Some retro revivals around the DS era really didn’t work out well, so I was very pleasantly surprised by Digging Strike. The new mechanics and successful merging of the first two Dig Dug games works really well in creating a game that’s more complex while retaining the feel of the original game. I sure didn’t expect the story to be such a joy either, so much so that I wish there was more of it! I also wish that the unlockable item system was handled better and that Taizo moved faster by default, but even with those issues, it’s such a breezy experience that it’s hard to get too mad at it for those things.
Star Ocean EX
And as a different experience compared to the source material, I’d call Star Ocean EX a success. It takes something dear to me and many others and retells it in a way that expands upon its character and world. Even with its downgrades in terms of action and capturing the systems of the game, it manages to add a lot to a cast that already had me by the heartstrings. I know I said that it's about the journey and not the destination, but it really is unfortunate that it was never finished in its intended form because I would have loved to see how everything else played out in this fashion with beautifully represented character designs, lively music, and appropriate voice acting. I admittedly came in not expecting anything particularly special, and I have to imagine it wouldn’t be anything special for people not familiar with the game, but as someone who has been yearning for a replay of Star Ocean 2 but hasn’t quite had the time to squeeze it in, this really helped satisfy that hunger for the time being.
Disney’s Chicken Little
Chicken Little falls in between the extremes of licensed game quality and that's the most unfortunate place for it to be - too dull to recommend playing, but also rarely funny enough to get an accidental kick out of. Its GBA version fares better, being a simple but competent platform with a stronger focus on platforming and more consistently enjoyable design.