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Girls Just Wanna Draw Blood
Some developers become so associated with a particular property that their name is almost synonymous with the series; such is certainly the case for Gust, whose annual alchemy-based Atelier titles have been delighting PlayStation gamers with intricate crafting and sunny slice-of-life storytelling since the PS One days. In...
Few systems have been blessed with the sheer number of RPGs of Nintendo’s plucky little 3DS, and perhaps no publisher has been as persistent in its contribution to that collection as KEMCO. It's brought more than a dozen titles — most of them mobile ports — to the 3DS’ eShop, alongside a smaller number to the Wii U, and now that...
Off the charts
ATLUS has been one of the 3DS’ biggest supporters, supplying Nintendo’s stereoscopic system with an impressive stream of JRPG gems over the last 6 years — including several excellent entries in the Etrian Odyssey series. Starting out on the DS and combining first-person dungeon crawling and touchscreen map-making, these...
The Switch has earned something of a reputation for hosting modern updates of classics from the Japanese gaming canon, with notable reimaginings like Blaster Master Zero and Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap hitting the nostalgia button on Turbo mode. One of the more surprising returnees to take advantage of this trend was Soldam: Blooming...
Taiwanese developer Rayark may best be known for its music games on mobile platforms, but it was also responsible for one of the best surprises in the Switch’s launch lineup with VOEZ. Brought to the Switch by publisher Flyhigh Works, this colourful title showed how well once-free-to-play rhythm games could work on Nintendo’s handheld...
The Boos are Back in Town
Level-5’s Yo-Kai Watch drew plenty of comparisons to Pokémon when it first came West, thanks to its monster-gathering mechanics and playground appeal, but it really started to resemble Nintendo’s Pocket Monster powerhouse with the split release of its 2016 sequel: Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Yo-Kai Watch 2: Fleshy...
There aren’t many licensed properties that can claim to have a game on both the Bandai Wonderswan and Nintendo’s Switch, but that’s the case with Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece — this evergreen manga megahit has had a steady stream of video game adaptations over its 20-year-plus run, with One Piece Unlimited World Red - Deluxe...
Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has become something of a runaway success since its 2004 debut on the PlayStation 2, reaching millions of players on various platforms, and spawning an explosion of similar games in the ‘Hunter’ mold. Action RPGs with a focus on multiplayer teamwork and lengthy battles against massive monsters,...
Arts of Fighting
Of all the big Switch exclusives due this year, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 might just be the biggest; Splatoon 2 may be racking up big sales, and Super Mario Odyssey may hold more space in the collective imagination, but there’s no arguing with the vastness of Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles series. The Wii original
Not all who wander…
Along with the open-world intrigue of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the retro goodness of Hamster’s ACA Neo Geo releases, the Switch’s launch lineup included I Am Setsuna, a retro-styled JRPG from Square Enix subsidiary Tokyo RPG Factory that delivered an old-school adventure in a snowy modern package. It’s...
Arc System Works may be best known for its hardcore 2D fighters, like Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, but it's also got a softer side, publishing several smaller titles like Shephy and New Frontier Days on the Switch eShop. The latest of these is Boost Beast, an animal-themed match-three puzzler from Yoshi's New Island and
Nintendo’s endlessly endearing Mii characters have been one of the most enduring creations of the Wii era; from their earliest days as Wii Sports athletes and player avatars, they’ve gone on to star in StreetPass and Nintendo Land, soar through the air in Pilotwings Resort, race in Mario Kart 8, and even battle it out in Sup
The Emperor’s New Clothes
If you’re unfamiliar with the Fate/ franchise, you’ll certainly be forgiven; this long-running series from doujin developers Type-Moon started with a 2004 erotic visual novel (Fate/stay night), and has flown largely under the mainstream radar since, while steadily expanding into a massive media collection of RPGs,...
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
The Switch eShop has seen an impressive array of indie titles since its initial launch, and along with known quantities from studios like WayForward and Shin’en, we’ve also been treated to some impressive developer debuts — including the delightful maiden voyage of Chinese solo act Wish Fang, I and Me. I and Me is a...
On being Silque and singing Mother Mila's praises
Modern Fire Emblem games have been a real cornerstone of the 3DS’ library, with Awakening, Fates, and Echoes each excellent examples of the series’ endless tactical RPG appeal. They’ve become fan favourites not only because of their satisfyingly strategic gameplay, but also because of the...
If any modern system can lay claim to the JRPG throne, it’s the 3DS. In the six-or-so years since Nintendo’s little handheld hit the market, aficionados have been treated to all sorts of adventures new and old, from Dragon Quests and Bravely games to Shin Megami Tenseis galore. That sort of library encourages serious RPG...
Switch eShop / Neo Geo
Although SNK’s Neo Geo is perhaps best known for its dreamy array of one-on-one fighters, beat-‘em-ups, and shooters, the arcade marvel also played host to an impressive parade of puzzle games, from classics like Puzzle Bobble to deep cuts like the oddly addicting currency-converter Money Idol Exchanger. If there’s a series that...
A Jaleco Jam of Falling Fruit
The launch of the Switch was an especially exciting one because, for the first time on a Nintendo system, a region-free eShop meant gamers everywhere had access to content from outside their home territory. North American gamers could grab VOEZ from the European or Japanese shops a week before its release in the region,...
Happily Ever After
Ever Oasis might be a new IP, but it comes from a long and storied pedigree: the brainchild of Secret of Mana creator Koichi Ishii, and developed by Grezzo (of the 3DS Zelda remakes and StreetPass Garden/Flower Town fame), while it certainly reflects the influence of its creators’ earlier works, as a full package it feels fresh...
On puzzles, dragons, Switch support, and (not) beating Breath of the Wild
As one of the most successful — and addictive — mobile match-threes of all time, GungHo Online Entertainment’s Puzzle & Dragons needs no introduction. Lighting up smartphones from Japan to Europe, North America and beyond, it’s also made quite a splash on...
Of dice and decks
Of all the games we got to try out at E3 this year, one stood out as having perhaps the least likely origin story: Culdcept Revolt. This 3DS title, published by Nintendo in Japan but brought Westward by NIS America, is the latest game in a series that started with a Japan-exclusive game for the Sega Saturn. Combining board game...
Sir Crash ’n’ the Boys
Natsume’s E3 showings have always included some sort of farming goodness through their evergreen Harvest Moon games, but for the last two years running we’ve also been treated to fresh installments in Arc System Works’ hard-hitting Kunio-kun series. Previously localised under such varying titles as River City Ransom,...
A game where "players can grow and think about what they can do" for others
The 3DS has been a home for a high number of excellent RPG and adventure games, with those small screens absorbing our attention and taking us into fantastical worlds. The DS had a similar heritage, as the combination of Nintendo portable hardware and sizeable, intriguing...
The Fate/ series spans an impressive range of genres; beginning with an erotic visual novel (!) in 2004, it’s carried its unique narrative brand — focusing on events called Holy Grail Wars — through dungeon crawlers, JRPGs, fighting games, and more. The latest, ambitiously named game in the series — Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral...