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.
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.
Produced by Level-5 as their new IP following on from the wonderful ‘Dark Chronicle’ (known as ‘Dark Cloud 2’ in America), and their last game for the aging PlayStation 2 hardware before making the switch to the next console generation, Rogue Galaxy is a strange beast that showcases the very best and at times the worst of Level-5’s unique style. Continue reading →
Developed by Swedish team ‘Image and Form’, Steamworld Heist is a semi-sequel to their previous effort ‘Steamworld Dig’. A semi-sequel because the opening cinematic quickly destroys the planet of the original game before sending the action into space for a turn-based squad orientated tactical RPG that’s brimming with imagination. Continue reading →
It’s a miracle that we actually managed to review Suikoden IV in time for the ‘Summer of Suikoden’ fan-led event that’s currently pulling together to celebrate the series legacy and to try and convince Konami to release the remaining games onto PlayStation Network (or perhaps reopen the series for new instalments), what with the release of the game on digital services in Europe being plagued with an error that meant that the game wouldn’t load and after being pulled from PSN a complete delete and reload of the reissued game was necessary. Luckily we were able to pull our PlayStation 2 out of retirement and boot up the original disc to get the game going instead.
The first instalment into the Oasis series of RPGs, The Story of Thor (known in America as ‘Beyond Oasis’) was a late release for the Mega Drive that some consider to be Sega’s answer to the ‘Legend of Zelda’ series.
The end of the original single-player Phantasy Star series was a landmark title for Sega, shipping on a specially made cart and selling for $100, an amazingly high price for a Mega Drive title at the time. Phantasy Star 4 was very much the epitome of what Sega stood for at the time. Sleek, fast and in many ways ground breaking, despite garnering mixed reviews.
On the surface, The Huntsman looks like a shameless advertising scheme for the release of the film ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ a sequel to ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ and a dark take on the popular fairy tale. We’ve seen companies such as BioWare turn these advertising stunts into legitimately entertaining slices of RPG goodness in the past however, can Desert Owl Games manage the same?
Released digitally onto PlayStation Network for PS3 and Vita here in the UK, Trails of Cold Steel is the start of a third trilogy in a series that’s had a spotty release schedule for western audiences but is finally starting to get the love it deserves through Steam and Sony’s various systems.
Of all the lost opportunities on Sega’s part, the one that strikes a blow to the heart is that the western world only received the first instalment of the epic three-game experience that was Shining Force III. That it hasn’t seen remastering and release onto a modern mobile platform speaks volumes of the split between Camelot and Sega over this decision.