I really like pinball video games. In fact, I have probably liked pinball video games ever since my family inherited a shitty Toshiba laptop from my cousin. It had a monochrome orange screen that weighed a metric fuckton. It also had the MS-DOS version of Pinball Fantasies on it, and that game was fantastic.
Fast-forward to present day and I’m still playing pinball video games. One of those is Zaccaria Pinball, a game that started with simulations of machines from the now lesser known Italian manufacturer Zaccaria.
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Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is the umpteenth game in the Atelier-series by Gust. An often cozy, slice-of-life RPG with focus on alchemy—a robust crafting system that’s at the core of its gameplay. I first came in contact with the series on PlayStation 2 with Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana and its sequels during my first “buy all Japanese RPGs” period. With Ryza on Switch getting glowing reviews, I thought I’d try jumping back in.
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Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is a game by Nippon Ichi Software in one of my favorite genres. A genre that’s notoriously niche and hard to search for online. It’s a “turn-based first-person party-based dungeon crawler”—try saying that three times fast. Also known as a D(ungeon)RPG or blobber on account of moving all your units as one big blob.
You take on the role as the book Tractatus de Monstrum, Tractie for short, and explore the labyrinth beneath the town of Refrain at the orders of Madame Dronya and her adorable assistant Luca. In classic NIS fashion you create your own party of characters—puppets in this case. With a staggering amount of gameplay systems and customization, the game invites you to spend time grinding and navigating menus, rewarding you with plenty of power if you do.
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Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line is a rhythm game with RPG elements and technically the fourth Theatrhythm game. Originally thriving on 3DS with two Final Fantasy entries and one Japan-only Dragon Quest entry, it came as quite a surprise when Final Bar Line was announced for Nintendo Switch. A very happy surprise.
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I’ve been playing void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium on Nintendo Switch lately. It’s a Mystery Dungeon-style roguelike by Nippon Ichi Software about a robot, an AI, and the last human in existence—named Toriko. Your goal is to keep Toriko healthy and happy, and most of the materials needed to do that are found in procedurally generated dungeons.
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