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Review Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key (PS5) - Huge RPG Is Familiar But Charming
Reisalin “Ryza” Stout and her friends are back in another heart-warming RPG which closes out the 'Secret' sub-series. The long-running Atelier series is well known for featuring young alchemists who spend much of their adventure gathering ingredients, crafting new items, and beating up foes. Atelier Ryza 3 is no exception to that...
Review Deliver Us Mars (PS5) - A Thrilling Sci-Fi Adventure to Save Humanity
Welcome to the red planet
Deliver Us Mars takes place ten years after the events of Deliver Us the Moon and this time, as the game's title suggests, you'll be journeying to our neighbouring planet. You play as a young astronaut, Kathy Johanson, who is part of a team tasked with travelling to Mars to retrieve some vital technology in the hopes of...
Mini Review Sable (PS5) - Beautiful Coming of Age Adventure
Sable is not so stable
After a year of exclusivity over on Xbox and PC, Sable — a coming of age exploration game — has finally made its way over to PS5. The important question, as always, is has the wait been worth it? And the answer is yes, but only if you’re willing to overlook its technical issues. On a desert planet called Midden, when a...
Review Dusk Diver 2 (PS5) - Fast-Paced Combat Almost Makes Up for Lacklustre Story
Time to dive back in
It’s been a long time since this particular reviewer was a student, but if memory serves it can definitely be a bit of a stressful time. Keeping up to date with your studies, holding down a part-time job, whilst also hanging out with friends can be surprisingly tricky. Now just imagine how much more difficult it must be if you...
Mini Review AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative (PS4) - Gruesome Detective Adventure with a Silly Sense of Humour
An AI for an Eye
AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative [Good grief - Ed] is the sequel to the 2019 detective-themed adventure game and things are just as crazy and weird as ever. This time around you play as a detective called Ryuki as he tries to solve a series of gruesome murders known as the Half Body Serial Killings. Ryuki is a rookie but...
Review Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream (PS4) – A Great Game to Celebrate 25 Years
Cauldron of Dreams
The Atelier games are a somewhat niche Japanese RPG series so it might surprise some to know that it's actually been around for 25 years, with 23 games in the main series and a heck of a lot of enhanced ports and side games. To celebrate this impressive achievement, developer Gust has decided to go back and continue the story of...
Mini Review Edge of Eternity (PS5) – An Ambitious But Disjointed RPG
Down with the sickness
A war is raging on Heryon between an alien race and the native population, and from the opening moments of the game it’s obvious that things have not been going so well for the locals. Edge of Eternity’s protagonist, Daryon, is a young soldier who ends up deserting after his whole squadron is wiped out. He decides to...
Hands On Atelier Sophie 2 Seems Like a Very Promising JRPG Sequel
The story continues
Atelier’s Mysterious Trilogy was recently re-released on the PlayStation 4 but Gust has obviously decided that it isn’t quite finished with that story. Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream takes place in between the first and second games, and we were recently given access to the opening couple of hours on...
Mini Review Twelve Minutes (PS5) - Weird Twist Spoils an Otherwise Intriguing Story
Twelve Minutes begins with you getting home to your shoebox-sized apartment after a long day’s work. Your wife has planned a lovely evening for the two of you, complete with romantic candles and your favourite dessert. After a small amount of pleasant chit-chat there’s a knock on the door; a police officer barges in and arrests...
Mini Review AWAY: The Survival Series (PS5) - Life Finds a Way, Far Away
Sweet and sour
On paper, AWAY: The Survival Series sounds like a really interesting experience. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has died out and only pockets of life remain. You get to play as an adorable young sugar glider who is trying to survive in a dangerous and hostile environment with his family. It all sounds like...
Review Astria Ascending (PS5) - Beautiful 2D RPG Falls Flat
Descending into mediocrity
Astria Ascending is a beautiful hand-drawn RPG set in a vibrant world and has a twisting narrative filled with plenty of sacrifice and betrayal. It’s definitely been influenced by classic Japanese RPGs, which is not a surprise when you consider that some of its development team have previously worked on the Final...
Review Lost in Random (PS5) - Quirky Card-Based Adventure Set in a Dark and Gothic World
Time to Even the Odds
The purpose of the EA Originals publishing label is to bring forth unique and memorable experiences from independent studios. Swedish developer Zoink Games has definitely fulfilled the brief with Lost in Random: a card-battling adventure game that feels like it’s stepped straight out of a Tim Burton claymation movie. In the...
