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  • 49


    Review Monster Hunter Stories

    Pocket Monsters

    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,...

  • First Impressions Traversing Titans in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

    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

  • First Impressions Finding Our Way in Lost Sphear

    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...

  • 11

    Switch eShop

    Review Boost Beast

    Pairing Paws

    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

  • 71


    Review Miitopia

    RPMii Maker

    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

  • 72


    Review Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star

    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,...

  • 29

    Switch eShop

    Review I and Me

    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...

  • Feature Talking Trade With Bonnie Gordon, Voice of Fire Emblem: Echoes' Silque

    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...

  • 51


    Review RPG Maker Fes

    Unlimited Adventure

    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...

  • 13

    Switch eShop / Neo Geo

    Review Magical Drop II

    Just Magical

    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...

  • First Impressions Dropping in on Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase

    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,...

  • 77


    Review Ever Oasis

    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...

  • Feature Puzzling Over Dragons with GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita

    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...

  • First Impressions Showing our Hand in Culdcept Revolt on Nintendo 3DS

    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...

  • First Impressions Going Medieval in River City: Knights of Justice

    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,...

  • Feature Ever Oasis Producer Koichi Ishii On Evolving from Classics Like Secret of Mana

    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...

  • First Impressions Hacking and Slashing with Style in Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star

    Switching Fate

    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...

  • First Impressions Leaving Crumbs And Felling FOEs In Etrian Odyssey V On 3DS

    E3's other Odyssey

    ATLUS’ booth at E3 this year was packed full of 3DS RPG goodies, with marquees advertising Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, and Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth. Of those heavy hitters, only Etrian Odyssey was playable, but having immensely enjoyed previous entries in the series,...

  • First Impressions Running Wild in Runner3

    Sprinting to Switch

    An early hit on WiiWare, BIT.TRIP Runner was a favourite at Nintendo Life, combining auto-running rhythm gameplay with retro-styled visuals and hypnotic chiptune music. Its sequel Runner2 was equally well-received, and now developer Choice Provisions is bringing a third installment — Runner3 — to the Switch. We were able to...

  • First Impressions Finding Our Roots in Harvest Moon: Light of Hope

    Bucolic beacon

    Natsume’s booth at this year’s E3 was a farmland oasis from the wider chaos of the showfloor, decked out in pastoral charm and filled with flowers and plenty of plush cows, chickens, and sheep. It’s a familiar scene, but it seemed particularly pleasant this year, and the cause of the celebration was clear: it’s Harvest...

  • First Impressions Slicing Our Way Through Fire Emblem Warriors

    Class change

    First unveiled in a jam-packed January Nintendo Direct earlier this year, Fire Emblem Warriors is one of two Fire Emblems currently scheduled to hit Nintendo’s Switch. And while the still-untitled mainline adventure announced alongside it will likely continue with the grid-based strategy-RPG gameplay the series is known for, Warriors...

  • 12


    Review Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop

    Crack crack crack the egg into the bowl

    Of all the heroes of the DS’ Touch Generations era, Office Create’s Cooking Mama has been one of the most enduring — and prolific. Starting out from her humble beginnings as a short-order chef, using quick WarioWare-style touchscreen minigames to simulate the in-kitchen experience, she’s expanded...

  • 131


    Review Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

    Alms for the War

    Nintendo has a habit of switching things up in sequels, and especially in the NES days that tendency resulted in some gloriously divergent sophomore installments. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link famously swapped overhead adventuring for side-scrolling action, Super Mario Bros. 2 (in the West, at least) exchanged running-and-jumping...

  • 60

    Switch eShop

    Review Kamiko

    Shrine Get!

    eShop veterans CIRCLE Entertainment have kicked off the Switch era with a bang, starting with the excellent rhythm game VOEZ and continuing with the colourful overhead action of Kamiko. Developed by Japanese indie team Skipmore — responsible for Fairune and its sequel on the 3DS eShop — Kamiko sports a gorgeous pixel-art aesthetic,...