It’s been far too long since ‘Arc the Lad: End of Darkness’ effectively brought the franchise to a screeching halt on the PlayStation 2 in 2005, and although the Arc series as a whole has never brought the kind of mass acclaim that other venerable RPG franchises have, it’s been time wasted for those who got to experience its other entries. Now, a mere 16 years later for those in the west, the series is seeing an attempted resurgence on mobile.
The first sequel to smash-success Kingdom Hearts wasn’t Kingdom Hearts 2, as many gamers were expecting. In fact that game was some time away from release when the Game Boy Advance received an ambitious bridging chapter in Sora’s story called Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
Aside from a single adventure game release in 1982 by Sierra, the unique world setting of Jim Henson’s film ‘The Dark Crystal’ has been curiously unexplored in video game form. Though it’s always been a cult classic, a recent resurgence in interest led by a series of young adult novels and comics cumulated in Netflix commissioning a prequel series subtitled ‘Age of Resistance’ that also came with its own Tactics RPG tie-in.
When the announcement of a sequel to Ni No Kuni was entering production without the involvement of Studio Ghibli, many were skeptical if the game that had sold itself on its strong connections to the famous Japanese animation house could stand on its own. Looking at the shift toward more visceral and violent combat, it’s easy to see why Studio Ghibli moved away from the franchise, which had previously used puppets for conflicts to keep things child-friendly. Still, Level 5 are established JRPG developers with a long list of titles already under their belts and Ni No Kuni 2 should be in safe hands.
At one time the name Langrisser was a serious competitor with Fire Emblem and Shining Force in Japan. Five solid entries spanning from the Mega Drive (where it was renamed as ‘Warsong’ for western release) to the Sega Saturn era abruptly ended for the series to go dormant only to make an unexpected appearance on mobile devices in 2019.
It’s surprising that more games haven’t tried to ride the wave of interest that ‘Pokemon GO’ generated in geo-tagging games. To date there have been few serious attempts to do something new with the idea, which has remained largely unchanged since the launch of ‘Ingress’. Orna is a small, Indie team that’s taken on this challenge and for the most part they have risen to it spectacularly, adding some novel concepts that bring a lot of interest to the game. There’s precious little in the way of hand-holding too, with players effectively dropped into the world and given the onus to get on with things one turn-based battle at a time.
There are two schools of thought to Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness; there are those who think it’s a triumphant example of a traditional JRPG from Square Enix and those who derive the lack of significant process for the series and shallow story. Neither viewpoint is wrong, and that’s what seems to have led to this title being something of a black sheep of the 2017 games line-up.
Once upon a time there was an amazing game called ‘Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes’ that showed the world that match-3 RPGs could not only be good, but they could be exceptional. After seeing an original release on the DS it was given the HD makeover treatment in a lush edition for PlayStation 3 and was subsequently ported to iOS, Android and Steam. Sadly, despite being a paragon of the genre, a sequel was never made. Enter King . . . Continue reading
Final Fantasy Dimensions II is a premium title that started its life as a freemium one. This much is apparent from the get-go and may have pushed a lot of players away when it initially released. Don’t be afraid however, because there are no hidden purchases, stamina bars or other detritus attached to the game to catch you off-guard. Does it merit the price tag of a premium game though?
Suikoden is a series very close to our heart, and without a digital re-release of ‘Suikoden Tactics’ or ‘Suikoden V’ we’re rapidly running out of titles we can easily access to review in time to take part in this year’s Summer of Suikoden event. Luckily an English Translation exists for the Game Boy Advance exclusive title, Card Stories.