine if it had something like Final Fantasy IV’s Active Time Battle system and you start to approach the weirdness that is Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. FFIV was considered a game-changer for JRPGs, and similarly, Danganronpa introduces some game-changing elements for the mystery visual novel. READ MORE
The theme of Falcom and XSEED’s latest, Ys: Memories of Celceta, is exploration. Series hero Adol Christin has always been portrayed as an adventurer, but this time around, the focus turns away from combat and puzzles and puts most of its eggs in a basket of discovery. It is an interesting take on the Ys formula, but due to some technical issues and a few underwhelming design choices, the Vita debut of the series isn’t as exciting as it should be. READ MORE
Media Molecule, a developer known for putting its most creative tools into the hands of the players, is a factory of imaginative design. The LittleBigPlanet games have done well to demonstrate its talents, but are more a showcase for its fans and not of its own abilities as a studio. Tearaway is the first game from them that infuses their design philosophies and creative ambitions into a title that feels like a passion project. Most importantly of all, it’s probably the best demonstrations of the Vita as a system. READ MORE
Batman: Arkham Asylum drew a lot of comparisons to Metroid when it released in 2009. Arkham City and Arkham Origins have been steadily moving away from that formula ever since, trading upgrade-driven exploration for open-world gameplay. Blackgate, however, channels the Metroid franchise quite a bit, which is unsurprising given developer Armature Studio’s ex-Retro origins. READ MORE
Valhalla Knights 3 takes the series onto the Vita, and with this transition comes a major change in tone: it’s much darker and grittier than the previous games. The big difference is the setting, taking place inside of a prison complex and the surrounding area, as opposed to the usual fantasy locales. The result is a collection of decidedly-seedy characters and stories. READ MORE