Final Fantasy XV (PS4)
RPG 29 November 2016
A JRPG with elements of third person shooter that came out as the next major installment in the bestselling Final Fantasy franchise. Final Fantasy XV was developed by Square Enix’s 1st Production Department, led by Tetsuya Nomura and Hajime Tabata. The game features some lore elements from the franchise’s sub-series Fabula Nova Crystallis. You play as prince Noctis Lucis Caelum, who tries to defend his city-state from the Niflheim Empire invasion. In combat, the hero can use magic, special abilities, and a wide array of magic swords. The game features third person perspective, as well as real-time combat and open world exploration.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue (PS4)
RPG 12 January 2017
A compilation of remastered games from the Kingdom Hearts jRPG series, known in the gaming world since 2001. Square Enix (formely Square) is responsible for the series from its beginning. The compilation contains a refreshed version of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage, and a collection of cutscenes divided into chapters from Kingdom Hearts X, entitled Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover. The gameplay focuses on swift, spectacular action scenes, and its base elements include exploration of a fantasy world, battling encountered enemies, and development of our hero. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue uses Unreal Engine 4 technology, which powers the third installment of the Kingdom Hearts series.
Tales of Berseria (PS4)
RPG 18 August 2016
The 16th installment in the popular jRPG series by Bandai Namco, which was originated in 1995 with the release of Tales of Phantasia on SNES. Tales of Berseria is also the first game in the franchise in which the main protagonist is not a male – the player assumes the role of a female character. She is a young pirate named Velvet Crowe, who lives in the fantasy kingdom of Midgand. Interestingly, the location had previously appeared in one of the earlier installments of the series – Tales of Zestiria – but the action of Tales of Berseria takes place much earlier. The Kingdom is composed of a few larger pieces of land and a number of little islands, so traveling through the world often requires sailing. Just like former installments of the Tales series, the title offers a complex combat system based on unique abilities and combos. Players observe the action from the third-person perspective and during fights they can control other members of the team. Tales of Berseria makes use of fully-3D graphics, but the game is still kept in an anime comic book style.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)
A modern remake of one of the most popular jRPG games of all times, developed for PlayStation 4 by the long-standing publisher of the Final Fantasy series, Japanese company Square Enix. The game is set in a universe that combines technology and fantasy elements. The player becomes a former soldier and mercenary, who joins an insurgent group called AVALANCHE. Its objective is to put an end to activities of the Shinra corporation that drains the planet’s energy, leading to an imminent end of the world. The remake stays true to the original mechanics, which boil down to exploration, conversations, character progression, and turn-based combat. The game features brand new graphics, as pre-rendered backgrounds gave way to fully 3D locations. Furthermore, the cartoonish character designs were dropped and look much more realistic.
Persona 5 (PS4)
RPG 15 September 2016
The fifth entry in a popular jRPG series and a part of the Shin Megami Tensei series, started in 1987. As always, the developing studio is Atlus, which created the series. The plot of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5 revolves around the theme of seven cardinal sins and puts us in the role of an ordinary high school student, who discovers supernatural powers in himself. The protagonist lead a normal teenager’s life during the day, solving typical school problems and interacting with schoolmates, while at night he turns into a superhero, engaging in a deadly fight against evil. In terms of game mechanics, the production follows in its predecessors' footsteps, combining features of classic jRPG games and their turn-based combat with elements of school life simulator and the, popular in Japan, visual novel genre. Graphics have been created using a new, original engine and feature a dark, though cartoonish, style.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4)
A remastered edition of the twelfth installment in a series of popular jRPGs. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age was created on the basis of Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System - an extended edition of the original release. The Zodiac Age is set in a fantasy world known as Ivalice, which is being torn apart by an incessant war between two superpowers. Vaan, a teenage orphan who dreams of a career as a sky-pirate must find his place within the events. As a result of a coincidence, the protagonist joins the local resistance and sets out for a journey - what is at stake here, is the fate of the entire world. The game is played from a third-person view and the player explores extensive, 3D locations. Combat is real-time here, but the game offers active pausing, thus the player can give orders to their characters without having to hurry. The game brings an original character development system based on the so-called licenses that allow the characters to use particular abilities. The remastered edition offers improved visuals, as well as a soundtrack recorded from scratch.
Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization (PS4)
RPG 27 October 2016
A Japanese action role-playing game by Aquria, based on the popular Sword Art Online franchise, which started with a novel series by Reki Kawahara. The game is set in the near future in Japan, where virtual reality MMORPGs are wildly popular. The story of Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization takes place inside one of such games, called Sword Art: Origin, which gained popularity after a group of players was trapped in it. You play as Kirito, the protagonist of the franchise, who finds himself inside a new version of the program, this time devoid of the code fragments that would present a threat to the users. The gameplay consists mostly of exploring, completing quests, leveling up your character and arcade-like combat. During the game you encounter many characters from the books and the anime series based on them, as well as some brand new characters.
Digimon World: Next Order (PS4)
RPG Thursday, 26 January 2017
A jRPG set in a science-fiction world and created by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game is another installment in the Digimon series developed since 1997. The player assumes the role of either a male or a female character. Both the characters were once huge fans of digimon and one day they are taken to the virtual homeland of the creatures, which makes the characters re-discover their childhood passion and take part in the adventure of their lives along with new friends. The game is played from a third-person view and the player explores a fully three-dimensional world. The protagonist is accompanied by two digimon and the player can issue various orders to them in real time while in combat. Alongside progression, the player explores subsequent locations, solves various puzzles, fights enemies encountered, as well as talks to and helps different NPCs.
