Numblast represents the merits of Japan Studio's approach during the PS3 era while also contrasting with the direction gaming was going in. It's a creative and charming game, but there just isn't much to it. It'll take a good amount of time to become skilled at it, but there are few ways to show off and test your skill in ways that reward such mastery, so for most, it'll probably feel like you're grinding for nothing unless you truly adore the game. There's the glimmer of an entertaining narrative with a great sense of humor, but it isn't given enough time to truly shine. It feels like it would have been perfect for the mobile market, but it failed to make waves there too. For whatever reason, Numblast just didn't stick.

Ninja Assault

Ninja Assault has so much to offer between its multiple stories and gameplay modes, but perhaps most importantly of all, it's the kind of game that makes you feel cool just by being a part of it! Every time you play it, you learn new tricks, can react to and counter foes that gave you a hard time previously, and you score higher than you previously thought was possible. This is a game I played through four times and still feel the desire to go back to because I know I can improve upon my game or do the rest of those missions. I love how it breaks past the boundaries of conventional Light Gun games to offer something more bombastic and exciting than what we're used to. Even if you don't have access to a Light Gun, give it a go and you'll have a good time!

Deadly Arts

I have such goodwill towards Deadly Arts despite acknowledging it as mechanically inferior to any of the major 3D fighting game series. It just doesn't fit into conventional descriptors like "good" or "bad". Instead, it's the kind of game you just want to root for, one that captures both your heart and your imagination. It doesn't feel like a tightly designed, mechanically strong game that you could recommend to anyone passively interested in the genre, but if it hits right for you, it leaves one heck of an impression, and you can tell pretty easily just by looking at it if it'll do just that. I love its ideas, its soundtrack, its aesthetic, and its vibe, so I can't help but be generous towards it. Deadly Arts is an encapsulation of that late 90s gaming magic that so many people reminisce fondly about. This is the kind of game that I think indie developers could learn a lot from. Even though it never goes far enough to give its characters depth and complex personalities, it plants all of the right seeds, so if someone comes along and takes those seeds to a more suitable location, they could really work some magic...

Planet Monsters

Planet Monsters is what you get if you combine Bomberman, Kickle Cubicle, and Pengo into one strange mixture of a game. It's an interesting concept and it's visually charming, but its single player mode leaves a lot to be desired. Playing against the AI over and over again loses its appeal quickly and the boss fights, while novel enough, don't do enough to keep things interesting. Despite all that, and perhaps it's because I'm a big fan of the GBA, there's something about it that keeps me from outright disliking it. I could see this one being more exciting if you're able to wrangle together people who are actually willing to try it, but good luck with that in 2022...