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By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 May, 2017 At 09:53 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Opinion, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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LJN is one of the most reviled names in retro gaming. The publisher put out some of the worst games on the NES, SNES and other systems, but not all their games were bad. One game that tends to get a lot of hate is Back to the Future on NES but I feel this hate is unwarranted, and the game is actually nowhere near as bad as is claimed.

Back To The Future admittedly does have a bizarre way of adapting the game, and it seems to have nothing to do with the movie at first. I was one of many people who thought this until it was made apparent what I was missing. Back to the Future on NES plays much like an arcade game more than anything else, and its various levels and styles all play like something out of an 80’s arcade game. While we may remember the big names like Street Fighter, Final Fight and Smash TV, the truth is that there were many arcade games that were just like Back to the Future. When looked at in that context it becomes a lot easier to see what the developers were going for and I can appreciate it. Indeed, the levels on the streets are the most reminiscent of this style, especially with getting power-ups like skateboards and weapons. It is clear what the developers were going for, even if they didn’t hit the mark.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this is an amazing hidden gem for the NES ( though I would argue another LJN licensed game, Nightmare on Elm Street, actually is a hidden gem), and there is a difference between “not a bad game” and “a great game”. I view Back to The Future on NES as more middle of the road, nothing too bad but not anything great. I actually managed to have fun wasting time with it, and even the side levels like catching hearts or catching notes were fun. Arcade games would often have hard segments like this to guzzle more quarters, so again, I get what they were going for.

Now, I will address the major complain people have. The music is atrocious and cannot be defended as it is. The thing is, the music was not supposed to be like that. The music as composed, was a faithful 8 Bit rendition of the music from the movie. Now I have heard two explanations for what happened with the music to make it what it was. One explanation was that the music had to be licensed separately and when this was found out, it was sped up to hide it. The other explanation is that it was programed into the game wrong and it was sped up and not fixed due to the game being rushed out.

If you do not believe me about the music then listen to this

 

 

 

All in all, Back to the Future on NES cant really be called a terrible game. Its just kind of there. It can be enjoyed and for all the complaints about Marty looking weird, even faithful licensed games like Batman made strange choices in character appearances. I don’t understand the hate and I thank people like 8-Bit Eric for helping make me aware of the game’s good qualities . I encourage you to try the game again and consider it from this perspective. Just avoid Back to the Future II and III on NES, as that game is truly horrible.

 

(Thank you to Larry Bundy Jr for sharing the video above. You can check out his youtube channel here , I highly recommend it)

(Check out 8-Bit Eric’s channel here.)

The article was inspired by Cygnus destroyer ( Check him out here)

The above was the opinion solely of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Real Otaku Gamer and its staff

By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 May, 2017 At 11:10 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Disgaea is a well loved Strategy RPG series that made its home on PlayStation systems, although it did have an entry on the DS. Now the series has returned to Nintendo systems with Disgaea 5 Complete on the Switch. This contains Disgaea 5 as it was on PlayStation 4, and has all the DLC that came with it.

Disgaea 5 is about a conflict between demons in the various netherworlds and has a fully realized plot and characters. In fact, the characters are a major selling point for this game. There is the protagonist Killia, the overlord of Gorgeous Seraphina, Red Magnus and more. Each character has a unique personality and mannerisms and the various interactions they have in the game are always great to watch. Sometimes they are downright hilarious, especially Red Magnus, who is based off pro wrestlers like the Rock.

The gameplay, for those who are not familiar with Disgaea, is similar to the Final Fantasy Tactics series, with battles set up in the same way. You advance around the battlefield and plan your moves carefully. You can team up characters for attacks, throw characters to move farther, and combo your moves. Different battlefields will have different obstacles and each character has unique abilities, including passive abilities that will provide either new challenges or new ways of winning. Disgaea is essentially a 3D game of chess with better visuals and great storytelling. Once you get the idea of what to do, you will start to have a lot of fun and lose yourself in it. Characters have unique moves as well such as the overload, and the different moves for the monsters. Each character has to be handled differently which offers a challenge and a good sense of reward. When you hit the right move, you will be amazed at what you can do.

