Top 5 Bandai-Namco Published Games

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Time for a game of “Spot the Super Sentai reference”!

Who loves Pac-Man? Who loves Dig-Dug? Who loves a ton of awesome Japanese games only 5 people have played? That would be me! I’m a huge fan of the game company known as “Bandai-Namco”. They’ve produced countless good games over the years, some of which are my personal favorites! So, I thought that it would be a good idea to tackle a top 5 list of my favorite Bandai-Namco games. Now, please keep in mind that Bandai-Namco is a game publisher, not a developer. All the games that will be listed here were made by other developers.

Still, the games that are published by Bandai-Namco tend to be really awesome. They are one of the few publishers that hasn’t really gone off the deep end, and one of the few that continue to publish really good games. While Namco themselves used to make a lot of games, I wouldn’t be including those here. I will most likely do a separate list for Namco games, if I ever get around to playing them, that is. I’ve only ever played a couple. So yeah, let’s get into this list!

5. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

It’s hard to put into words how much I enjoyed this game! Cyber Sleuth is a turn-based RPG spinoff of the classic Digimon franchise. It plays a lot like the Pokemon games, though it does some unique things. It has a fun story, that sadly falls apart halfway through. Still, it’s definitely entertaining!

While the game is certainly a grind, it packs a ton of punch. It has over 300 different Digimon to collect, and writing that pays homage to various parts of the series. The game also sports some nice graphics for a Vita game, and manages to capture the original designs of the Digimon well. What stops me from putting this game higher on the list is the aforementioned somewhat weak story, coupled with the boring and annoying dungeon design, and constant grinding. Still, this is a solid and fun game that I think any hardcore Digimon fan can get behind.

4. Chroma Squad

I’ll be completely honest with you guys, I’m not the biggest fan of Power Rangers out there. Sure, I loved it back in the 90s and early 2000s, but haven’t really watched the show since. Still, when I heard about this little tactical RPG that takes elements from Power Rangers and Kamen Rider, I found myself intrigued. So, I decided to grab this game and was glad I did!

This little Indie game named Chroma Squad is made by the guys behind “Knights of Pen and Paper 1” and it’s somehow even better than that game! This is a game that combines simulation elements with strategy RPG elements, and puts a Power Rangers spin on it. The game is fun, albeit short.

On top of this, some of the more ridiculous elements tend to water down the game’s already silly narrative. Still, this is definitely a fun game, and it’s art-style reminds me a lot of older games such as Habbo Hotel. I feel fourth place is definitely a good place for Chroma Squad. It’s an extremely fun game, but I wouldn’t feel right putting it above the next three. This game is an awesome homage to Power Rangers, but isn’t anything too spectacular.

3. God Eater Resurrection

I’ve made it no secret I love God Eater. The original game on the PSP was a fantastic little gem, that unfortunately did not get a lot of attention. However, it was eventually remade and released on both PS Vita and other consoles. God Eater Resurrection is a damn fine game that adds so many refinements and modifications to an already strong formula.

This is a game that’s essentially a Monster Hunter clone, but adds in things such as enhanced maneuverability and better customization options. Heck, you can even make your own custom bullets in this game! This game also packs a ton of quests and missions into one cheap little package. That’s right, the Vita version was only 20 bucks!

It has such good value for its cheap price. In fact, if it wasn’t such a steal, I probably wouldn’t have bought it! It’s got a ton of new content and improvements, but at its core it it is the same game. With a new story mode, a newer and much more improved English, and several new weapon types, I can say that there is still a lot here for people who played the original game.

I’ve gushed about this game, but it does have problems. Some rather glaring flaws that made me push it further back on the list. For one thing, there no optional Japanese voice-acting option. Now, this is more of a nitpick, but it’s something that does annoy me. When I replay games, I tend to try the other language options, so I get a slightly different experience when I play through it the second time. Sadly, this game does not allow for that.

Couple this was constantly reused monsters, a lack of new creatures, some bits of awkward voice-acting here and there, and a somewhat underwhelming mutliplayer experience, and you have a game that misses the mark on occasion. Still, there’s enough good here that it out-weighs its negative features.

2. Solatorobo: Red The Hunter

I know what you’re thinking: “I’ve never heard of this game before! Why is it on the list?” I’ll tell you why: It’s awesome, unique and interesting! Ever wonder what would happen if Sherlock Hound was a video-game and had giant robots in it? That’s pretty much this game in a nut-shell! You play as a “Hunter” named Red, who is a dog-like being in a world filled with anthropomorphic felines and canines.

After a job goes awry, Red ends up saddled with a mysterious child named Elh. It’s up to Red, his sister Chocolat, and Elh to save the world from 2 different impending disasters. That’s right, two! For you see, much like an anime multiple story arc, the game is split into two parts. Even the second story arc introduces enough new things to keep the experience fresh.