Mini Review Cris Tales (PS5) - Enchanting RPG Inspired By the Classics
Let’s do the time warp again
Cris Tales is an absolutely gorgeous game that's heavily inspired by classic RPGs such as Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, while also managing to put its own unique spin on things. The game’s protagonist, Crisbell, is a young orphan who acquires a magical time crystal which shows her a vision of the future where...
Mini Review Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed (PS4) - Remastered JRPG Is Fun But Flawed
How time flies! The Akiba’s Trip series has been going for 10 years and to celebrate Acquire has remastered the first game in the series, which was previously only released on PSP in Japan. The game takes place in Akihabara, an area in Tokyo that is famous for its maid cafés and abundance of stores filled with manga, anime, and...
Review Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack (PS4) - Three Cosy Atelier Games in One Robust, Remastered Package
Koei Tecmo has re-released yet another Atelier Trilogy, this time giving the Mysterious series the ‘Deluxe’ treatment. Unlike the Arland and Dusk trilogy, this threesome is already on PlayStation 4, so it does seem a little strange that they’re being released again on the same console. However, this is now the most complete...
Review Spacebase Startopia (PS5) - Deep Space, Shallow Management Sim
In space, no one can see you disco dance
Spacebase Startopia is a management simulator based on Startopia, released way back in 2001 on PC. Much like in the original, you're put in charge of a series of doughnut-shaped bases that you’ll need to turn into fun places for aliens to live, work, and play. Every visitor has a wallet filled with Energy...
Mini Review Neptunia Virtual Stars (PS4) – 10th Year Anniversary Doesn’t Quite Reach the Stars
Neptune and the other three goddesses from Gamesindustri are back in a brand new action RPG to celebrate Hyperdimension Neptunia’s 10th anniversary. This time around the characters are transported to Virtualand where they are asked to help save all of the nearby worlds from the nasty villains, called Antis. The story aims to...
Mini Review Memoranda (PS4) - Surreal Point and Click Adventure Inspired by Haruki Murakami
One to remember
Memoranda is inspired by the short stories of renowned Japanese author Haruki Murakami and so you can expect plenty of odd characters set in a world that mixes realism with a kind of dreamlike fantasy. You’ll need to help the game’s protagonist, Mizuki, with her crippling insomnia and selective memory problems by pointing and...
Mini Review Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin (PS4) - Gorgeous Action RPG with Deep Farming Mechanics
Have a rice day
In Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, you’ll be playing as a young goddess, called Sakuna, who spends her days being lazy and drinking in the home of the gods. After a small mishap involving a fire and some sacred offerings, she ends up being banished to the Isle of Demons and told that she can only return once all the monsters are...
Mini Review Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~ - Great Writing Lifts This Average Dungeon Crawler
Zombie road trip
Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~ is part-visual novel, part-dungeon crawler, and is very entertaining despite being a little rough around the edges. You’ll play as Reggie who, thanks to a spiked drink, manages to sleep his way through the end of the world. He takes the news pretty well, even though it’s delivered by his...
Mini Review CrossCode - Fast-Paced Action RPG with Beauty and Brains
A game within a game, within a game
CrossCode is a fast-paced action-RPG for those who love old-school style adventures. It’s set in the distant future where MMO’s are played with physical avatars that get to run around in a sort of high tech theme park, complete with large dungeons to explore and NPCs giving out quests to every hero willing to...
Review Arcade Spirits - A Visual Novel with a Lot of Heart
Ready Player One
Arcade Spirits is a romantic visual novel set in an alternative future where the video game crash in the 80s never happened. Imagine: the now-infamous E.T. game was held back until a higher quality title could be produced, meaning that Atari didn’t have to dump hundreds of thousands of unsold copies in the desert. The gaming...
Review Deliver Us The Moon - The Fate of Humanity Is in Your Hands
Deliver Us the Moon is set in the very near future, and things are not looking particularly rosy for the Earth. Natural resources have been depleted and environmental damage is so severe that large land masses are slowly being turned into desert. Humanity is a pretty versatile species, and with a strong hunger to survive we can sometimes...
Mini Review Operencia: The Stolen Sun - Old-School Dungeon Crawler with a Modern Feel
Praise the Sun
Zen Studios has crafted a delightful first-person dungeon crawler with Operencia: The Stolen Sun, giving strong nods to classic games such as Wizardry while also putting its own modern spin on things. This is a gorgeous looking game that places as much emphasis on its Central European folklore-inspired story as it does on exploring...