Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 is one of the few games to aim high and knock everything out of the park. A prequel to the Yakuza franchise, it introduces Kiryu Kazuma and Majima Goro 17 years before the main events of the first game. Their individual stories start with no clear connection – Kiryu is accused of murder on a vital plot of land in Tokyo while Majima is working his way back into the Shimano family in Osaka. But as the finale approaches, the thread holding everything together becomes apparent, bringing both stories on a collision course.

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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (Video and Text)

Originally released in 2006, Final Fantasy XII quickly became one of my favorite games once I got around to playing it. It was beautiful, fun, and had plenty to dig in to. This year, the Zodiac Age remaster presented a spiffed-up version of the game, combining the best of the Japan-only “International Zodiac Job System” (IZJS) version with plenty of new improvements.

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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth

Many games are flawed gems, with the quality diminished ever-so-slightly by minor quirks, but still rounding out to be positive experiences. Cyber Sleuth is not quite one of those games. In many ways, it’s a complete mess, but it barely edges out to be worth the time.

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NieR

Nier is an interesting game, and going into it I only had an inkling of an idea of what to expect. It’s a spin-off of the Drakengard series (specifically of the first game), of which I have only played Drakengard 3. If you read my review, you’d know that I have a very mixed opinion on that one. While Nier has substantial differences, particularly in where it succeeds or pales in comparison, there is one main detail that makes this a better game – it’s fun. And it doesn’t conclude with a mechanically broken rhythm game. Okay, so that’s two things.

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