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 →
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.