Tag JRPG

Iron Danger

Iron Danger

Iron Danger is a fantasy based JRPG that features the ability to manipulate time by dying!

Have you ever fallen to your death and had some goddess grant you the ability to manipulate time? In Iron Danger from Action Squad Studios and Daedelic Entertainment, you do exactly that. You play as Kipuna, a teen girl who’s home is attacked by the Northern Empire. As she tries to escape she runs across what appears to be a stone altar of sorts to have the ground fall out from underneath her, causing her to fall to her death, impaled on the rocks below. A goddess points out that this is not the time of her death, rewinds time and passes the ability to Kipuna. With this power and the memory of the fall you now know to move around the marked area and are able to continue your escape. Through each encounter if you time your attacks incorrectly (like I did most of the time) you can rewind time, adjust the ability or skill you’re using and try again. With no obvious limit to how often you can manipulate time.

The world is highly detailed and the level of detail can be a little distracting at time when you need to focus more on the combat. In new areas I liked to hold time to look around, see if anything stands out as an important item before allowing time to resume. The controls are a combination of intuitive (when manipulating time and combat) and downright frustrating. The frustration comes most when there are multiple items within reach to interact with because it becomes difficult at times to interact with the item you want to most. The tutorial doesn’t do much to explain how to do this adequately either. The story is engaging and coupled with the combat mechanics make for a very well designed game. This is a must play for anyone that enjoys JRPGs or have any interest in time manipulation and the greatness of it far exceed the frustrations with the already mentioned controls.

Ashina: The Red Witch

Ashina

Ashina: The Red Witch is part of the same world of My Big Sister from Ratalaika Games but is it’s own title.

In Ashina: The Red Witch, from Ratalaika Games, you play as Ash, a young woman who wishes for something new while clinging onto the loss of her mother. The game starts as you make dinner for you and your sister, talking some trash as siblings do and enjoying the home-cooked meal. After the sister leaves for the night, you awake to the sound of someone in the other room and find a yokai making food and almost starting a fire. He steals a keepsake of your mother’s and runs. Chasing him leads you to arriving in the afterlife and a world full of yokai. Here you must track down the item, with the help of the thief and his friends.

The dialogue in this game is great. The banter between the two sisters alone is worth playing for. I legit laughed out loud while playing through making dinner during the game’s intro. I honestly can’t say the last time I laughed that often just during the opening, never before in an RPG/JRPG game either. Visually the game and animations are clean, despite being made in a retro style, very similar to SNES titles from back in the day. With the amount of laughing I’d done during my first two hours of gameplay is anything to go by I expect the rest of the game to be funny as hell and a great deal of fun.

Circus Electrique

Circus Electrique

They say the show must go on and at the Circus Electrique that is just as true, whether it is battling robotic police or fighting to recruit a new circus member.

The folks at Zen Studios are mostly known for their Pinball centered game but sometimes branch out and do something new. Circus Electrique is one of those attempts by venturing into the turn based JRPG genre. Players take control of managing the circus and part of that is protecting the Ringmaster’s niece. Starting with only a clown and a strongman you must beat back the two police officers that wish to take her and her lion away.

Visually the game looks great with the old time vibes of the circus mixed with a steampunk aesthetic. Controls are extremely simple to learn and the story is a bit slow, requiring lots of reading. I don’t mind reading a subtitle here and there but the amount of dialogue there is would have been much improved by including some audio to either narrate or voice the characters. The turn based mechanics work well and the give a ton of options for each character. Overall I enjoyed the game but would have enjoyed the story much more had the characters been voiced for their conversations.

Biomutant from THQ Nordic review

Biomutant

Biomutant as an RPG set in the distant future where corporations have made the planet unlivable for human and the mutations inherit it all!

Published by Experiment 101, Biomutant is an RPG that follow a mutant ronin that has returned to the land of his upbringing in search of revenge. Of course if you choose a lighter path your revenge takes the form of helping to restore the Tree of Life. You start the game with some amazing cinematics that gave me a lot of hope for this title.

As your character escapes the monster who killed your family, you go into a character creation screen. The level of customization is much higher than I expect but this is your first taste of the real visuals to expect through the game, and it’s not as stellar as the opening cinematic that’s for certain. You then pick up with your created character just before the fight you watched and must escape a bunker. Following the tutorial you will make it topside pretty quickly where the fight begins and you must play out the scene you watched.

Controls are easy to master and visuals are about on par with most titles you’d see on the previous generations of systems. Not the visuals may be a product of the fact that I’m playing this on the original Xbox One and it might be more dynamic on the new Xbox but I don’t have one myself to test that theory. The story is typical of an “all ages” role playing game that relies too heavily on slow dialogue trees and wandering through the world than with cut scenes.

Overall I found this game to be wanting and before picking up a copy yourself I would wait until you found it in the bargain bin or on a massive price reduction.