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.
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.
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.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel turned out to be one of the PlayStation 3’s late-great games and certainly one of the best JRPGs to have seen release in recent memory. Its cliff-hanger ending left players clamouring for more however, and with the long translation times for games in this series the wait has been sheer torture.
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.