Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea – Metacritic Score: 76
Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea is a remake of a game that was released in North America on the PlayStation 3 in March 2015. The new version is for PlayStation Vita and follows the same path as the original. As part of the Atelier series of games, it is the third and final installment of the Dusk storyline and the 16th main game in the series.
Reviews praise the game for being a fun and easy to learn JRPG that often feels at home on the PlayStation Vita. Critics also say that it is a good place for newcomers to the Atelier series to start their journey. However, criticisms include comments on the poor frame-rate, murky visuals, and limited amount of additions from the PlayStation 3 version.
The Flame in the Flood: Complete Edition – Metacritic Score: 77
The Flame in the Flood is a rogue-like survival game that takes place on the rivers of a post-societal America. You journey through the procedurally generated stretches of water to patches of land where you hunt for resources, craft tools, track wildlife, heal your character, and take shelter from the weather. The Flame in the Flood was originally developed for Xbox One and PC, but the Complete Edition came to PlayStation 4 earlier this month to a fair amount of praise.
Most of that praise was focused on the design of the game. The world is beautiful and the rogue-like approach for how you attempt to survive is challenging but consistently enjoyable. Some criticized the difficulty due to the fact that you are unable to fight your way out a danger, causing failure a little too often. There is a lot for players to keep an eye on in Flame in the Flood, but all the elements make for a well-rounded experience that remains compelling for its lengthy run time.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – Metacritic Score: 78
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue includes a few Kingdom Hearts games, some of which are remasters for PlayStation 4 and one of which is a new experience. Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage is a short, new Kingdom Hearts game that takes place after the events of Birth by Sleep and is built in the engine that Kingdom Hearts 3 will run on.
The positive reviews praise how Final Chapter Prologue fills in the gaps in the story of the main Kingdom Hearts games. Most say that it is an excellent addition to Square Enix’s catalog if you are Kingdom Hearts fan and are well versed in the rest of the series. However, others suggest that you should wait for the price to drop, since there is not a huge amount of brand new content, and that newcomers should wait for 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix, which comes out in March.
Tales of Berseria – MetaCritic Score: 78
Tales of Berseria is the sixteenth main entry in the Tales series and features the same style of gameplay as the rest of the entries. You set out on a journey of self-discovery and assume the role of Velvet as she sails across the sea and visits the many islands that make up the sacred kingdom of Midgand.
Berseria has been well received, with critics saying that the combat is excellent and that the story is one of the most compelling in the series. However, the same critics note that the world was dull and that the overall design was lackluster.
Gravity Rush 2 – Metacritic Score: 81
Gravity Rush 2, the PlayStation 4 exclusive sequel to the PlayStation Vita’s original, was released this month. The game picks up where Gravity Rush left off — Kat is once again the main character and the player uses her gravity manipulation powers to investigate a strange gravity wave disturbance.
Just as the original Gravity Rush was, this month’s sequel was praised across the board. It tightens up the controls and the world is unsurprisingly much better looking that the first’s. The gameplay is challenging and engaging and set in a vibrant, well designed world. However, most reviewers suggest that there are some rough edges, most of which come from the unruly camera. However, it still ranks amongst the best PlayStation 4 exclusives.
Detention – Metacritic Score: 83
Detention, playable on PC only, is a survival horror game in the vein of Silent Hills. Set in 1960s Taiwan under martial law, it is a terrifying experience with hints of religion and Taiwanese culture.
The game has been praised across the board for the engrossing world the Taiwanese developer has created, and for how well the creepy story sticks with you long after you have finished playing. Detention tells a dark story about the horrors of mankind mixed with paranormal elements that are sure to haunt you. Critics warn that it is not for everyone due to the strong subject matter, so keep that in mind if you’re considering Detention.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone – Metacritic Score: 84
For those that don’t know, this is a rhythm game featuring hundreds of J-Pop songs, all of which are on console for the first time. To unlock the full potential of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone, though, you need to purchase the two additional packs, each of which contain different songs.
Critics say that Future Tone essentially acts as a greatest hits collection that spoils the player with song choices. Since it offers so much, it is perfect for newcomers and Miku veterans alike. The music is fun to play through, the visuals are snazzy and vibrant, and the gameplay is accessible but with the right amount of challenge.
Yakuza 0 – Metacritic Score: 84
Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the five core games in the series, so it is a perfect place for newcomers to jump in. It follows Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima, the stars of the series, and their origins in the Yakuza. It is a very story heavy game that features long periods of cutscenes that introduces the characters and their lives to the player.
The plot, performances, and 80s location were all praised by critics, but the main plus seems to be the sheer amount of stuff to do in Yakuza 0. You can follow the story, complete side-missions, and partake in social elements such as karaoke and eating. While it is the perfect place for newcomers to introduce themselves to the series, it offers plenty for series veterans as well. Most criticisms seem to focus on the combat, however, which lags behind the quality of other brawlers from recent years.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King – Metacritic Score: 85
It isn’t surprising that Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King on 3DS is great, since it is a remake of the already classic game. Dragon Quest VIII tells the story of the Cursed King as you save the world from a twisted magician, but this new version features a host of improvements, including an all-new ending.
Critics praised the game for adding features to the classic PlayStation 2 game that not only improve the game as a whole but make it more accessible for the younger 3DS audience. It may not look as good as you remember since it is an old game running on a handheld, but it is still an excellent remake of a classic JRPG.
Resident Evil 7: biohazard – Metacritic Score: 86
After the disappointments that were Resident Evil 5 and 6, fans of the series were hoping that the franchise could return to the terrifying, survival horror roots of the earlier games. With the change to a first-person perspective, a creepy family at the heart of the story, and PSVR compatibility, this month’s game is as scary as the series has ever been.
Resident Evil 7 stands as the highest rated game of the month. Critics praise the fresh feel of its altered perspective, and the tone for creating a feeling of familiarity that long time fans will love. The tight corridors and limited lighting make for a true survival horror experience that is even more terrifying when played in VR.