Warning:This article may contain spoilers and the content inappropriate for children…or may not contain.But get the children away from the screen just in case.
Guess who’s baaaack?It’s a Bird? It’s a Plane?it’s maskedpeach the RMK-maniac!Heh,I’ve finally played enough RPG Maker games to make a new part of my RPG Maker Fever.There isn’t much horror games this time,but RPG maker games aren’t about horror only,right?
Dreaming Mary is one of those “not-what-it-seems” games.,where beneath the sweet dreams lies the nightmare.Story in this game is somewhat bland,but it doesn’t matter much.‘coz the things that make this game really enjoyable are outstanding visuals and very good sountrack,which helps you to fully dive into that unusual dream world.Btw,it’s actually the first game for a long time,which creeped me out with its Sweet Dreams-gameover.
One of my personal favourites among the new RPG-maker games.This is a short story-oriented adventure game made by the same author as Alice mare.There’s some battles in turn-based RPG manner,but they’re all very simple.The game’s story lacks of originality,but still fun to follow thanks to bright well-developed characters,stylish illustrations and great soundtrack,which unlike Alice mare’s is fully original.
The second game in the series is pretty much the same as first.Story in my opinion is more interesting than the first game’s one,but still I suggest you to play the both in the order,because LiEat is planned as trilogy,so their stories are connected and some things may be unclear,if you play only the second one.Overall both parts are nice and comfy games,which is good if you need to play something relaxing.
If two previous games were pretty similliar,the third one is quite different from both of them,the game’ve become more challenging.Unlike first two games,LiEat 3 has a lot of puzzles(simple,but still tricky and fun) and fighting lies and leveling up this time actually affects the ending.The story is interesting,characters are good(especially a new police officer Iris),dialogues are well-written.Overall it’s a very decent conclusion of the trilogy,so if you haven’t played the first two games-now you can play all three and watch the story through the end.
I’ve already written the full review on this game some time ago,so I’ll make it short.Pros:Interesting puzzles,beautiful illustrations,neat atmosphere,touching bittersweet story.Cons:Poorly written,long-pacing dialogues,huge and uninspiring maps.If you’re the fan of RPG Horrors,I recommend to give this game a try,since it’s a quality horror adventure game.Maybe somewhat flawed,but still very enjoyable.
6.Pom gets Wi-Fi
This a game is one of those WTF-games I really enjoy.The first weird thing about this game,that all characters are dogs.And the main heroine is the weirdest among them-where else you’ll see a pomeranian who likes to seat in social networks and represents a walking image of forum troll?This game has cute unique visuals and good humor.To someone jokes may seem rude,but personally I laughted my lungs out.The only bad thing in this game is slow-pacing,easy battles,but there’s very little of them.
Dear Red turned out being a nice surprise for me.I thought it would be something like Hello?Hell…o?-welll,technically it is-this game is extremely short and has many endings.But that’s where the good thing lies-from all those endings(they depend on your decisions during the game) the whole story consists.Every time you get different ending you discover more curious plot-details.So I recommend to spend 20 minutes of your life to play this game-it’s worth it.
This one of don’t-judge-by-appearance games.Don’t get fooled by it’s simple looks-it’s a very interesting and deep puzzle-adventure with outstanding opening and ending credits.Puzzles in this game are well-constructed and follows pretty simple logic,so you can handle them without a guide.Additionaly I want to praise the music,which helps to create the unique nostalgic retro-atmosphere and makes the game more enjoyable.
I’ve decided to combine both these games in one mini-review,'coz they’re both by the same author and have pretty similliar conception.In both games you listen a story,solving puzzles time to time in order to proceed.Skinwalker is more story-oriented and reminds something beetween old text adventures and old horror B-movies,while The Visitor is closer to common RPG-horrors like Majo no Ie or Paranoiac for example.Both games are perfect if you want a short horror game to play with lights off and headphones on.Additionally I want to praise Skinwalker’s creepy and detailed illustrations and The Visitor’s storyteller-granny Agatha(infernal grannies rules!).
Infectious Nightmare is very much common RPG-horror.another story about amnesiac girl with extremely easy and uninspiring puzzles and poor mapping.But it’s still worth a playthrough,'coz it has pretty decent story and a very nice true ending.This game isn’t bad,it’s just no different from others in any way.
11.Monster Love Party
Monster Love Party(I’ve just noticed that it can be abbreviated as MLP-oh,God!) is a short and pretty typical Halloween-story.The game has well-drawn illustrations and mapping(but there’s one upleasant thing about it-sometimes you can easily stuck in decorations-so be careful) and nice logical puzzles,so if you have 30 minutes to spare-you can give this game a try.
The opening months of the year have been the strongest in a long time. Persona 5, Nier Automata and Tales of Berseria are all games I would strongly recommend, along with Kingdom Hearts 2.8 being great for series fans and the 1.5+2.5 collection being a great remedy for people who aren’t fans.
But with the big guns of the genre all having released games within the last 6 months, the rest of the year looks bleak.
Or does it? While big names are thin on the ground, the genre has plenty to offer in the coming months.
Valkyria Revolution - June 30th
Featuring a war setting, strategic battles, a painterly anime style, and, um, excessive cleavage. For PS4, Vita and Xbox one. Yes really. Probably PC eventually too.
Dark Rose Valkyrie - June 9th
The premise shows promise, but can Idea Factory deliver? There’s only one way to find out! PS4 exclusive.
Dragon Quest Heroes II - April 28th
Part action RPG, part musou, 100% dragon quest charm. PS4 and PC. Switch to follow. Demo on PSN now.
FFXII The Zodiac Age - July 11th
Remaster of the 2006 game. Has an excellent soundtrack, with 8 new tracks added for this version. PS4.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - TBA 2017
The first game was really good. This should be too. PS4.
I also believe there’s a really good chance Dragon Quest XI will release this year. Its releasing in japan on July 29th and since the release and strong sales for Builders and Heroes, it seems likely it will release internationally this year.
And lets not forget that there’s E3 in not too long. Its not unlikely that KH3 and FFVII:remake will get release windows, and those release windows may just be late 2017. But probably not. But there may be other announcements for the latter half of the year.
Looking to the future
Its important to remember the future looks exceptionally bright for the genre. FFXV was well received. Persona 5 is the best reviewed PlayStation game in 3 years, selling 1.5 mil copies so far, completely selling out of physical copies in the UK after charting number one. Nier Automata not only sold well but is a critical darling that people are still talking about. Faith has been restored in the genre meaning more games will be made, more money and resources will be put into their development and more games will be localised.
There’s the inevitable next Tales game that will be revealed sometime soon. Platinum are probably already in talks with square to make another Yoko Taro game. We’ll get some Persona 5 spin offs, but Persona 6 will most likely be released in less than 8 years, to capitalise on P5′s success. There’s a major new Final Fantasy in early or pre production now, I promise, along with project re:fantasy and namco bandai’s newly announced 2018 JRPG code vein. And there’s still KH3 and FFVII:Remake.
Early 2017 has been a kickstart, not a high point, and the future of JRPG’s looks good.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. I focused on PS4 games, not portable or nintendo games, and even then only included games i thought looked promising. All release dates stated are European. Check for other regions.