Shin Megami Tensei IV
If you’re a newcomer to the JRPG scene, it can be a bit daunting figuring out where to start. Fear not though, because I, Ashton, am here to help you make a great selection, and since it’s both accessible to new players and only available for a short time, I highly recommend you kickstart your JRPG journey with Shin Megami Tensei IV.
The game is set in the fictional kingdom of Mikado and follows the samurai Flynn as he attempts to protect the population from hostile demons. When it’s revealed that Black Samurai is actually turning citizens into demons, Flynn and his companions set out on a quest to stop her, placing them in the midst of a battle between angelic and demonic forces. Shin Megami Tensei IV plays out in a combination of third-person exploration and turn-based combat.
Players must traverse the 3D landscape and battle the numerous monsters that cross their path. Despite some spikes in difficulty, critics and players had a lot of praise for Shin Megami Tensei IV upon its release, particularly for its battle system, story, and graphics. If you plan on dipping your toe into the demon-infested waters, you’d best do it quickly as they won’t be around for much longer.
Luigi’s Mansion & Luigi’s Mansion 2
If you’re a fan of silly spookems in the likes of Scooby Doo and The Addams Family, then you’ll probably get a lot of enjoyment out of the Luigi’s Mansion Series. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is, thankfully, available on the Nintendo Switch and doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon, but the first two games are now only available to buy on the 3DS, though not for long.
The first game sees Luigi searching for Mario in a haunted mansion, where he is tricked into thinking he has won a contest. Armed with the Poltergust 3000, Luigi must traverse the manor and capture any ghosts that get in his way. Gameplay-wise, the sequel is very similar, only this time, Luigi gets to use the Poltergust5000, and must find the shards of the shattered Dark Moon, a magical object that has the power to pacify the ghosts that live in the area.
Both titles went down well with critics, who praised the games for their graphics, their exploration, and their puzzles. This game should definitely appeal to fans of card games like Hearthstone, but because of the lack of multiplayer, you will not meet boosters like these and be able to enjoy a competitive struggle. There really is something for everyone in the Luigi’s Mansion series, and we’re just praying to any deity that will listen that Nintendo does something to preserve these spooky treasures. Best to buy a copy now though, just in case they don’t.
Super Mario 3D Land
Oh, Peach. You’d think that after being kidnapped by Bowser for the four-thousandth time, she’d look at beefing up the security in the Mushroom Kingdom. Not that we’re victim-blaming, of course, but come on Peach, at least get some CCTV or a burglar alarm or something! For Super Mario 3D Land, plucky plumber, Mario, is once again drafted in to rescue the princess from the clutches of the maniacal Bowser.
Not only has he absconded with Her Royal Highness yet again, but he’s also nicked the Super Leaves from Peach’s Tail Tree, and plans to use them to grant his minions new powers. The 3D platformer combines elements of older, side-scrolling Mario titles with those found in the series’ more recent 3D games, creating a gameplay experience that is unlike anything fans had experienced previously.
Super Mario 3D Land received universal critical acclaim, with reviewers complimenting the fast-paced nature of the title, the familiar level design and music, and the innovative new mechanics that the game introduced to the series. Not everyone was impressed though, as alleged animal rights advocates, PETA, claimed that Mario’s Tanooki suit promoted the skinning of animals for fur. We highly recommend you ignore them though; they’re just trying to ruin your fun.