Level-5 may be a big name in the gaming industry these days, but once upon a time they were just another nobody set to release a launch title for the PlayStation 2. Whilst Dark Cloud is certainly showing its rough edges in this day and age (and has undoubtedly been bettered) it’s still interesting to see the scope this studio invested in their first outing.
Kemco has developed a reputation for pushing out JRPGs onto mobiles as a schedule to intense that the quality of their games can suffer for it, with many feeling like drab re-treads that use the same system and assets with minimal new elements or gameplay hooks. It’s interesting to see how many of these faults can be forgiven when the game is wrapped in a ‘retro’ presentation.
Galaxy of Pen and Paper sees a return to the series by its original development team, Paradox North after briefly handing over the reins of the franchise to Paradox Interactive (who recently made the original free to play) while they made their Power Rangers tribute Tactical RPG ‘Chroma Squad’. You’ll learn that the developers liked Chroma Squad quite a lot throughout Galaxy of Pen and Paper, largely because the characters in the game keep talking about it.
For many the most fun to be had in any ‘Legend of Zelda’ game is when the hook shot item comes into play. Legend of the Skyfish takes this idea and runs with it, and its developer, Mgaia makes the most of the concept.
Kongregate has given us some really interesting titles over the last couple of years, both through their official website and on mobile. Bit Heroes is their first major stab at bringing a social MMORPG to life after a slew of other genre types, and Juppiomenz has done an excellent job producing a workable model for mobile.
I am Setsuna lives in an interesting space between being a heavy nod to ‘Chrono Trigger’ and an attempt at an art-house take on an old-school JRPG. It’s trying to be stylish and original at the same time as reminding players how much they enjoy the old classics. Somewhere in the middle the game gets a little muddled and it doesn’t always reach the high-notes of either approach.
Phantasy Star II is the second entry into the acclaimed Phantasy Star series from Sega, but it chooses to do a lot of things quite differently from its predecessor. Today it’s largly remembered for being the series’ first entry onto the Mega Drive and for its convoluted dungeon designs, but how does it hold up in this modern era?