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.
Aside from a single adventure game release in 1982 by Sierra, the unique world setting of Jim Henson’s film ‘The Dark Crystal’ has been curiously unexplored in video game form. Though it’s always been a cult classic, a recent resurgence in interest led by a series of young adult novels and comics cumulated in Netflix commissioning a prequel series subtitled ‘Age of Resistance’ that also came with its own Tactics RPG tie-in.
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.
It would be very easy for people to glance at the Wave Light Games catalogue and assume that Strike Team Hydra is just a simple reskin of their excellent ‘Demon’s Rise’ series with a Science Fiction coat of paint. If this were the case it would still be worth your time, as the Demon’s Rise games are some of the best tactical games on mobile at the moment (and hey, it worked for Games Workshop with ‘Warhammer 40K’), but Strike Team Hydra is so much more than that.
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.
Divisive no matter the format, Agarest has seen release on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, a PC port over steam and mobile devices and has either been hailed as wonderful or horrible depending on the player’s standpoint on its design decisions. Regardless, it stands as the first part in a trilogy of games that takes the formula first seen in ‘Phantasy Star III’ and turns it from a novel innovation into a central mechanic.
When a game has a title like ‘Super Awesome RPG’ then it’s already setting certain expectations. You’re looking for a game that’s self aware, fast paced and possibly a little bit 90s, but more importantly it’s a statement that needs to be lived up to. Is Super Awesome RPG super awesome?
If you fused the basic battle system found in the original ‘Shining Force’ with the card-based play style of ‘Hearthstone’ you’d have a decent idea of what Duelyst is. It’s an interesting take on the online PvP and tournament genre, but does it stand up to the usual depth that a Tactics RPG contains?
It’s hard to put ‘The First Tactics’ into perspective, one the one hand it offers some fun tactical combat across a number of different scenarios, but on the other it may be the worst case of ‘Engrish’ I’ve ever encountered.