I’m actually quite unfamiliar with the Ys series. I had heard of it in passing before, but it wasn’t until I had watched Evan play through Ys I that I took an interest in it. After having seen an Ys game in action, and subsequently learning a bit about the crazy series chronology I decided to give the newest game in the series, Ys: Memories of Celceta, a try.
Making its way to western shores after nearly four years, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is simultaneously a familiar and fresh experience. Playing Danganronpa oftentimes feels like developer Spike Chunsoft took a lot of the best ideas from Japanese games of the last decade and threw them in a blender, with games like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Persona 4 being the most obvious examples. It’s easy to end it there, but Danganronpa is successful at combining its various influences into a game with unique ideas on its mind. Danganronpa is simultaneously dark, cute, and surprisingly relatable, making it one of the best times you’re likely to have all year.
Developer Rocksteady did something that only few super hero games have accomplished, and something no Batman game ever had before. They found that by balancing Batman’s stealth, acrobatics, fighting skills, and world class detective ability, they could make Batman feel like so few had even attempted to before: the whole package. Blackgate still consists of all these elements, and after playing it I was left to wonder; if this game has everything its console predecessors have, why is it so bad?
I had an odd relationship with NetherRealm’s new fighting game since the time it was announced to the time of its release. The idea of a gritty fighting game starring the DC heroes and villains was interesting. The lack of the developer’s signature ultra-violence was disheartening and it seemed like the game was going to fall to the wayside as Mortal Kombat 9 with a DC skin. After getting the game earlier than expected because of my need for a fightstick, I can gladly report that Injustice: Gods Among Us offers enough fresh hooks and ridiculous moments to set it apart within the fighting genre.
When a much beloved series takes a long hiatus before the next installment, it can be worrisome. When a game is coming out that’s part of a declining genre, there’s reason to be cautious. When a prominent developer is taken away from its series, and it’s handed off to a novice studio, most hope is lost. Luckily for fans of 3D platformers, developer Sanzaru Games knows what the fans want, and for better or worse, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is near identical to the past Sly Cooper games.