Although its absolute heyday might have passed, steampunk continues to whir, rattle and grind its way through fantasy fiction and media. The steampunk aesthetic has been at the heart of more than a few video games as well, including the BioShock series and Dishonored and its sequel. Add to this list Vaporum, a first-person, grid-based dungeon crawler.
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG Review
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG is built on a solid and intriguing premise, the idea of taking elements from traditional early RPGs and tossing out the trappings of cliche fantasy in favor of more timely elements. Unfortunately, the game that was built on this winning idea is a chore to play and not very funny or fun to experience.
Final Fantasy XV Royal Pack DLC Review
Final Fantasy XV’s Royal Pack DLC expands on the game’s final story chapter. There are additional upgrades that allow for character switching, a first-person mode, boat exploration, and a special power-up. But the primary addition revolves around the new and improved city of Insomnia, main character Noctis’ hometown and vital location for the plot. As such, there may be light spoilers related to what is in the DLC, but there's nothing in this review that will overtly spoil the events leading up to the ending.
Secret of Mana (Remaster) Review
The Secret of Mana remaster is faithful to the SNES original, to a fault. The game’s authenticity is nostalgic, but enough archaic systems remain when they could have been updated. The graphics and sound are the biggest changes, but they aren’t as inherently charming here.
Demon Gaze II Review
Demon Gaze II is a confounding experience, with enjoyable combat and a strong premise undercut by poor writing, inconsistent tone and graphics that really belong to a tiny screen. Hardcore fans of JRPGs that lie on the fringe of mainstream gaming might appreciate its quirky humor but for the rest of us, there are better RPGs to spend our limited time with.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows Review
it doesn't have the deepest combat system out there, and its isometric graphics aren't what anyone would call top-notch (although both those things are solid for an indie title). But what it does have is a lot of HEART. The story is intriguing and well told and the audio is just fantastic. If you're looking for a song to get lost in, Maquerada may be just what you're looking for.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing
This is a poor port of a decent game that should be avoided. There are other action-RPGs to play on the PS4 with better performance that offer better value and experiences. Stay away from this version of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing and either get the PC version or pop in Diablo III instead.
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom Review
I enjoyed my time with Shiness but it’s not hard to see the faults in the game’s façade. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to the game but the dozen or so hours I spent with it were enjoyable in a Saturday cartoon kind of way. Shiness is a serviceable action-RPG with a distinct look that will probably make any fan of the manga or PS2 action-RPGs smile.
Persona 5 Review
Although Persona 5 deals with the everyday angst of your average, magic-wielding teenagers, it is epic in almost every conceivable way, from its combat to its sprawling and surprise-laden story. While some of its large cast of characters strike a sour note and its gameplay can challenge the impatient player, Persona 5 somehow manages the improbable feat of being both an ultimate reward to fans of the franchise and a perfect gateway to newcomers.
Earthlock: Festival of Magic Review
In the end, while the story is regrettably un-memorable and fairly lacking, the game play makes up for it with several clever, strategic spins on time-tested game play mechanics. Back that up with solid graphics and audio and you have yourself an old-school RPG that should scratch that itch you've been having.
Mount & Blade: Warband Review
Mount & Blade: Warband is very much like Dungeons & Dragons in multiple ways. For one, the atmosphere matches well, but the most important similarity is the way it takes unprepared players by surprise. It takes hours to make your character and figure out how to play, but the problem is that this game is a bad Dungeon Master. It does leave the potential for a good game, but you still can’t have fun with a bad DM.
Dragon Quest Builders Review
You have the ability to completely change everything around you, and you can truly feel the importance of your role; even the aesthetics and sounds are great enough to evoke that kind of emotion. It gives you an awesome sense of accomplishment, surrounds you with some of the most interesting concepts that this genre has ever seen, and makes you feel like you’re worth something in this world. This is what it means to be a Builder.