Release date: October 10, 2019
Publisher: Aksys Games
When Death Mark initially released in 2017 in Japan, I knew right away that there was something special about it. There have been a few horror visual novel games in the past, but this new IP by Aksys and Experience had a certain vibe and panache to it that was so out there compared to others in the medium that it stuck out and demanded attention. A year later the game would be localized to the rest of the world and confirm the feelings I had of there simply being nothing like it. The horror genre has this incredible way of keeping you at the edge of your seat when you find yourself captivated by the events of what’s going on, and here we are a year later – in what’s now coined as the Spirit Hunter series – as its follow-up, NG, excels, refines, and builds upon its predecessor to tell yet another somber story of the unknown and afterlife, presenting itself in a format with hidden object and adventure elements wrapped in a visual novel delight.
System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: September 19, 2019
The second installment of the long-running Devil May Cry series makes its way to Switch in high-definition following Capcom’s port of the first entry earlier this year and sees Dante return to eradicate demons on the land. Devil May Cry 2 has always been the controversial black sheep of the series because of how drastically different it was before becoming more true-to-form in its highly-praised sequel, Devil May Cry 3. While a lot of fans don’t particularly look back fondly on the second installment, it’s worth mentioning that despite its flaws it is still an important part to the overall legacy of Dante and what Devil May Cry as a whole would ultimately become today. Devil May Cry 2’s impact is so fascinating to me because despite how it may be critically, everything surrounding its development and what ended up on our TVs back in 2003 paved a way for a series that was still evolving, and it was a learning experience that took sacrifices and risks – for better or for worse.
[Review] Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution
Posted on 1 month ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
Release date: August 20, 2019
Developer: Other Ocean Interactive
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution gives fan of all ages and all eras a chance to have the experience of card gaming – from its collective nature, strategic building, and more – at home or on the go. While it doesn’t have the grab it once did, the franchise is alive and well and now has an incredibly high amount of cards. Yu-Gi-Oh! has always held a special place in my heart having grown up with it, despite me having fallen off around the time 5Ds was in circulation, so jumping back and learning so much of the new elements like pendulum and XYZ cards had a sort of thrill behind it, allowing me to catch up on all that I’ve missed. With Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution, it is exactly what it sounds like – the legacy of Yu-Gi-Oh! as a property, and the adventures of Yugi Muto throughout the history of the illustrious series.
Release date: August 22, 2019
Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
Publisher: Square Enix
Tokyo RPG Factory’s offerings have been nothing short of fascinating, releasing the likes of I Am Setsuna as its debut title in 2016 and following it up with Lost Sphere in 2017. While those may have been hit or miss for a lot of people due to gameplay elements that didn’t feel fully realized or mechanically sound, their stories intrigued and impacted those that played them, giving players a much more somber narrative that hit specific themes of family and sacrifice that connected with many around the world. Oninaki continues Tokyo RPG Factory’s trend of melancholic storytelling by taking on much heavier topics surrounding life and death, making it easily one of the most depressing games I’ve played in years. However, the way it’s all presented from the art direction, music score, lands, cities, characters, and gameplay is all done so tastefully and with such finesse, Oninaki serves to be a message of growth not only through grief, but for Tokyo RPG Factory as a development studio.
[Review] Omega Labyrinth Life
Posted on 2 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: August 1, 2019
Developer: Matrix Corporation
Dungeon crawlers have hit a variety of different styles, licenses, and worlds that typically take the player into the underbelly of terrain. These titles set a tone filled with monsters, corridors, and surprises. Some can be totally random with procedural generation techniques that make for a unique playthrough while others can be meticulously crafted to be experienced with an intended sequence of events. Omega Labyrinth Life is in a league of its own due to its relentless onslaught of difficult gameplay while simultaneously lowering the guard of the player through visual stimulation – almost overwhelmingly so. It’s made known right away that Omega Labyrinth Life will be filled from top to bottom with plenty of skin, monsters, dungeons, cup sizes and the like. You’ll have to balance out a healthy education throughout your time as an exchange student while dealing with a horrible evil causing the beautiful flora around to wither and die. Unfortunately, the experience withers along with it because of barebones progression and lack of polish.
[Review] God Eater 3
Posted on 2 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch, Switch eShop | 0 comments
Release date: July 12, 2019
Publisher: Bandai Namco
God Eater has had a long and fruitful history since debuting close to a decade ago. The latest entry, God Eater 3, still stays true to the series’ roots with a deep customization system, mission output, and reasonable hubs. But what make it really stand out this time around is the overall tone, structure, and feel since it’s been developed by an entirely different team this time around, moving from Shift over to Marvelous. God Eater 3 takes the best portions of each of its predecessors to give a game that feels whole and connected, with seamless field traversal, new types of God Eaters known as AGEs – or Adaptive God Eaters – as well as fast-paced fighting and action to give a larger sense of fluidity that’s usually missing in games of this nature.
[Review] Senran Kagura Peach Ball
Posted on 3 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch, Switch eShop | 0 comments
Release date: July 9, 2019
Developer: Honey Parade Games
Publisher: XSEED Games
Senran Kagura Peach Ball takes the voluptuous and equally as athletic shinobi into the crazy world of arcades with pinball. While it’s unfortunately not a mainline title filled with hack-and-slash goodness the series is known for, this new game one-ups the series’ previous Switch release, Reflexions, by not only having the crew back in action, but somehow delivering one of the best pinball experiences I’ve had arguably ever. Though this isn’t the first pinball title to make its way to Switch (and certainly won’t be the last), Senran Kagura: Peach Ball stands out thanks to its great cast and being on the more provocative side of things.
[Review] Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Posted on 3 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
Release date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: 505 Games
Castlevania has been an incredibly important series for the entire medium of gaming. It has also had a long, illustrious life and popularity due in part to longtime series producer Koji Igarashi. The terms Metroidvania and “Igavania” had since been coined thanks to Castlevania’s unique direction of gameplay that usually requires the players to uncover large sections of a map by simply exploring. A huge portion of the fun comes from uncovering the area and seeing how seamlessly it all connects with each other as you run into locked doors and keys in various rooms and levels that intertwine before progressing even further. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the newest creation from Igarashi, would be a return to form to a more nostalgic time in video game history, with very little hand-holding and a freedom of exploration only interrupted by a player’s lack of curiosity. It’s without a doubt one of my favorite games to come out this year, but unfortunately, the Switch version of the game should not be the platform of choice when deciding to tackle an otherwise truly fantastic experience that’s been long overdue for fans of the genre.
[Review] Devil May Cry
Posted on 3 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch eShop | 0 comments
System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: June 24, 2019
The series has had a lot of ups and downs in the last decade, but there is no denying that as a whole, Devil May Cry is seminal – and arguably the godfather – of stylish action games that have been so popular to this day. The easy to pick up but equally as hard to master (and nonetheless an extravagant feeling while playing and joy to watch) hack-and-slash genre begins here, now playable for the first time on Switch. Having the ability to play Devil May Cry at home or on-the-go is as wonderful now as it was back then. It’s smooth, it’s nostalgic, and it’s as fun as ever on Nintendo’s console.
[Review] Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland
Posted on 4 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
Release date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Since 1997 the Atelier series has seen yearly installments that have given us a world of magic and alchemists alongside the adventures they go through. Each game has followed a new character and her evolution into becoming a legendary alchemist while learning about themselves along the way. Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland continues that trend but also changes things up in a lot of ways compared to other titles by introducing fresh new mechanics with its synthesizing, exploration, and battles, while also incorporating quality of life enhancements from the recent entries in the series.