It’s been far too long since ‘Arc the Lad: End of Darkness’ effectively brought the franchise to a screeching halt on the PlayStation 2 in 2005, and although the Arc series as a whole has never brought the kind of mass acclaim that other venerable RPG franchises have, it’s been time wasted for those who got to experience its other entries. Now, a mere 16 years later for those in the west, the series is seeing an attempted resurgence on mobile.
After two sequels on the PSP and a spinoff action title, the Valkyria Chronicles series finally finds its way back to console after interest peeked in the IP after a successful remaster of the original game for PS4 and on Steam.
At one time the name Langrisser was a serious competitor with Fire Emblem and Shining Force in Japan. Five solid entries spanning from the Mega Drive (where it was renamed as ‘Warsong’ for western release) to the Sega Saturn era abruptly ended for the series to go dormant only to make an unexpected appearance on mobile devices in 2019.
Warlords is in many ways a good example of how far mobile games have come. A hex-based Strategy game with RPG elements that would once have been small a sprite-based 2D title that in the modern market is a huge, sprawling 3D feast for the eyes.
Essentially a remastering of the unreleased ‘Shining Force: Gaiden’ and the Game Gear exclusive ‘Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya’, Shining Force CD manages to bring two relatively light experiences together into a more meaty package.
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.
Knights of Pen and Paper is a hard game to tag a genre onto, it’s turn based but the real drive of the game is the opportunity to tailor the campaign to suit your own play style, deciding the difficulty of any event. Because of this we’re going to go along the Steam and call it a ‘Strategy’ RPG (which shouldn’t be confused with a Tactical RPG) since your strategy decides how you experience the game.