Then there are the recruitable classes, whom you can interact with when off the battlefield. There are numerous classes that you can hire and customize, including their personalities. This means you can set up your party to be exactly the way you want it, which is a great touch. Speaking of being off the battlefield, there is a great overworld of sorts, with Seraphina’s pocket netherworld serving as your base. there are shops to go to, different characters to interact with, and more skits available. As you progress in the game, you unlock more characters and the world changes a bit each time. The characters are great, with witty dialogue and good voice acting. In fact now is the time to mention that Disgaea 5 has some of the best voice acting ever in a game, along with some amazing music. The visuals are a perfect match for the sound and the skits become great to watch as a result.

If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of a tactical RPG, Disgaea 5 offers several tutorials on how to play the game, each offered when starting a new part of the game or exploring a new mechanic. These do a great job of explaining things and getting you up to speed. If you feel these tutorials aren’t necessary though, then they can be skipped completely and you wont need to worry about hand holding the entire time. The game has a perfect balance with the tutorials and I recommend checking some out.

One thing I found very cool, is that the game still has Trophies from the PS4 version. They even sound have the same sound effect and can be seen by talking to a character in Seraphina’s base.

As mentioned, this version of the game has all the DLC and it is obtainable right away. You have your choice of when you access it though, so don’t feel rushed to use it all.

Disgaea 5 is an excellent experience on the Switch. Whether docked or in handheld mode, this was a lot of fun, and I lost hours to this. I highly recommend checking this out as it is one of the best games for the Switch right now. You will not regret this.

 

A code was provided for this review.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 11 May, 2017 At 02:30 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Nintendo Switch has developed a good library in a short time. There are games of all varieties and one that cannot be ignored is Kamiko. The game is an arcade style action game that is reminiscent of the original legend of Zelda while still being different in its own way.

In Kamiko you play as one of 3 shrine maidens, each wielding a different weapon. There is a sword, a bow and a mirror which is used for throwing along with a short sword. The different weapons open up different possibilities for playing and does give the game a good amount of replayability, if not true variety. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of different enemies and environments but it all goes by fast. That said, the game is designed to be played in short spurts like an old arcade game. It isn’t meant to be an epic adventure like the Legend of Zelda despite the seeming similarities in design.

The music in the game is charming and fitting. It has an old school vibe that fits with the art style giving you a retro feel while still being a modern indie game. In fact, design wise this game feels more like a “what if” type scenario. What if Zelda was a coin-op arcade action game?. Granted, Nintendo themselves sort of made a game like that on the famicom with Nazo No Murasamejo ( The Mysterious Murasame Castle, a game that should be brought back), but this has the advantage of being a modern look back rather than a contemporary.

The game can be completed in a short time, but that is why there are 3 different characters. You play through the game more than once and enjoy it more than once. Its a nice addition and I approve of it. Overall, Kamiko doesn’t do that much different or new but it is a very competent game for what it does do. It has a very cheap price that is hard to pass up and to be honest, I see no reason not to try it.  It is a game that, while not perfect, does deserve your attention. I recommend it.

By Jessica Brown On 29 Apr, 2017 At 11:17 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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  • TITLE: “Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap”
  • DEVELOPER: Lizardcube
  • PUBLISHER: DotEmu
  • GENRE: 2D Action-RPG
  • PLATFORM: Nintendo Switch
  • ALSO ON: PlayStation 4, XBox One, & PC (June 2017)
  • RELEASE DATE: April 18, 2017
  • PRICE: $19.99 (eShop)

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap and I have an interesting history together. I first encountered the game at a kid’s club at a hotel while on vacation. At the time, I had no idea what the game was called and I didn’t even have a clue what the Sega Master System was. After that single play session, the game fell off my radar for over a decade, but as luck would have it I picked up a copy of the game in a lot of games that came with a Sega Master System I purchased on eBay while in college. Having no idea what the game was called, imagine my surprise to see a familiar title when I plugged the cartridge in and gave it a whirl!

