- Devil May Cry 3
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Mother 3
StarBlox Inc. is a perfectly enjoyable action puzzler that manages to balance reflex-based gameplay with on-the-fly puzzle solving. The core gameplay loop doesn't have much in the way of depth, but it's easy to pick up, and fun to play, especially in groups of four. Unfortunately, no online means that StarBlox has no real shelf life in spite of a surprisingly decent single player campaign. If nothing else, this makes for a decent couch multiplayer alternative to Puyo Puyo and Tetris.
In spite of a somewhat spotty presentation, Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark manages to fill a tactical RPG niche that had been lying dormant for far too long. Beyond just serving as a competent TRPG, however, Fell Seal engages with the genre in increasingly dynamic ways. It borrows a good deal of its concepts from Final Fantasy Tactics, but nothing is just brought over as is. While there are conceptual similarities between the titles, this has more than enough mechanical depth to stand on its own. Strong map design and plenty of customization options make this game a must-have for fans of tactical RPGs.
Uninteresting and uninspired, Dauntless is certainly impressive in its own right, but as far as actual gameplay goes, what's present fails to engage beyond the surface level. Perhaps that'll be enough for most who download the free title, but between aesthetically resembling Fortnite and aping Monster Hunter's combat wholesale, Phoenix Games has failed to contribute anything truly novel to the experience. Dauntless is as derivative as they come, and while that lack of price tag may be appealing, there are much better games to spend one's time (and even money) on. Go play Monster Hunter instead.
It's always a good thing when old titles are once again available for purchase, but Capcom should perhaps start pricing their rereleases accordingly. Devil May Cry 2 wasn't worth the money in 2003, and it certainly isn't worth much today. A miserable hack 'n' slash, it's a miracle the franchise managed to survive such a blunder in the first place. It's perhaps worth playing from a historical context - if only to gain a deeper understanding of how it failed the original's legacy… but Devil May Cry 2 is otherwise better left in the past.
Charming, original, and terrifically paced, Tangle Tower is a strong contender for the best point-and-click adventure of 2019. Puzzles require real wit without bogging readers down with irrelevant information. Each screen is filled to the brim with detail, blending colour and lighting into a living, breathing tower. Only a few hours long with a gripping mystery at the centre of its plot, Tangle Tower is a must play for fans of the genre.
Simple to play, difficult to master, and oozing with late '90s charm, Constructor Plus offers a fairly strategic take on the management sim genre. The title's at times dystopian levels of capitalism not only help lend the overall experience a humorous edge, but that also ties into the cutthroat gameplay loop nicely. Money begets money, a philosophy the gameplay rewards wholeheartedly, whether building property on Earth, or in the reaches of outer space. The main game even features active opposition, keeping scenarios tense, exciting, and engaging all throughout. Constructor Plus is quite the well-constructed sim.
That A Knight's Quest is being sold on the eShop at all is ludicrous. Combat, enemy design, the camera, the save system, and the script were all in desperate need of more time. Sky9 releasing the title as is, is simply downright embarrassing. Beyond the lack of polish and the frequent bugs, this is a title that ignores 20 years of conventional game design philosophy, and massacres itself in the process. Few have managed to mangle the basics of 3D combat so badly. Play anything else. A Knight's Quest is one of the worst games of 2019.
Trails of Cold Steel III is an important title for both Falcom and NIS. For Falcom, it's the penultimate entry in a story arc half a decade in the making - and an incredibly engrossing one, at that. For NIS, it's a step in the right direction after Ys VIII, and proof that The Legend of Heroes' localization is still in good hands moving forward. This is a continuity-heavy RPG with 13 years of video game history, and seven titles building up to it, but the combat and world are strong enough where even newcomers can enjoy the ride. Trails of Cold Steel III is the Erebonia arc at its best.