Friday, January 27, 2017

#TeamHandheld Report - 01/27/2017

Welcome to this week's #TeamHandheld Report. I was able to play three games that I didn't expect to like, but found them to mostly be positive experiences. Let's see what's up.

Now Playing

Asdivine Hearts (Vita)

I've been eyeing Kemco RPGs for quite some time, but each one I've looked into or tried just didn't sit well with me. Not that they were awful games, just not a good match for me as they were a little too by the book. However, I'd heard from fellow portable gaming connoisseur Shaun Musgrave that Asdivine Hearts was the one to give a shot before writing off Kemco's output completely.

Developed by Exe-Create, this title has been more enjoyable and a lot less generic than I'd expected. There's nothing super special about it so far, but the characters are interesting, the gameplay is solid, and the story has been decent enough. I know that might not seem like a ringing endorsement, but it really is for a Kemco title. It hasn't given me quite the feeling that Circle's Mercenaries Saga series has, though straightforward RPGs have seen lots of games like this come and go. Asdivine Hearts has kept me interested, and that's saying a lot.

-A curiously intriguing, yet simple RPG-

Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star (Vita)

Much like dungeon crawlers have yet to really stick with me, musou games have also lacked the appeal to keep my interest. It's not a genre I try to be harsh on since I know they aren't for me, but when a game stands out enough to keep me wanting to play that's pretty impressive. Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star has done more to entertain me than I thought possible of this genre. The story segments have been good and the combat, which usually is what bores me, has been faster and more engaging than prior games I've tried. While I'd initially hoped this would be an RPG like Fate/Extra before it, the end product turned out to be a pleasant anomaly and that's a good thing.

-Surprisingly fun for a genre I don't usually like-

Bard's Gold (Vita)

Bard's Gold came out a few months back and I missed it, but I was glad to finally get a chance to check it out thanks to eastasiasoft. It borrows a lot of roguelike elements and combines it with some platforming like Rogue Legacy, but is simply one stage at a time instead of working through a large dungeon. Controls were a little less tight than I'd like, and the stages were frustrating. It's a neat concept, but just didn't really sit well with me. Something like Rogue Legacy was creative with its replays, but Bard's Gold just had me doing the same thing over and over until I got it exactly right. I didn't get that far, so I can only imagine how much rougher the later stages would have been. It's not a bad game, but is totally not for me.

-Not quite my thing...-


Deemo (Vita)

I meant to talk about this one this week, but need some more time on it.

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight (3DS)

This is my last shot at this series really hooking me. I've tried all the others so far, but they've just not stuck.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker (3DS)

I loved the original Devil Survivor, at least until the crazy ending sections, but never really played much of the sequel. Glad to get to play the updated version.

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