It was my experience with the 1989 version of The Dragon’s Trap that drove me to track down other titles in the series, resulting in the discovery of a wonderful, if often-overlooked, franchise of whimsical action-RPGs.

I remember being really surprised when I first learned that The Dragon’s Trap was receiving a full-on modern remake because it almost seemed too good to be true. Thankfully, it was most certainly a thing that was really happening and it was a project that I made sure to check in on every now and then to see how it was progressing. Once I saw that the game was set to hit consoles on April 18, I made plans to pick the title up on the new Nintendo Switch, thinking it would be a perfect title to include in my initial roster of Switch games.

One of the things that I really love about this remake is that while the game is super nostalgic and very familiar, it’s also different and fresh with lots of fine details and added enhancements. The developers took the 8-bit aesthetics of the original game and used them as an inspiration for this modern hand-drawn version, adding in all sorts of extras that make the environments and characters crisp and vivid. Where once there were dark corridors and bleak hallways, now you’ll find intricate carvings, statues, and various odds and ends. The environments are much more fleshed out and places that were once empty now feel like they have their own story to tell (such as the field to the left of the village which in this version has a cemetery in it).

For those that don’t know the story of the original, The Dragon’s Trap picks up at the end of 1987’s Wonder Boy in Monster Land (an arcade title). The hero, fully decked out in legendary gear, makes their way through the final castle and confronts the evil Meka Dragon. Upon its defeat, however, the warrior gets cursed and turned into a dragon-like lizard and must escape the burning, crumbling castle. It’s here that the real journey begins with the hero set on a quest to lift their curse and become human again.

When the main game begins the player is dumped in the village – the game’s main hub area. From there, several themed areas branch off that can be explored to find hidden items, shops that sell various goodies, and lots of treasure. Ultimately, they are seeking out various dragons that hold the power to transform them into something else (for example, the Mummy Dragon turns them into “Mouse Man” once defeated). Each of the different forms starting with Mouse Man that the player can assume has their own special ability (the mouse can walk up special walls and ceilings, Piranha Man can swim in the water, etc.) and making use of these powers in new and creative ways will help advance the game as well as let you uncover quite a few hidden treasures during your adventure.

One neat feature of the game is the ability to play as either the original Wonder Boy character or a new female protagonist referred to as Wonder Girl. They both play exactly the same, but it is a fun, forward-thinking feature that they included.

I really love the game’s original, hand-drawn art style and the soundtrack is simply fantastic. Of course, as great as this version’s music is and as talented as its musical team is, they had some wonderful source material to work with. As fun as the gameplay of the original was, it was one of those games where all of the songs are very memorable and I’d often find myself humming them or playing them through in my head. Here, they’ve all been lovingly updated yet they still remain as catchy as ever.

For those wanting to take a trip down memory lane (or to just see what the title first looked like), Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap allows the player to swap between both modern and retro visuals and sound at any time they wish and in any combination they wish. It may be a small touch that doesn’t really affect gameplay at all, but it’s a really cool feature that pays loving homage to the classic adventure.

Those that are familiar with the original adventure know that as fun as the game is, it doesn’t last forever. It’s one of those games that you have so much fun playing that you’re very sad when it comes to an end, even though you can see it coming. Those who have never played the classic game will most certainly take a good bit of time to make their way through this game but veteran players should be able to clear it within a relatively short amount of time.

One thing that does help with the game’s replay value is the fact that there are various collectibles that you can unlock and the game does feature three different difficulty settings (Easy for beginners, Normal being the original difficulty level, and Hard offering more difficult enemies and a time limit).

