As a reminder, I don’t have the current-gen consoles (Wii U, Xbox One and PS4) though I will definitely be getting a PS4 next year. Possibly an Xbox One or Wii U as well. I feel enough time has passed for the PS4 to get into my price range and there are some upcoming PS4 games being released in 2016 that I want to play.
Getting back on topic though, here’s my pick for the 2015 Nintendo 3DS Game of the Year:
I’m actually about to finish my second playthrough of this game. As the wallpaper suggests, yes you are the male protagonist with your own stable of pretty ladies who will fight beside you. Yes, there are romance mechanics and yes there is ALOT of Replay Value: You will need to beat the game at least 7 times–one for each girl–to fully unlock everything. I bought the game in August but only recently started playing it. I plan on waiting until I finish my third playthrough before posting my review of the game though.
It’s a solid Strategy RPG and though there are some tropes and fan service, it’s not to the point of annoying. I give it a 9/10. If you had access to the Crafting System at the very beginning and the very end of the game, I’d have given it a perfect 10.
One other 3DS game I want to give an honorable mention to is:
The remake of the second EO game is pretty solid. Like its predecessor, you’re essentially getting two games in one: The new Story Mode and the Classic Mode, which is a more traditional EO experience. Like the Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millenium Girl, this game does have DLC content. If you bought the game at launch some of it was free for the first month but now all of it is paid. The DLC comes to $20, which is half the cost of the base game and some of it is game-breaking.
Overall I give EOU2 a 7/10. I wish the process to increase the level cap wasn’t so intricate though it only needs to be done once and carries over across playthroughs. This aside, it’s Etrian Odyssey with a modern twist. Having recently bought Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City (Nintendo DS), I look forward to seeing what the remake looks like.
Moving on the the PS Vita, there is one clear winner. It’s the game I’d been looking forward to from the moment it was announced:
…Boy, did this game not disappoint.
With Persona 5 set to be released sometime next year, P4DAN is a nice way to close out the P4 story. Some fans speculate the visitor Margaret is talking to during the game’s story mode is actually P5’s protagonist. Given one of the few details about P5’s protagonist we know so far is he is not a guest of the Velvet Room, it would be interesting if it’s later revealed it was him.
Anyways, P4DAN is a rhythm-based game made for the fans. You don’t have to have played Persona 4/Persona 4 Golden first as the game’s story mode tells you the important details about the characters. There are almost a dozen additional DLC tracks, some of which have characters that can only be used for said tracks (Adachi, Marie from P4G, and guest Dancer Hatsune Miku).
The game also has four difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard and All Night. The last one introduces diagonal ribbons, which aren’t present in the other difficulties. The margin of error in Hard and All Night is also much smaller compared to Normal and Easy. It’s recommended you not try All Night unless you’ve gotten the King Krazy rating several times. King Krazy is when you not only hit every every beat without missing, you don’t get any “Good” beats either (which breaks the combo by default actually). Fortunately, after you successfully finish a song in Free Play you will be able to watch a perfect run of the song so you can see what it means to perfectly complete a track. I myself I gotten King Krazy on 8 songs across Easy, Normal and Hard so far. Most are on Normal though.
Overall I give Persona 4 Dancing All Night a 9/10. Would have been awesome if they added some tracks from Persona 3 since they added music from the Persona 4 Anime and Persona Q: Shadow Labrynth. Even so, it’s a solid game and I highly reccommend it to anyone who has a Vita.
One game that flew under the radar I want to give an honorable mention:
Released on both the Vita and the 3DS, this digital-only title is a solid game. It follows the same formula as the first SWC title, which was a 3DS Launch game and my very first 3DS game. The player character fights alongside legendary samurai during the Warring States, or Sengoku Period. Playable Characters introduced in Samurai Warriors 4 (Digital Only) including Nobuyuki Sanada, Koshosho, Kagekatsu Uesugi, Kojiuro Katagura, Lady Hayakawa, Kojiro Sasaki and the iconic Musashi Miyamoto all return as well.
Having already played the first SWC title, the mechanics were nothing new to me. It was just a matter of getting used to the slightly different controls from SW4. This game, like all past Warriors games has near-endless replay value. The DLC content is pretty fun if you chose to buy it, too. Overall I give it an 8/10. A must-buy if you have a Vita but be wary it IS digital only.
…And there you have it.
As with all reviews, I only listed games I own and have played myself. Unlike certain YouTube personalities who will remain nameless, I play my video games for my own personal enjoyment. No other reason. I don’t make money off these reviews and I don’t play competative much these days. I only really care about the single player experience since no one I personally know plays the games I usually do.
2016 promises to be another good year for the 3DS in terms of games coming down the pipe–Fire Emblem Fates, Final Fantasy Explorers and Bravely Second to name a few. The Vita doesn’t have any major titles coming as usual but there a alot of great games that have been released that are worth getting one for!