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.
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 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.
Accel World vs. Sword Art Online (PS4)
RPG 08 August 2017
A third-person perspective action jRPG developed by ARTDINK. The title is based on books and anime from the Accel World and Sword Art Online franchises. The story of the game features a unique story in which characters from both universes met. They face a phenomenon that causes unknown time travelers from future to appear in the world and seek a way back home. The action is presented from the perspective of Kirito, the protagonist of Sword Art Online, but the scenario enables the player to assume the role of other characters as well and experience the story from their point of view. The title is an action RPG in which the player travels through large locations and is able to freely fly or participate in aerial combat. The game offers many playable characters, each of which has unique skills and attacks that are upgraded during the game. In the singleplayer campaign the player is accompanied by up to two companions controlled by AI.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4)
RPG 12 September 2017
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is the eighth installment of the fantasy action RPG series from Nihon Falcom. The game takes place in the same Greek mythology-inspired fantasy world as the series' previous installments. Once again we play as the warrior called Adol Christin who, after the ship he was traveling went under, ends up with the rest of the crew on the cursed island Seiren. Our hero's dreams about the mysterious girl named Dana turn out to be the key to solving the mystery of the island. As per the series' tradition, we will spend most of our time on fighting with various enemies. The game features an arcade combat system. We are accompanied by many characters with different abilities in our adventures and we can switch between them anytime we want to. Every once in a while we will also play as the titular Dana. Her parts of the game are more riddle-oriented.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4)
RPG 11 July 2017
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 a constant 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 however, is the fate of the entire world. The game is played from a third-person view and the player explores extensive 3D locations. Combat takes place in real-time, but the game offers an active pause option, allowing the player to give out 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.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III (PS4)
RPG 20 October 2017
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is another installment of the jRPG series developed by Nihon Falcom Corp. The game begins a year and a half after the events of the second game of the series. Erobonia Empire is now the biggest country on the continent. Government’s policies lead to the weakening of the areas one ruled by by the nobles, which lead to new problems. the students of Class VII have finished their education and began to lead their own lives. Rean Schwarzer, our protagonist, decided to become an instructor of the university’s special division that trains a small number of talented adepts. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III uses the same (although slightly improved) gameplay mechanics as the other games of the series. Combat is now more fast-paced thanks to the assignment of particular actions to gamepad’s buttons. In addition to that, a special new command Brave Order was also implemented in the game.
Blue Reflection (PS4)
RPG Tuesday, 26 September 2017
A conventional jRPG featuring a turn-based combat system. Blue Reflection was inspired by games such as Persona 4, anime series and comic books belonging to the magical girl genre. The game was developed by Gust - a studio popular mainly for the Atelier series, which comprises more than several installments. The game is set in contemporary Japan. Hinako, the protagonist, is an ordinary girl who attends high-school, but one day she is taken to an alternative dimension inhabited by dangerous monsters. In that realm, she discovers a mysterious power in herself, which allows her to transform into a magic warrior. Along with her friends having similar abilities, she fights the threats coming from the other reality.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PS4)
RPG January 2018
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is the next installment in the jRPG series developed by Level 5. Young king Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum is the game's protagonist. After our hero was banished from his own kingdom, a fellow named Roland decides to help him get his throne back. Things got much more complicated when the city of Ding Dong Dell was faced with the danger that threatens the entire world. Our heroes have no other choice than to face it. Just like in the previous game, gameplay in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom focuses on the exploration of the game's vast world, doing many various main and side quests, recruiting new team mates, and fighting with the encountered enemies. In combat, we can switch between our party members to use their individual abilities anytime we want to. Once again Higgledies play an important role in battles. They can draw our enemies' attention and aid us in battle by giving us powers to control various elements. A new system that allows us to create our own kingdom was introduced in Ni no Kuni II. The game features colorful visuals, visibly inspired by the Ghibli animated movies.
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 IX (PS4)
RPG 19 September 2017
The 9th main entry in a classic jRPG series, originally released in 2000 on PlayStation console, and ported to PC ten year later. After a few games featuring slightly cyberpunkish settings, Final Fantasy IX returns to the roots of the series, where we are once again met by knights, princesses, and dragons. Players take the role of a young thief, who, together with a company of other heroes, faces the evil queen Brahna, who is responsible for the outbreak of a great war. However, as it turns out, the queen has been nothing more than a pawn in the hands of a much more dangerous enemy. In terms of game mechanics, the game is a combination of proven solutions with some limited innovations, such as a redesigned profession system or ATE mode (Active Time Event), which allows us to see what other team members are doing, give access to numerous side quests and a chance to collect various useful items.
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.
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.
Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book (PS4)
RPG 19 November 2015
Seventeenth installment in the Atelier series, created by the Japanese studio Gust, and a classic representative of the jRPG genre, featuring a turn-based combat system and a humorous and charming storyline. Plot-wise Atelier Sophie opens a completely new chapter in the history of the series and is unaffiliated with any of the previous installments. This time we become 16 year old Sophie – a novice alchemist who inherited two things after her late grandmother: a sizable workshop and a mysterious, talking book. One day, the book takes the form of a woman named Plachta and asks our heroine for help in recovering lost memories. Thus begins Sophie's adventure, during which she will explore numerous colorful locations, collect ingredients for alchemical recipes and fight with various creatures. One of the main novelties in the series is a day and night cycle, which significantly influences the type of encountered enemies and 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.
