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Everybody wants to rule the world
While wartime strategy games are one of the evergreen genres of both board and PC gaming, they’re much less of a presence on console; outside of steadfast staples like the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, historical takes on the turn-based formula are particularly scarce. CIRCLE’s Conqueror series brought...
While we’ve seen all sorts of titles make their way to Nintendo systems in recent years, one genre that’s been distinctly underrepresented - and largely confined to PlayStation Vita - are otome games: romance titles starring female protagonists and marketed to women. D3 Publisher’s The Men Of Yoshiwara: Kikuya is the first title...
How low can you go?
When it first released on PC in 2015, Brace Yourself Game’s Crypt Of The NecroDancer was an unexpected delight: a personable dungeon crawler on a rhythm game base, it combined the procedurally-generated levels and relentless challenge of the roguelike genre with the beating heart of a dance game. Now that it’s out on Nintendo...
"I think you can call it a spiritual successor to Gals Fighters"
Of all the titles announced in January’s Nintendo Direct, one of the biggest surprises was SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy. An all-female fighter featuring 2-vs-2 action and a cast of some of SNK’s best-loved characters, wrapped up in over-the-top costumes and candy-coated style, SNK...
You can go home again
The 3DS may be getting on these days, but it’s certainly got plenty to show for its half-dozen years on the scene, including an astoundingly impressive collection of RPGs. ATLUS has been a prolific contributor to this corner of its library, and alongside original titles such as Shin Megami Tensei IV, Persona Q, and Stella...
Ghosts in the machine
While some videogame genres remain quite open-ended in interpretation - puzzles or platformers, for instance - others have become decidedly codified. Perhaps no template exemplifies this phenomenon as much as the ‘roguelike’, a game type born from its 1980 PC namesake and with a modern presence on nearly every console under...
Stars in their eyes
With all the massive open-world adventures that have found a happy home on Switch so far, it’s equally nice to see indie developers crafting compelling experiences on much smaller scales. OPUS: The Day We Found Earth, a narrative-driven mobile port from indie studio SIGONO, certainly fits into that category, and it’s an...
Rōmaji rhythm runner
If you spend much time playing games, watching anime, or reading manga, Japanese is certainly an appealing second language option, and if you want to try your hand at learning, Hiragana Pixel Party — originally a mobile title — aims to kickstart that process. While it won’t help you with words or phrases, it will teach...
While the Switch has already booked an array of both dance (Just Dance 2017 and 2018) and rhythm games (like VOEZ, Deemo, and Superbeat Xonic), it’s safe to say that there’s nothing else in the system’s lineup quite like Floor Kids. In fact, this labour of love from Montreal-based duo JonJon (animator and former bboy) and Kid Koala...
"Pure, uninhibited (funky) joy"
There are plenty of dance-based games out there - with the likes of Just Dance 2017 and Just Dance 2018 having already moonwalked their way onto Switch - but the classic art of breakdancing is yet to have its proper time in the virtual spotlight. Well, one little indie is about to change all that, and with style, too...
From touchscreen jams like Deemo and VOEZ to the button-based beats of Thumper and Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical, the Switch has already assembled an impressive collection of music games in its first year, and that trend doesn’t look set to end anytime soon. Superbeat: Xonic is the latest début to hit the
We're so style savvy
Paris. London. Milan. Kyoto? That’s right; while fashion industry hotshots and hopefuls tuned in to expos and trade shows in the Big Three, for many others, 2017’s haute couture highlight was delivered in a Nintendo Direct from the heart of Kansai: the announcement of New Style Boutique 3: Styling Star. Syn Sophia’s Style...
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