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.
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?
Phantasy Star III is often viewed as the black sheep of the series, and it’s a fair standpoint. In terms of world setting, gameplay and characterisation there’s a definite disconnect from the other titles in the series and many of the further-reaching or impactful elements are tied in retrospectively by the games successor instead of directly in the game at hand. Still, does that necessarily make it a bad game? Continue reading
Famously the last game to be translated and released for the Sega Saturn, the CLAMP property ‘Magic Knights Rayearth’ also saw release on the SNES in the form of a more traditional JRPG.
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.
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.