I like how this game takes what Comix Zone put down and tries to grow it in ways that make sense for the era of gaming it came out in while making it more mechanically approachable, but at the same time, it feels like a showcase of many of the things wrong with that particular point in the medium's relative infancy. Unbound Saga feels like it so badly wanted to be "hip" and "cool" by seeming aloof and contradictory about its themes, but I think it would have been better served by just being sincere with its players and having faith in what it started as.
Star Ocean: Blue Sphere
Blue Sphere is a bumpy experience at times and will test your patience through gigantic, complex dungeons and battles of wildly varying difficulty, but it is absolutely worth sticking with. Even if the story doesn’t offer a ton to chew on, it gives a perfectly valid excuse to jump into another adventure with the SO2 cast while also offering some PAs to give you a bit of a glimpse into what these characters have been up to in the two years since their original journey. It’s a true passion project through and through, and irrefutable passion is something that I believe makes tri-Ace really stand out. No matter what you may think of their games, no matter how unbalanced or weird they might seem, there’s no denying that their games are truly singular experiences. I’ve always had a strong appreciation for their craft, and Blue Sphere was a wonder to explore while also being a prime example of their strengths and weaknesses.
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.
Shootanto: Evolutionary Mayhem
Shootanto: Evolutionary Mayhem takes the simple but effective gameplay mechanics of arcade classics like Cabal and infuses them with a Darwinian twist and a killer soundtrack courtesy of the fantastic Takayuki Aihara...