Despite some weird framerate issues during cutscenes in both games, Bayonetta and Vanquish are both well worth your time (although I’d personally lean toward Bayonetta more if I was forced to pick between the two). If you don’t mind the occasional difficulty spike, and especially if you’ve never played either title before, this dual-pack release is definitely worth picking up.
The problem is, everything here has been done before, and better. It does feel like Toge Productions wanted to craft a homage to Valhalla, but doing so puts them right up against a cult classic. I truly think that they should have done more to differentiate themselves, to stand out more in this burgeoning genre. I do believe that Coffee Talk is a game worth playing, but it doesn’t quite live up to the shadow cast over it.
At $14.99 it’s priced about right (although it’s a bit short at three hours to complete), and the game isn’t offensive, it’s just that there’s so much better available now in virtual reality, and things in Eclipse that would have been impressive at the time are fairly standard now.
Orangeblood is a game of half measures. It feels like it’s afraid of taking its bold style all the way, and the game suffers for it. While it did catch my attention at PAX West last year, actually sitting down with the full release was a disappointing experience.
Despite those issues, though, Virgo Vs The Zodiac is still a solid experience, and a great JRPG that just popped up out of nowhere at the end of the year. If you’re looking for something to play through during the holidays, this is a title definitely worth considering.
Overall, I can see why this game continues to receive updates and ports even eight years after its original release. Jamestown+ is an incredibly well-polished and engaging experience, offering up both a great entry point to the bullet hell genre and a satisfying challenge to veterans.
Overall, Tokyo Dark was an interesting title that was worth the experience. It definitely has some faults that are hard to overlook, from the scattershot presentation to the lull in the story, but pushing through these reveals a relatively well-told horror mystery tale.
As someone who’s long figured that the Atelier franchise just isn’t for me, Atelier Ryza comes as a huge surprise. It seemed like Gust had been resting on its laurals for so long, pumping out these feel-good low-stakes cute girl games year after year that just didn’t interest me. Ryza, though, shows that they’re willing to change things up and do something new.
Between the integration of RPG and platforming mechanics and the downright beautiful presentation, I can easily say that this game is one of the best that I’ve had the pleasure to play this year. The only thing keeping it from being perfect is that its battle design can become repetitive and boring if you let it.
The game is budget priced at $14.99 at the time of writing, which may still be a bit steep for such a short game. Despite that complaint, Gunvolt Chronicles is just simply a fun game to play, and is very much worth your time. I would recommend playing the baseline Azure Striker Gunvolt games first if you care at all about the world and lore that’s expanded on here, though.