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.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age (PS4)
RPG 29 July 2017
The eleventh major installment of the popular jRPG series by Square Enix. The action of Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time takes place in a fantastical land of Lotozetasia, while the player assumes the role of a inhabitant of the Ishi village. On his 16th birthday, he discovers that he is an incarnation of a hero who saved the world from annihilation many years ago. Since then, the youngster’s life takes a radical turn, and his further fate is uncertain. Accompanied by loyal friends, the protagonist embarks on a journey which will seal his destiny. The production is very sandbox — at its core are exploration of the environment, conversing with non-player characters, and performing quests given by them. Turn-based combat is an integral part of the gameplay. To win a battle, we have to adequately develop our character and adjust our equipment accordingly.
Final Fantasy X HD (PS4)
RPG 12 May 2015
Remastered version of the tenth entry in the legendary jRPG series, Final Fantasy, which debuted in 2001 exclusively for PlayStation 2. While the original game has been developed by Square Enix studio, the remastered version has been developed by an inside team of Square Enix company. The story takes players to a fantasy world of Spira. The protagonist is Tidus, a sportsman whose home town gets attacked by a powerful creature known as Sin. He finds himself in an unknown environment, not knowing what had happened and how to go back home. Soon, he joins a party of young priestess named Yuna, whose task is to defeat Sin. As far as gameplay is considered, Final Fantasy X HD remains unchanged. Te game does however offer enhanced textures and models to fit higher resolutions. The quality of cutscenes has also been improved.
Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force (PS4)
RPG 05 November 2015
A classic jRPG created by Japanese studio Compile Heart as an enhanced and expanded version of Fairy Fencer F – a game released in 2013 on PlayStation 3. The game is set in a world that once was the arena of conflict between two mighty deities. The weapons they forged are called furies, and the people wielding them are known as fencers. The game’s main hero is a fencer named Fang, who encounters another representative of his profession – Tiara, a person obsessed with collecting all the furies she possibly can. Gameplay combines typical jRPGs elements with visual novel narrative and an elaborate combat system, in which characters move around battlefields freely, but take commands in turns. When compared with the original version of the game, Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force was expanded by the addition of two alternative story chapters, letting you see a brand new ending. Changes also include some elements of gameplay and combat system.
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (PS4)
RPG 17 March 2015
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a remastered version of Final Fantasy Type-0, a jRPG released in 2001 on PlayStation Portable exclusively in Japan. The HD version was released on PC and 8th generation consoles. The game takes place in the fantasy world Orience, which, after a period of peace, was once again divided by war. Story focuses on twelve adepts from a magic academy who were delegated to defend the country's borders. Being a part of a greater whole (Final Fantasy XIII), Type-0 HD has all the characteristic elements of the Final Fantasy series. Combat system used in the game combines the turn-based mechanics with solutions known from many action games. The game offers a vast world, filled with interesting NPCs and side quests to do. There are twelve characters for us to play as. Each of them has a different character, combat style, and special abilities. The biggest difference between the PSP and remastered versions are the visuals, now in high definition.
Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth (PS4)
RPG 05 September 2017
A hybrid of a visual novel and a tactical role-playing game. The title was developed by studio Leaf and company Aquaplus. The game is a direct sequel to Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception and it tells the further story of Haku and his friends who are tasked with assuming control over the military forces of Yamato Empire and using them to protect the territory from hostile neighbors. Like before, long visual novel sequences are intertwining with very short tactical battles. However, the developers introduced some changes and improvements thanks to which the players gain more possibilities when it comes to using their forces on the battlefield. There are new types of side missions available as well. The battles once again take place on three-dimensional maps with a net of fields. All units are moving between these fields. Although the battles are turn-based, they feature action sequences. When a character performs an action and the player presses a button at correct time, various bonuses are activated - including critical hits. Other novelties include cooperation attacks, new skills and new types of weapons. Similarly to the previous entries in the series, Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth features high quality two-dimensional graphics. However, the three-dimensional tactical sequences of the game feature simplified character and environment models. The lack of details is compensated with unique style and animations.
Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness (PS4)
RPG 31 March 2016
Another entry in a jRPG series, started in 1996 by Tri-Ace studio, that combines elements of fantasy and science-fiction. Plot of Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness has been set in universe well-known to fans of the series, with culture and technology resembling that of 16th century’s Europe. The story takes place 500 years after the events of the previous game, and its main hero is a 23 years old knight, Fidel Camus, who tries to protect his home village Stahr. He is supported in his task by his childhood friend, Miki Sorvesta, who possesses extraordinary healing skills. On their way, they meet a mysterious girl who lost all her memories, eventually deciding to set on a dangerous journey to help her. In terms of game mechanics, production doesn’t strand from genre’s canons, focusing on exploring, completing tasks and developing skills and equipment of heroes. The game mechanics are complemented by a dynamic real-time battle system.