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.
Developed by EA to promote the release of ‘Dragon Age: Origins’, this Flash based browser game allowed players to learn about details of the world setting and experience some elements of the big-budget title for free in the months leading up to its release.
Of all the lost opportunities on Sega’s part, the one that strikes a blow to the heart is that the western world only received the first instalment of the epic three-game experience that was Shining Force III. That it hasn’t seen remastering and release onto a modern mobile platform speaks volumes of the split between Camelot and Sega over this decision.