The Puzzle Quest series was one of the first titles to mix the match 3 and RPG genres successfully, and Puzzle Quest 1 and 2 are still solid entries into the sub-genre years after their original release (though ‘Puzzle Quest 2’ is notable by its absence in digital stores these days). With the main-line titles spinning off into licensed properties such as ‘Magic: The Gathering Puzzle Quest’ and ‘Marvel Puzzle Quest’, it’s been left to Gems or War to carry the banner for original content in this respected series.
Rightfully called one of the best RPGs of all time, Panzer Dragoon Saga finds itself in the highly praised company of ‘Suikoden II’ and ‘Chrono Trigger’, but unlike these staples of the genre it gets a lot less attention and has never seen release outside of its original appearance on the short lived Sega Saturn.
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.
If any game has been a long time coming it’s Kingdom Hearts III, which has seen its life as a series extended through a variety of handheld entries that have been as vitally important to its plot as the main series’ numbered entries. Kingdom Hearts III is the cumulation of not a trilogy, but over 10 games in the current plot thread that all need to be paid off in this instalment. But does Kingdom Hearts stick the landing?
The mighty Dragon Quest series releases infrequently when compared to other franchises, but when a new game does appear they are usually something special within the RPG community. Dragon Quest XI comes triumphantly back to consoles on the heels of Dragon Quest X’s lack of western release on last gen systems and after the successful handheld entry that was Dragon Quest IX on Nintendo DS. Having missed out on playing X, the new game can’t help but make a solid impression as the west’s first HD Dragon Quest offering.
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.