Dragon Quest Builders (Vita, Demo)
I've never been a Minecraft fan, as it's just too open ended for me. I don't want a sandbox, as I like structured gameplay. Thankfully, Dragon Quest Builders gives me the best of both worlds. The flexibility of Minecraft mixed with the grounded structure of DQ is just great. I only have the demo right now, but what I played of it was enough to get me hooked. I usually hate crafting, but it's so simple and seamless here that it just works and isn't too cumbersome. While it's too early to tell much about the story parts, but I don't care if it might be light on that end. I'll be happy just playing this little by little once it releases, doing little quests to improve my town. This seems like a perfect game to just keep handy on the Vita at all times.
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of Forgotten Past (3DS)
I've been adamant in my support of #DragonQuestForTheWest and am super happy to be getting both Dragon Quest VII now and Dragon Quest VIII next year. That said, it's going to take a while for me to get through Dragon Quest VII. It is easily the most Dragon Quest of the Dragon Quest games, so it's not likely the game to convince those on the fence about the series to jump on board. There's a lot of padding, backtracking, and repeating dungeons early on that would likely turn most away. I should note here that Dragon Quest IV is my favorite in the series, because of its quick pace and shorter overall playtime. I like when a game gets to the point quickly, and Dragon Quest VII doesn't do that. I'm still enjoying my time with this, but it has yet to really sink its teeth into me. After playing Dragon Quest VI, the job system will likely be the make or break point for me. It didn't work for me in VI, but hopefully things will be looking up in VII.
-The Dragon Questiest-
Skylight Freerange 2: Gachduine (Vita)
Wow...Skylight Freerange 2: Gachduine is something else. An open world 3D RPG for Vita from a Canadian indie developer seems super ambitious, and this game is just that. I'm sad to say that it doesn't come together well. Not. At. All. I could forgive the really weird art style, as that's not a bother to me (even if it is really odd). What I can't get past is the completely unintuitive user interface in battle. After a strange intro scene, your created character and some random party members are tossed into a long tutorial dungeon where the game tries to teach you everything you need to know about combat. This is too much at one time, as it wants to get into the intricacies of how to handle specific enemies without being clear on how to even manage the basics of combat. When you end up encountering groups of enemies that require a certain type of weapon or skill to defeat and can barely figure out which button allows you to swap weapons or even bring up the menu, it gets frustrating. I don't mind a brief tutorial, but it should really teach you the important aspects of the gameplay, especially when they are not well documented. After dying a few times in the starting area, I just couldn't take any more. I turned it off and won't likely touch this again, but if you want a better look at this I highly recommend you watch BlueMaxima's video on it and see for yourself. It's something else.
Wanderjahr hits on the opposite end of the curiosity spectrum for me. It's a game that doesn't try to be over ambitious, but instead puts a great first foot forward and shows a lot of potential. The game is pretty straightforward, as each level puts you into a single screen area and has enemies attack, but you have lots of combat options available to help you stave them off. You get a character who acts as a tank with a taunt skill, a mage, a fighter, and a healer. Along with this, you also get a character skilled in buffing the party, one who can debuff enemies, a thief who helps you earn money, and more. The party members just keep coming, which is something I love. You can only have four active at one time, but can swap them on the fly, so it's easy to bring out your debuffer in place of your fighter and then move the fighter back in once the enemies are weakened. It makes for challenging, frenetic combat. You can level up your party members, buy items, and do all the other standard RPG trappings, but it just feels like it needs a little more polish and tweaking to balance things out better, as some of these boss battles are a pain. With just a few tweaks, I think there is something great here, especially with the combat. I can't wait to see if the developer does more with this down the road and maybe fleshes out a whole RPG with a touched up version of this battle system.
Claire: Extended Cut (Vita)
Still have this on the back burner and hope to get around to checking it out soon.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness (Vita)
I'm pretty sure this will take more time to get a good handle on than I have right now, so it might be a while for this impression.
Yomawari: Night Alone (Vita)
I'll be checking this out soon. Looking forward to some horror.