Seeing The Dragon’s Trap remade like this makes me hope that someone (if not this team here) will revisit Wonder Boy in Monster World and Monster World IV, both of which were amazing follow-ups to this Master System gem.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a great game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s one of those titles that’s fun to play while docked to a TV but also is great to be able to take on the go with you (be that lounging around the house or on a trip of some sort). The developers did a wonderful job revisiting this classic and I can only hope that they consider giving a similar treatment to some of the other titles in this often-overlooked franchise.

By John Kinsella On 24 Apr, 2017 At 03:55 PM | Categorized As Games To Watch, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Puyo Puyo Tetris has come to the Nintendo Switch and it is a fun puzzle game. Combining two of the greatest puzzle games into one really is interesting. While Tetris is known the world over and is popular world wide. Puyo Puyo has typically stayed in Japan for the most part.
I honestly have not played a lot of Tetris at least in the last decade. I’m not the biggest fan of these types of games but this was something new. But, I decided it was a good idea to review it to keep me sharp. Playing it I was reminded of a simpler time where a game like this could really trap me. The Puyo Puyo portion I was reminded of my time playing Sonic Mega Collection for the Game Cube. This amazing game had a classic Sonic Game called Dr.Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. This game was actually a localized version of a Puyo Puyo game and for many, was their first time playing the series. I played this game a lot as it was just so easy to pick up and play. Puyo Puyo Tetris is similar to that wonderful game as it also quite easy to pick up and play. I personally wasn’t drawn into playing it for long stretches of time. Picking it up here and there, for a little light game play made it and kept it fun.
The Adventure Mode is great as it offers 100 stages of play featuring characters from both game series. Some of the challenges are downright hard and that makes it all the more fantastic when you actually win. I honestly struggled through the early levels but that probably is because I’m rusty when it comes to this type of game. This game also offers a full on 4 player local co-op mode. With traditional Versus, Swap where Tetris and Puyo Puyo Boards swap out regularly and even Fuse where you play a true combination of both. There is also Big Bang Mode where its a race to complete boards and Party where you can help or hinder your opponents with hidden items.
In addition, there is also Online Mode with a full Puzzle League and ranking system, a Free Play mode for light online fun. If you feel confident about your skills, go all out for it. If you do well in the match and dominate, you can even save online matches. I usually am not one for online mode but I tried it and got royally destroyed. To hone your skills for online, never hesitate to go to the solo arcade. You can battle up to 3 Computer players, Compete in a never ending Endurance mode, and a robust Challenge Mode. It is certainly a game that is worth training for, as it happens rather fast. I will certainly work on my skills with training like this.
While I wait for other games and in between times I’m not playing Breath of The Wild, I will certainly make time for this fantastic game.If you like puzzle games I highly suggest you give it a try when it comes out April 25th. Plus, you can play a demo right now, to see if it fits you. So, puzzle on dear readers, Tetris blocks need to disappear and Puyo need to explode.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Apr, 2017 At 04:20 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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WonderBoy: The Dragon’s Trap was a classic game for the Sega Master System. Regarded as one of the all time greats, it has now been given a modern remaster thanks to Lizardcube and Dot Emu, but is it any good?

WonderBoy; The Dragon’s Trap is a beautiful game that takes great pains to replicate the classic 8 bit game and turn it into a modern experience. It has gorgeous hand drawn art that is full of detail and liveliness. The music is also lovingly redone in tribute to the original. You can switch between the original and modern look and sounds at the touch of buttons, and just comparing the soundtrack between the retro and modern really shows how much care was put in to be true to the original music.

