The summer season is almost upon us and with it are also the many videogame surprises of the next digital events. Before jumping headlong into the time of E3, however, we had to reward those titles that made the month of May special, during which we got our hands on long-awaited re-releases such as Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, which includes the entire remastered saga of Shepard, blockbusters like Capcom’s Resident Evil Village and two colorful adventures of Italian production: King of Seas and Hundred Days. Without getting lost in small talk, let’s start the climb towards the Game of the Month in May.
Famicom Detective Club
Armed with an elegant script, capable of skilfully blending investigation, suspense and the crudest moments, The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind – both contained in the package that is Famicom Detective Club – there are two simply unmissable visual novels for nostalgics and fans of the genre. Between internal struggles for conspicuous inheritances, family dramas, murders and esotericism, it is possible to take part in the resolution of exciting and never trivial cases, which however are sometimes “slowed down” by the structural limits of the visual novel. In fact, the commands to use are many and since the choice of the correct one is not always intuitive, it happens to have to dedicate yourself to a rather artificial trial & error, especially when you have to deal with 2-3 characters in as many locations.
It is also impossible not to praise the visual restyling by Mages, who has made a great effort to characterize the settings or to make the protagonists of the narrated events less static and cardboard. The Japan of Famicom Detective Club is “told” through the backdrops that are nothing short of splendid and varied, from countryside villages, to the outskirts of the city and luxurious villas, and is accompanied by a thrilling soundtrack, which can be replayed in full after the titles queue, in the main menu. It would be a shame if after these illustrious returns we did not see unpublished chapters, because the material to create a great series of interactive thrillers is not lacking. To find out more, we refer you to our review of Famicom Detective Club.
Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster
Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne III: HD Remaster wants to put aside a series of game design concepts related to the past, with some additions and changes that attempt to transform one of the most loved JRPG ever into a perfect entry point to the saga. The result is one rather full-bodied remastered, featuring noteworthy innovations and some sadly wasted opportunities. The adventure of the “Half-Devil”, awakened in a world recovering from a process of “cancellation of life”, is embellished with evocative images – which recall numerous mythologies – and calls the player to fight and survive in dungeons full of pitfalls .
As explained in the review of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster, the game it is not only an RPG but also a monster collector, a kind of Pokémon for adults where it is possible to hire demons but only after having satisfied the specific requirements. This negotiation system is entrusted to chance and therefore with unpredictable results but in reality, over time, methods are acquired to improve the situation, think of the ability of some creatures to convince or deceive evil monsters.
Formed the party, which includes the Half-Devil and three demonic creatures, you can dive into rather articulated turn-based battles, which require you to know the real potential and weaknesses of the allies to be able to win. Peculiar in this regard is the possibility of acquiring or losing battle turns which, combined with the high level of difficulty, makes victories far from obvious, especially in the case of boss fights. In fact, since it is possible to sacrifice two demons to create a more powerful one – which selectively learns “parental skills” in the remaster – the power gap that separates the party from the enemies is hardly ever too great.
Among dungeons that distort the very sense of space or play with light and dark, even exploration is a far from marginal component, although the visual impact of the settings is clearly anchored to the past. From the sustained frequency of clashes, to the placement of save points, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD is not free from flaws, think also about the compression of the audio tracks or the frame rate, but it has succeeded in its main goal: to become an excellent entry point for the series.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Bioware’s space opera is back on the shelves with a trio of well-made remasters, thanks to a process of updating and unification carried out with great attention. We are not clearly talking about the operational canons of a remake but the work done by Bioware, Abstraction Games and Blind Squirrel Games seemed absolutely commendable, especially when it comes to the first act of Shepard’s war. Mass Effect shows the weight of its years but has been made much more enjoyable to play and, like its successors, even more beautiful to look at. Although substantial, the changes made on the artistic side (think of Eden Prime or Feros) have not affected the effectiveness of the scenarios and indeed have gone to enhance the new lighting system and revised effects. The three titles, in addition, share the same filtering, anti-aliasing and ambient occlusion techniques, as well as the same high-quality models.