The game’s combat, story, graphics, music, and characters are what elevated this game so high on the list. Here we have a game with a good story and a ton of rich lore, and manages to link back to an equally obscure game called “Tail Concerto”. That’s right, Solatorobo is a shared universe, but you don’t need to play the other games to get it. It is its own story, and a damn good one at that!

Playing this for the first time, I had inklings of what would happen. However, when I reached the end of both story arcs, I was pleasantly surprised! The gameplay is no slouch either, as it introduces a mechanic that lets you throw enemies at other. In fact, most of your time in combat will be spent picking up enemies and tossing them at each other. I always loved this style of combat, and it makes for some refreshing and inventive battles.

With all the good this game has, how come nobody ever talks about it? Well, this game does have a few glaring issues. For one thing, most of its side-quests are superfluous and pointless. The game also forces you to do a large majority of them if you want to progress in the main plot. On top of this, some boss battles are bit on the underwhelming side. The game likes to toss you against a blimp boss a lot, where you have to throw the rockets he fires back at him. That’s whole fight by the way, and there’s little permutations each time you do this.

Also, the game was not marketed well. Despite getting a whopping 100 commercials and airing them all in Japan, the game still flopped hard in its native country. On top of this, Bamco didn’t really advertise this game at all in America or other countries. As a result, it barely sold well at all. Nowadays, the game is hard to find and rare, mostly because nobody really bought it.

It’s really sad, honestly. This is a game that was made with more polish than modern games would get. Yet… Nobody played it. That’s why I feel so comfortable about putting this game so high. This isn’t a game that brings too many new things to the table, but it’s still a fun action RPG with an entertaining and somewhat dark plot. The game may be difficult to find, but if you can get it used I highly recommend you do!

1. Dragon Ball Fusions

People may wonder why I chose Fusions over Xenoverse, which I claimed was a superior game in a previous top 5 list. Well, for one thing I’ve felt I have been talking about Xenoverse way too much lately. On top of this, while I think Xenoverse is a superior game, I had more fun with Fusions. Dragon Ball Fusions is a unique beast, as it is a Dragon Ball video-game with monster collecting elements.

This game does not focus on Goku, but on your own player this time. Goku’s there, but he’s a side character. That’s what I enjoyed so much about this game, is that it feels like your story. All the other Dragon Ball heroes are just along for the ride. The problem with Dragon Ball games (especially Xenoverse) is that it never feels like your own story. This time, they changed it up and made it a lot more refreshing.

On top of this, the game also has a unique turn-based strategy RPG play-style. It’s difficult to describe how this game plays, it’s like an RPG meets a pinball game! That’s a bit of an exaggerated comparison, but I find it difficult to fully explain how this game plays. It meshes so many unique elements and manages to be extremely refreshing.

The game’s customization is its strongest point. You can customize how your character looks in so many ways, even choose the colors of each individual outfit piece. You can choose from five distinct races with enough options to make a character that truly suits you. Sure, the choices aren’t infinite or as robust as Xenoverse, but there’s definitely a good variety.

The game also has a stellar soundtrack and fantastic visuals, especially for a handheld game. I honestly love this game, way more than other game on the list. Despite this, I can still acknowledge its flaws. Battles are way too slow and can often take 15 minutes to half an hour if you aren’t careful. This game is also very grind-heavy at times. On top of this, the game’s unique “EX Fusion” system is cumbersome, despite it being one of the most fun parts of the game. It takes forever to defuse characters, and some of the requirements to get certain fusions is downright insane.

For example, to even fuse Cell with yourself, you have to complete all 16 quizzes. This requires you to complete a lot of busywork and will most assuredly take you a month of real-life time in order to pull it off. Sadly, a lot of fusions are like this. The game’s worst aspect though is the online multiplayer, which was patched in later.

It’s horribly unbalanced, and it’s possible to lose in just a few turns if your team isn’t overpowered as all hell. The best way to describe it is that its like a game of Chess, but with as many variables as a tabletop RPG. It’s insane, and it definitely sucks a fair bit of fun out of the game. It’s also impossible to find a forum where people aren’t complaining about this tacked-on feature.

Regardless, I don’t think you’ll find a more refreshing and accessible modern strategy RPG. Despite the fact that its mostly geared towards a younger audience, I think any hardcore Dragon Ball fan can get some enjoyment out of it. It’s a game that really shows what Bandai-Namco is capable of as a a publisher.