Everything has been given an overhaul, for example instead of passwords, you get hints ( the game autosaves now), the nurse is now full of snarkiness, and most useful of all, you can use the shoulder buttons to scroll though your sub weapons. This does come with a drawback however, in that the awkward parts of the game are retained as well. The game has a way of registering hits that is straight from the original game, but feels out of place in a modern game. This gets really annoying during boss fights, and can throw you off. As well, the confusion about where to go next is still here. You can get lost for a while and just wander around looking for wear to go, which is one way of expanding the play experience, which is only 3-5 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good game and I love it. I love finding all the secrets and the ways to progress and there is just a sense of charm that the game has, that most other retro revivals just miss out on. The different weapons and armors are great, the transformations are awesome ( but actually transforming has a bit too strong of flashing lights), and  the overall experience is really well done. If it weren’t for trying too hard to preserve what the game was in full, instead of filtering it to get only the good, this would have been much better. Still this is a game that is rewarding, that gives you a sense of satisfaction when you make progress and gain new abilities. People often forget how hard the master system games could be, so the challenge is welcome, even with the difficulty settings. Plus there is now the option to play as a female protagonist and if that is chosen, the title screen will say WonderGirl: The Dragon’s Trap. It is a nice touch and really adds to the experience.

Overall I really liked WonderBoy: The Dragon’s Trap. It is a retro game done right (with a few issues) and is genuinely fun and charming. I fully recommend it.

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Mr.Shifty which was created by Team Shifty is coming out tomorrow, on Nintendo Switch and Steam. I was lucky enough to score a review copy and let me tell you, I enjoyed it. This crazy game is similar to certain top down games like Hot Line Miami but has its own twist. The main character Mr.Shifty can teleport. It honestly is quite similar to Nightcrawler of the XMen and his teleporting skill.

This game may seem simple on the surface in that you just need to climb a tower and take down goons, but it gets hectic fast. This game is unforgiving in that if you die you start the stage over.

Enemies appear seemingly out of nowhere in certain stages. In other stages they are planned, but they do tend to walk towards sounds. You need to have quick reflexes in order to take down all of the goons.

Mr.Shifty’s power is hard to handle sometimes especially in moments of high stress. Taking down 50 enemies who all can one shot kill you makes things tense. This mission that Shifty and his assistant are on is something clearly worth it all, but it certainly isn’t a game for those who hate to lose.

I died plenty of times but honestly it felt good to start floors over. You honestly learn how to play the game as you die. You learn where you need to go and how you can wipe out more men in a single attack.

This game is certainly worth picking up if you need another game worth playing. It might fill some of the void of time you may now have after beating Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch!

So, if this game sounds at all interesting it is certainly worth the 15$. If you need some convincing they did release a demo online in February for people to try!

Feel free to watch the trailer below to find out if you may like it, and get ready to Shift into crime with Mr. Shifty tomorrow!

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/PslLAK67vSM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

By John Kinsella On 3 Apr, 2017 At 11:37 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Has Been Heroes which now has almost been out for a week, is made by Frozenbyte and officially came out on March 28th. Though it has actually been pushed back until April 4th in Europe and Australia.This game is available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. For this review I did in fact receive an early copy for the Switch and it has been just a blast to play. This game may look like a typical RPG at first glance, but this game is truly something different.

HasBeenHeroes_Screenshot_01.png

This game is about heroes who were once great coming out of retirement for one last quest. In the beginning of the game you start out with a simple swordsman, a mage, and a new Rogue. These three classes are pretty standard fare for an RPG so it wasn’t a shock.  This RPG isn’t a normal turn based game and instead it is more like Plants Vs Zombies, in that it operates on lanes.

But that is the only comparison as this game is a Roguelike game, where if you die, you need to start over. I have honestly not gotten through  a whole adventure which at the start consists of two different areas. From the offset you either are tossed into the Dark Forest or an Icy Tundra, with the third being a demonic and hellish landscape.

HasBeenHeroes_Screenshot_03.png

As you trek through the area with two princesses behind you, you move a long a map. Scattered around the map are different events that occur from shops to games and even a restorative camp. You never know how things will be laid out, and you have to be prepared for the boss fight at the end of each area. The truly troubling thing is that if you go back to an area you already went to, you use a magic candle, if you do that twice you die.

