Jul 28, 2017 Last Updated 4:00 AM, Jul 28, 2017
Chris Hubbard

Chris Hubbard

A fan of RPGs above other genres, Chris has been playing video games for as long as he can remember. Some of the games that had the most influence on his gaming preferences have been the Final Fantasy and the Diablo series. More recently, most of Chris' gaming time has been going toward Gems of War and Clicker Heroes (give it a try, it can be addicting), along with open-world RPGs such as Skyrim and ESO. He's also dabbled with RPG Maker software, and it is a goal of his to someday create an RPG.

For an open-world, immersive experience replete with quests, fishing, farms, and more, look no further than Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. The design is apt to please any gamer interested in what Yonder has to offer, while nightfall and the gloominess of a heavy rain ensure that players who might otherwise avoid overly bright hues don’t feel left out -- a sure recipe on Yonder’s part for broad appeal. However, as an exploration-heavy title, especially one that does not offer combat, the allure is counteracted in part; ultimately, though, all -- save the hardcore -- can enjoy Yonder.

The smoothness of play and the multitude of fighters from which to choose provide a near excellent time. But, unless a friend’s available for a local versus match, or you’re willing to play online, the initial excitement diminishes after the fourth- or fifth-dozenth round — though this not atypical for the genre. Regardless, fighter-gamers amongst us will walk away satisfied from The King of Fighters XIV.

There are noticeable problems that detracted from the enjoyment of Rezrog: especially the mana consumption/potion issue. Despite the issues, Rezrog is an engaging experience in its current state, if you stray away from problematic classes and can avoid a glitch mid-run until the bugs are all worked out — but, the frequency that a glitch occurs makes the title borderline unplayable. This RPG shows promise, and it’ll be great, a go-to, even, once fixed.

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is superb and easily drags you into the gameplay, with the ability to train multiple characters and play as them, along with the replayability of the stages. Spirit of Sanada comes highly recommended to fans of the Dynasty Warriors series, or fans of hack-and-slashers, RPGs, or strategy titles, especially ones with a historical theme.

Between the graphics and exploring this abandoned world and piecing together what happened, Empathy: Path of Whispers is incredible and highly recommended, even if you might not usually play an exploration-driven title.

Dead Cells is not only for those who yearn for a Castlevania-esque side-scroller, but also for any who love rogue-lites or side-scrollers with RPG elements. Dead Cells holds its own; it’s great, and it’s certainly promising with the content already offered. The developers have plans to introduce even more content down the line after release, such as more levels, bosses, and a stats feature. Although there are some hiccups in its current state, it’s dubious that these could become issues down the line, given the active developers. The difficulty, combined with the upgrade system, makes this release a solid choice for both the most experienced and novice players alike.

Idle Evolution takes a novel look at how one can develop an idle clickers, and implements the concept exceptionally well. This release also sets the stage for future idle titles, and sets the bar rather high; Idle Evolution arguably heralds the dawn of a new era for this genre.

If you are a fan of platformers, you might want to pick up Voodoo Vince; between its rather unique spin on a theme and setting (setting aside whether or not it depicts the culture and religion of Vodoun, as people often spell it, accurately) and its dark, thematic humor, this is worth having.

Despite clumsy camera work and few bugs along the way, Shiness: The Lightness Being is a delight to play. Colorful and enchanting, it’s a role-playing game that offers an engaging story with numerous cut-scenes and a combat system you’ll find entertainingly challenging. If you’re a fan of action-driven RPGs and can enjoy a good tale, and are the forgiving type comes fluidity and smoothness in gameplay, then consider the purchase.

Yooka-Laylee is a wacky 3D-platformer and the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, after nineteen long years. Ultimately, nostalgia alone should never be the reason behind a purchase; nor should it ever overshadow gameplay and mechanics so much that care about how the release actually plays falls by the wayside. It definitely brings the 1990s era to the modern day, but some things just should be left in the past.

For the King is a strategic RPG that features procedurally generated maps, so each playthrough is palpably different from the last. However, the randomness dampens appeal as the results are frequently unforgiving or unjust. The hit to replayability is a shame, as this title has much to offer to the patient – or the masochists. Diehard RPG strategists, however, will appreciate this title.

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