Narrative-heavy games always have a particular set of challenges to overcome to bridge a gap that makes them worth a player’s time. The story has to be good enough to carry a lack of actual gameplay elements without overdoing it and collapsing upon itself. Furthermore, the gameplay elements that are present have to be meaningful and interesting enough to maintain engagement without weighing down the story in something too meddlesome or extraneous. For Zero Escape, a series that has previously seemed to delight in the convoluted, balancing story and gameplay has been hit or miss. Thankfully, the third game in the series, Zero Time Dilemma, is adventure full of disturbing and compelling twists and turns with gameplay make it interesting and inviting, even if you haven’t followed the series from the very beginning.
Kirby: Planet Robobot was a blast from start to finish. The platforming, combat and level design are better than they’ve ever been in a Kirby game. The new Robobot Armor is fun to use, especially with all of the enemy abilities, though it does have some disappointing limitations. Coupled with the great use of the 3D environments on a 2D plane, Kirby: Planet Robobot has become my favorite Kirby game.
Square Enix fans often complain about seemingly contradictory things when it comes to their favorite RPG company. "Square Enix experiments too much," say some fans, "they redesign each Final Fantasy game so much that each one barely resembles the last." Other fans complain that Square Enix's other big RPG series, Dragon Warrior, doesn't experiment enough, and that its latest entries are still far too similar to the NES games of decades past. When Bravely Default arrived in 2012, it satisfied both camps thanks to its bold, yet familiar, RPG framework. Bravely Second continues in the footsteps of its predecessor, trying again to find that magic oasis of fun which balances out the old and the new.
Across the last few decades, it’s nearly impossible to think of the handheld market without Nintendo. Since the Game Boy’s release in 1989, the company has practically dominated the market. Competition has come forth in the form of the Sega Game Gear, Nokia N-Gage, and more prominently, the Sony PSP, but throughout the years, and especially in a market where mobile phones take an increasing share each year, Nintendo has managed to maintain an edge in producing some of the best and most creative technology the handheld market has to offer. Today, in particular, marks the release of the original 3DS handheld system: A system that arguably changed the way players think about glasses-free 3D.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of the best Super Nintendo games ever made, introducing Nintendo’s plucky plumber to the grand world of the Japanese role-playing game. Nintendo was so pleased with its performance that it has since created two separate branches of spin-offs in Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi that try to emulate that classic feel. Apparently the creative juices aren’t flowing quite as freely at Nintendo as they usually do, as the latest Mario RPG game Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam takes those two spin-offs and simply mashes them back together.
Nintendo is no stranger to cooperative multiplayer in its games. Recently, games like Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Bros. U have integrated four-player co-op in their main story modes. However because those games were designed with only one player in mind, the resulting multiplayer experience was chaotic to say the least. Nintendo has also given us great multiplayer experiences with games like The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes falls right in the middle of those two gameplay experiences.