This game is truly unforgiving but I found myself excited to start over. Will I ever unlock all of the 30 plus characters or gather all the spells in this game? I’m going to say no, but for a diversion when I’m not playing Breath of The Wild, it is certainly a game I will enjoy more. Don’t let the toughness push you away, a little adversity always makes things better in some way.

If you haven’t got your hands on this game, it is relatively cheap at only $20.00 for so much playability. I would highly recommend picking this up as it is a game you can pick up anytime and not worry about anything story related. Just remember it is deceptively simple but is truly a game that is not for the faint of heart!

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a ghost pirate to try and defeat, though based on my track record he is going to destroy me.

 

Below are both the story trailers and Launch trailer for this game, which if you haven’t gotten your hands on yet, I do highly suggest you do!

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 31 Mar, 2017 At 09:21 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Blaster Master is a beloved series that dates back to the 8 bit era. it sadly has never caught on as well as it should have, but that isn’t for lack of trying. Sunsoft has repeatedly attempted to bring the series back with new entries, and the latest, by Inti Creates might be the best one yet.

Graphically the game isn’t as impressive as the Wii entry, Overdrive, but it has its own charm with a style that updates the classic look while retaining its appeal. The game switches between two main styles, depending on if you are primarily traveling by the tank Sophia, or travelling in caves to find upgrades and maps or fight enemies.

Blaster Master Zero was the first time I ever experienced HD Rumble and I finally see what the hype was about. When sirens go off, you can actually experience that thanks tot HD rumble. it also impacts the way you attack enemies or make movements in general This was a great introduction to HD rumble for me, and I feel it was implemented very well.

Gameplay-wise Blaster Master Zero is the same Blaster master we all know and love, but with refinements to better the experience. Save points, a better map systems, better menus and more interaction, make this a worthy addition to the series. It is fun and that is the most important thing.

The music in the game worried me initially, as the trailer had very sharp sounds that hurt my ears. That said, the actual game doesn’t have this issue, and the game has great music and audio in general  Plus when it gets in sync with the HD rumble, it is truly amazing to experience in a game like this.

Overall, I think Blaster Master Zero is a good game, a great addition to the Blaster Master series, and a good pickup for the Nintendo Switch. I recommend it.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 29 Mar, 2017 At 09:44 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I Am Setsuna was a game I had been meaning to buy for a long time on PS4. I ultimately didn’t, and when it came to the Nintendo Switch, I ended up getting it there. It is a game billed as the spiritual sequel to Chrono Trigger, one of the most beloved games of all time, so how does this game hold up?

I had heard very mixed things about this game, so I was not sure what to expect. I had heard it was fairly generic, and to an extent that is true, but to me that works as part of the charm. The story is nothing we haven’t seen before, but the play mechanics are the shining stars here. The game has a great battle system that is indeed reminiscent of the one in Chrono Trigger. I found battles to be increasingly enjoyable the more I played and learned how they worked, and I love the twists they pulled on the genre. What they did with loot from victories is very much inspired, and a much better idea than most RPGs/

The music in I Am Setsuna is stellar, with tracks that are very much reminiscent of some of the classics, while still putting their own spin on it. You have never heard the piano played as inventively as you have with this game. I can see where people have issues with the minimalist nature, but to me, it just worked out so much better. Likewise with the art. It goes for HD  2.5D visuals but still has the look of a classic game in its own way.

The story isn’t anything super great as mentioned before, but it isn’t bad at all. It serves the game well and helps get things going, towards the fun and engaging gameplay. This honestly feels like more of a sequel to Chrono Trigger than Chrono Cross felt. Do I feel you should get it? Absolutely, it is a great throwback to classic JRPGs and is fun with a great soundtrack and gameplay to boot. There is no reason to pass this up.