Kingdom Hearts III (PS4)
A third main entry in the popular jRPG series, started in 2002 on PlayStation 2 console. The production, developed by Square-Enix, is a closing act of the story taking place in a unique fantasy universe, which combines the worlds of several movies and TV dramas created by Disney with the Final Fantasy series. The main characters are Sora, Riku, and Kairi from the previous games, along with well-known Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or Goofy. We witness the final face-off between light and dark, the latter embodied by an organization named XIII, led by master Xehanort. While the visuals have been significantly enhanced, Kingdom Hearts III employs the mechanics and fighting system known from its predecessors. We observe the game’s world from third-person perspective, while during the real-time battles we can count on the support from our two allies, each with a unique set of skills.
I am Setsuna (PS4)
RPG 18 February 2016
A jRPG developed by Tokyo RPG Factory, also known as "Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna" in Japan. It makes references to the classics of the genre and games such as the legendary classic Chrono Trigger. The story is set in a land of ever-lasting winter. Furthermore, the region is regularly terrorized by demons. In order to satisfy them, the inhabitants decide to sacrifice a girl, the game's eponymous protagonist. Along with a nameless henchman and a mysterious female traveler called Kuon, Setsuna sets out for a long and dangerous journey to the place where the sacrifice is to be made. On her way, she meets many different characters and encounters deadly monsters. The player observes the characters from high above and travels from one location to another using the world map, visiting numerous towns, restocking supplies, buying new equipment and fighting various enemies. The game employs a dynamic turn-based combat system, resembling the one used in early Final Fantasy games or the said Chrono Trigger. Once the player has refilled a special meter, they gain access to different boosts.
Summon Night 6: Lost Borders (PS4)
RPG 28 February 2017
The sixth major installment of the series of jRPGs enriched with elements of strategy, visual novel and dating simulation game which was initiated in 2000. Summon Night 6: Lost Borders tells of three characters, each having their own companion: a flying creature with unique abilities. When strangers literally fell from the skies into the world of Fillujah, the protagonists decided to learn the secret they hide. The gameplay is based on two pillars. The first one being exploration of the environment that lets the heroes get acquainted with the game world, meet new characters, and accept various quests. The second one is turn-based combat in which players can use advanced tactics and special abilities and even join the forces of two party members to strengthen an attack. The title is enriched with a myriad of additional activities and minigames, including cooking meals, fishing, and so on.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX (PS4)
RPG March 2017
A compilation of the first six installments of the Kingdom Hearts series created by Square Enix in cooperation with Disney. The bundle includes Kingdom Hearts FINAL MIX, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II FINAL MIX, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep FINAL MIX, and feature remastered film cutscenes from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. Each production boasts modernized graphics, numerous enhancements in their gameplay systems, additional film cutscenes, and bonus boss fights that were previously available online in Japanese editions of the listed titles. Moreover, all games in the bundle run at 60 frames-per-second.
Nights of Azure (PS4)
RPG 01 October 2015
An action RPG set in unique fantasy world, developed by Japanese studio Gust, know from the Atelier and Ar tonelico series. Nights of Azure takes us to an isolated island kingdom, in which people must face demonic creatures that roam at night. The main heroine, Arnice, is a warrior gifted with dark powers. Her duty is to protect priestess Lilysee who – according to legends – can lift the curse that was cast on the land by sacrificing herself. To prevail against overwhelming forces of evil, Arnice has to gradually abandon her humanity, while Lilysee tries to accept her fate. Gameplay of Nights of Azure shares characteristics with the hack and slash genre. We observe the three-dimensional world from third-person perspective, as the heroine fights with enemies. Those battles are purely arcade and fought with the assistance of demonic minions. Between missions – main or secondary – we can visit our base, where we may talk with NPCs and unlock new powers.
World of Final Fantasy (PS4)
RPG 25 October 2016
A spin-off to the popular jRPG series created by Square Enix. World of Final Fantasy was created with younger players in mind. The plot of the game takes place in Grimoire – a completely new world, but the characters and creatures from all previous installments of the series make an appearance. What’s interesting, Grimoire has been divided into two dimensions: in the first of them, the characters look normal, while in the second one they assume the sweet form of chibi. The main characters of the story are Rain and Lon, twins who fulfill their great destiny, experiencing various adventures. When it comes to mechanics, the title is similar to the previous entries in the series, including typical exploration segments and turn-based enemy encounters making use of the Active Time Battle system. Nevertheless, the whole gameplay has been somewhat simplified in order not to scare away the younger players. An interesting feature of the game are the taming mechanics, with animals acquired this way helping us during encounters.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar (PS4)
A fantasy jRPG featuring a turn-based combat system, based on the popular Battle Chasers comic book series. The game was developed by Airship Syndicate, founded by the creators of the Darksiders game, including the creative director and the comic's author, Joe Maureira. The game is set in a fantasy universe, where magic and science coexist, and you play as the characters known from the comics, such as the warrior Garrison, a little girl called Gully, or the golem Calibretto. Battle Chasers: Nightwar focuses on the plot and the exploration of the expansive randomly-generated dungeons. The game also features many jRPG-style battles, taking place in turns on two separate screens. The visuals are colorful and detailed, which makes them resemble the original comics.