In Summation

That’s my list of my top favorite Bamco games! Keep in mind that while I am a massive fan of Bandai-Namco, I do acknowledge that they have faults. Their handling of Dokkan Battle was less than stellar at times, and bordered on feeling like a bit of ripoff at times. While I do enjoy their work, they are by no means a perfect company. Regardless, I’ll keep buying their games because I am wildly supportive of what they do.

So, what’s your favorite Bamco games? Feel free to tell me in the comment section! If you guys have any suggestions for specific types of top 5 lists you’d like to see, let me know below. Have a good day and keep it as sweet as syrup!

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Sweet As Syrup: God Eater Resurrection Review

I’m not usually the kind of guy to buy HD remakes of videogames. Sure, it’s always great having an improved version of a game you love, but most remakes feel unnecessary. That being said, this year I have bought not 1, but 2 remakes! One of them is the Odin Sphere remake (Which I reviewed a few months back) and the other is God Eater Resurrection. God Eater Resurrection is a remake of the original God Eater and it’s expansion pack. It includes the original two story arcs, as well as a brand new third one! Let’s not waste any time and get right into this game.

Background Information

The original God Eater came out in 2010, with the expansion / remake coming out the same year. This version was labeled as “God Eater Burst”, but was renamed “Gods Eater Burst” for its release outside Japan. The game was developed by Shift, who also developed the oft-forgotten game “Freedom Wars”. Unlike Freedom Wars, God Eater took off as a franchise and a console-seller for both PSP and Vita in Japan.

In 2015, the game was remade yet again under the title “God Eater: Resurrection”. This game expands on the original and adds new story material, new weapons, improved graphics, all new mechanics, and they even added online functionality for multiplayer matches! The game also replaces some of its old voice actors, which I’ll cover in more detail later in this review.

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Would you believe me if I told you that this wasn’t the largest monster in the game?

Plot

Humanity is on the verge of extinction, and the few remaining humans struggle to survive. In this world, giant ever-evolving mutant monsters known only as “Aragami” have devoured most of the populace. You play as a “New-Type God Eater” and must kill and devour the opposing Aragami, who threaten all of mankind. Along the way you meet various colorful characters such as the goofy Kota, the mysterious loner Soma, the headstrong girl with issues Alisa, and the cool badass leader Lindow. Together, you fight back the mutant creatures that plague the land and stop them from destroying “Fenrir HQ”, the last bastion of hope against the dark denizens that plague the world.

Unfortunately, those aren’t the only threats our heroes face. This game’s three arcs has you facing off against evil angelic government officials, constantly-evolving monsters, and some giant lizard thing named after a murderous cannibal from a really good movie. Seriously though, I enjoyed the game’s story… Well, the first arc at least. The first arc had a good amount of cut-scenes that gave you a fairly entertaining story. Unfortunately, the second arc is terrible. Cut-scenes are spaced out way too much and sandwiched in-between dozens upon dozens of unrelated side-missions. While what little of the story we get in the second arc is entertaining, it’s still disappointing when compared to the first. I haven’t gotten far into the third arc at the time of writing this though, so I can’t say if it improves or not.

Gameplay

Gameplay is God Eater’s bread and butter, it’s one of the reasons I came back to this series. The game plays similar to Monster Hunter, in that you travel out into a rather large area teeming with monsters. You gain new items by killing monsters, at which point you can make new gear. You rinse and repeat this process many times. However, the similarities between this and Monster Hunter end here, since God Eater is a completely different beast altogether.

God is an action RPG, but it also blends in elements of third-person shooters. In this game, you have use of a weapon called a God Arc. You can craft new melee weapons, shields, and guns to attach to your God Arc. The weapons have different attributes and some can do elemental damage. One of the best things about the God Arc is the ability to bite enemy monsters mid-combat, allowing you to use their attacks against them. This ability brings to mind those old Megaman games, which implemented a similar system. Of course, you have several other kinds of ammunition you can use.

Now, if you think none of the ammunition available is good enough to use, you have to see the bullet customization feature! I’ll be honest, back in 2010, this was one of the reasons I bought the game. You can customize your bullets to form into specific shapes, like letters of the alphabet or certain symbols. This allows for some great customization! It’s fun to tinker around with this system and create wholly unique bullets. Of course, some of the more insane bullets require a lot more stamina than regular bullets, which makes using them a bit less desirable at times.

Combat in the game is similar to Monster Hunter, but has several differences. For example, you can jump in this game, unlike Monster Hunter. You can jump onto higher services and vantage points, which adds a lot to the combat. This verticality can lead to a lot of really good strategies when it comes to taking on enemies. Not only that, but the game adds “Predator Styles” to the mix. These Predator Styles allow you to do special attacks that bite the enemy. These can be done while in the air, on the ground, or even while dashing. Honestly, the Predator Styles are probably my favorite part of the game! Being able to leap towards a flying monster and munch on them in mid-air never stops being satisfying! You can also edit predator styles, adding small bonuses which can change the kind of bonuses you get from biting monsters.

