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.
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.
Whilst the original Suikoden side-story ‘Suikogaiden Volume 1’ was very much a sampler of the world, companion piece and introduction to its leading man, Volume 2 is a much more fleshed out visual novel experience that delves deeper into the player character’s personal story and manages to tie in both elements of Suikoden II and III in a manner that bridges both games beautifully.
It’s a well-known fact that there can never be too much Suikoden. Shortly after the release of ‘Suikoden II’, Konami seemed to realise that consumers felt this way too and promptly released a pair of visual novels that were set around the events of that larger game and built on plot elements that would pay dividends when ‘Suikoden III’ rolled around.
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 official sequel game to Record of Agarest War turns in the old engine and builds a whole new game from scratch. One that whilst claiming to be a Tactical RPG has more in common with a conventional Turn Based system.
A prequel to the original release of Agarest: Generations of War, this title strips back some of the naked ambition of its forbearer in an effort to trim that games excessive run time whilst re-using the same base engine and many of the same assets to capitalise on its popularity.