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.
Whilst the Arc the Lad series has always done well for itself in Japan, it was relatively unknown to the outside world. Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits (released in Europe as simply ‘Arc: Twilight of the Spirits’) managed to secure a release however and served as the forerunner to bringing the other games over years later.
Phantom Brave is very much a turn for the unexpected from Nippon Ichi, a game that (for the most part) puts away the upbeat comedy styling’s of their other titles and instead tells a story that’s bitter-sweet.
Nippon Ichi had thrown the kitchen sink at the original Disgaea game and when it came time to produce a sequel it was going to be hard to find ways in which to further innovate the game. Instead a new-found focus on storytelling and a few lighter modifications to an already great system make Disgaea 2 something of a love or hate it sequel.
It’s hard to believe that Tactical RPGs were in a bit of a slump in the west prior to the release of Disgaea. The likes of ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’ had ‘Tactics Ogre’ had set a standard for the genre that was overly-serious and could at times produce lengthy, dry campaigns that required a significant investment in time to beat, even if those games produced great gameplay and narratives. Tactical RPGs were becoming dull and grey in tone. Then Nippon Ichi released Disgaea onto the world and everything changed.
DC Universe Online sets itself in the ‘old’ DCU as seen in the comics prior to Flashpoint and the advent of the New 52. If none of those things mean anything to you it summarises easily as ‘Superman wears his traditional costume and Wally West is still a red-headed Flash’. For people of my age that means a lot because ‘my’ DCU doesn’t exist anywhere else any more.