Net of the technical asperities present on old-gen, which instead are practically absent on PS5, thehe visual presentation of the Legendary Edition pleased us, just like the improvements made to the so-called “quality of life”. Between the changes to the game interface, the additional options for the inventory and a rebalancing of weapons and abilities, the trilogy is even more enjoyable than before but some of its components are now showing the signs of aging. The shooting system, for example, is far from the current industry standards and therefore could be indigestible to newbies. That said, the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition review speaks volumes: the Normandy’s long journey sets course for a unique and essential adventure for RPG fans, who can finally (re) live pad in hand one of the greatest testimonies of Bioware’s talent.
Of sea wolves and rivers of wine
Before crowning our game of the month, we wanted to give the right space to two homegrown productions, which we found peculiar and fiercely unusual. Let’s start with King of Seas of 3D Clouds which, reminiscent of the classic pirate titles
at Overboard, call players to play as the son or daughter of the King of the Seas himself, to begin a memorable journey. Thanks to the success of the drawings and the dry and direct dialogues, the plot goes down like a nice shot of rum, net of its slightly fluctuating rhythms. In any case, it is clear that the core of the experience is to be found in a gameplay divided between having to steer the ship and selling dearly during the heated battles between vessels, which in large part manage to make up for the scarce variety of assignments. secondary. In short, despite having its edges, Kings of Seas manages to entertain and provide some healthy hours of recreation to those who yearn to set sail for the Seven Seas. In case you want to know more, our King of Seas review is ready to answer all your questions.
The origins of Hundred Days intertwine with the experience of Broken Arms Games: the Italian software house to make his own management with a wine theme in fact, it was able to count on the immense network of small and large producers active in the area
Piedmontese. Despite some angularity, the colorful game has confirmed itself as a winning experiment, thanks to a solid content offer and able to place itself with originality in the panorama of management with a corporate background. Our journey to discover the secrets of the Langhe proved not only enjoyable, but also instructive and able to offer a well-balanced challenge. For now, Hundred Days offers the opportunity to become true connoisseurs of six wines but if the public response proves to be satisfactory, the developers will not hesitate to extend its life cycle with new contents and geographical realities. In short, an experiment definitely to be taken into consideration, as told in our review of Hundred Days.
Game of the Month – Resident Evil Village
Finally we come to Resident Evil Village by Capcom, the title that made the month of May truly unique for us. Featuring some less brilliant sections than others and rather banal puzzles, Ethan Winters’ journey through the snow-capped mountains of Romania should not be missing in the collections of action survival horror lovers and for various reasons. From a narrative point of view, Capcom has managed to make it a bridge between the past and the future of the series, introducing memorable characters and explaining several mysteries related to the events of the seventh chapter.
We got to play a more human and aware Ethan, forced to fight tooth and nail to save his daughter from the Village Lords and the treacherous Mother Miranda. Accomplices an impeccable artistic direction and the excellent audiovisual sector, Village offers a unique and enveloping experience, worthy of leading the way to the technical wonders promised by the next-gen, and embellished with a pool of monstrosities and offensive possibilities that are anything but narrow. The eighth iteration of the series borrows the excited shootings of Resident Evil 4 and mixes them with the first person view and the staid movements of Resident Evil 7, in order to guarantee a more thrust action component but still faithful to the classic canons.
The Lycans, the vampire witches and the mighty Heisenberg Soldiers – whom you have to fight against even in Mercenary Mode – convinced us both in design and skill and that is why we consider them among the best standard enemies of the series. On the boss fight front, we often found ourselves facing enemies that are easy to take down in highly spectacular clashes but in reality we also very much appreciated the less “traditional” sections of the package, think of the ghost story soul of Casa Beneviento. Ultimately, Village’s critical points have been largely overcome by its merits, which make it a special adventure both for fans of this legendary saga and for fans of the genre. To learn more, refer to the Resident Evil Village review.