Five years later, Code Name S.T.E.A.M. still holds up

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a game that is divisive, to say the least. It’s an underappreciated classic that regularly appears on clearance racks. Which is a shame, given the involvement of Advance Wars and Fire Emblem developer Intelligent Systems and the sorcery it works to get an XCOM-like experience onto the Nintendo 3DS. Especially since now, as it turns five years old, it holds up so well.

Read more

Nintendo 3DS imports guide: what you should know

As the 3DS moves into its retirement years, it’s an intriguing time to jump into the world of its imports, as it’s clearer than ever to see which games will never see Western release. Sadly, it’s not region-free, but if you take the plunge on the hardware (or explore other options), there are a lot of compelling Japan-only experiences to try, even if you don’t know the language!

Read more

What is a sugoroku game?

Have you ever wondered why so many of the virtual board games coming out of Japan seem to all have the same sort of feel to them? You go around a colorful board, throwing dice to move your avatar forward. Different notable locations can appear, with there being rewards for reaching certain places. These tend to always have a theme, perhaps involving Final Fantasy or Super Mario character. Plus, they all come down to chance. Well, the similarities aren’t a coincidence. All of these are sugoroku games.

Read more

Etrian Odyssey Nexus looks back at the best Etrian Odyssey has to offer

Etrian Odyssey is was born into the world once Atlus had the opportunity to experiment with what the Nintendo DS could do. First-person dungeon crawlers where players completely customize parties aren’t terribly uncommon, and they all tend to have a map that fills in as you explore environments. Etrian Odyssey always kicked things up by making mapping feel as important as adventuring. With the end of the 3DS lifespan and journey into new frontiers, Etrian Odyssey Nexus acts as a celebration of everything the series did in its first eleven years.

Read more

A beginner’s guide to Persona

Atlus’ Persona series has exploded in popularity. This means there are not only mainline installments, but also ports, updated releases, reimaginings and spin-offs. There are all interesting games that do cool things with elements from the series, but it is also a series where you probably shouldn’t go and begin with the very first game. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to find a good starting point.

Read more

Appreciating distinctive Monster Hunter-likes

Thanks to Monster Hunter World, the series has exploded in popularity. People might experience it, go through its Iceborne expansion, then wonder what’s next. While moving on to another entry in that series is a possibility, it isn’t the only option. The series is so popular, it has inspired a whole collection of contemporaries who do similar things. Best of all, some of them explore the space to try and improve on areas Monster Hunter doesn’t touch.

Read more