Another feature of the game is its crafting system. Compared to Monster Hunter and a lot of its competitors, God Eater manages to do away a fair bit with the grinding. You can now exchange certain items for extra materials, making it easier to upgrade certain pieces of gear. While there is a bit of grinding involved in getting new gear, it’s nowhere near as tedious as it was in the original version of this game. This gives the game a much more welcoming feeling and I really appreciate it!

One of the weaker parts of the game comes with its online multiplayer. I felt this to be a bit lacking. Sure, you can online with buddies to complete missions, but I never really felt a strong urge to do so. A lot of the missions are pretty approachable in difficulty, so I never really felt the need to get online help unless I was really stuck on something. Speaking of difficulty, I found that there were some tweaks made in this version that make it superior to the original in that regard. For example, infinite revivals are no longer thing, you are now only allowed to be revived a finite number of time.

While there is a lot I like about the game, it has still has a fair bit of weaknesses in terms of gameplay. For example, Fenrir HQ is still pretty barren. There’s not a lot of people to talk to, it feels cramped and confined, and there aren’t a lot of interesting areas inside this HQ to visit. Compare this to Monster Hunter, where you are able to talk to several people in town, some of which can give you side-missions or helpful advice.

This game does have several issues that its competitors also possess, such as its repetitive nature and lack of boss variety early on. However, much like those games, if you stick with this long enough then you’ll find yourself fighting it out with new and far more entertaining bosses in no time! One big problem I noticed with this game was its lack of new bosses early on. Aside from one large mini-boss, there were no new addictions until the third story-arc. By then, I had already burned through most of the pre-existing content. I felt that the new bosses should have been peppered in with the old levels, to give it better variety.

That being said, I can say that the gameplay here is fairly entertaining. It’s got a bit of a slow start, but it does ramp up in terms of entertainment value the deeper you get. Couple that with a strong customization feature for both your character and weapon, along with a three-arc campaign that’ll take you a fairly long time, and you have something really worth your cash.

Visual Stimuli

I played the PS Vita version of this game and I must say that it looks fantastic! Character models have been updated considerably, as has most of the in-game graphics. The various characters populating this world have more detailed outfits, yet still keep the original designs that made them like-able in the first place. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the voice-acting.

A lot of the original voice-cast returns and brings with them great performances, but certain characters were re-cast. Due to this re-casting, the game loses a lot of its original charm. Dr. Paylor Sakaki is a good example of this. He went from having this rather subdued way of speaking to sounding like the anime equivalent of the Nutty Professor. Others are a lot more forgiveable, such as Johannes new voice-actor, who is pretty much spot-on.

The game functions pretty well, and doesn’t really lag that much. If there’s anything about the design that falters, it’s gotta be the inclusion of characters talking during missions. Now, this feature is kind of double-edged sword. Having the characters talk on missions alleviates some of the isolation you may feel while doing these missions. Having a vocal cast allows for characters to bounce off each other in the midst of combat. Unfortunately, this particular feature felt poor implemented.

Characters will talk too much, WAY too much. And most times, it’s not even comments that relate to the game or give you hints. It feels a lot like unscripted babbling, almost like a stand-up comedy act. Characters will screech their heads off when your health dips too low, and your character will constantly muse about nearly dying every time he gets his skull bashed in. It got annoying, to the point where I was healing myself constant just so the peanut gallery would stop throwing a hissy-fit about it.

To be fair, I could have muted the game, but I loved the soundtrack way too much to do that. I found a lot of battle tracks to be fair entertaining overall, some of them being my all-time favorite videogame songs. I also really enjoy the game’s theme song, as well as the really good animation used for its intro. I just wish that little opening theme song didn’t spoil so much of the game! Regardless, I felt the production values behind this game were a little hit and miss.

In Summation

This is a game that is a lot like its competition. It’s a hack-and-slash with repetitive gameplay, a story that feels like its stretched too thinly, and a crafting system that requires constant gathering of various items. Despite this, it’s still a pretty fun game! It’s god some nice graphics for a Vita game, pretty good voice-acting, really good combat, and a really unique bullet customization feature.

Sure, it may feel like the game is a bit too padded, but the story is enjoyable for what it is. Missions never really feel too long and the ten different weapons pack enough variety so that it doesn’t feel too stale. Best of all, this game is only 20 bucks! Seriously, it’s dirt-cheap if you get it digitally on Vita. This is something I can definitely reccomend! That’s why I can say that without a doubt, this game is as sweet as syrup! Just please keep in mind that this genre of game is not for everybody. It requires a lot of time to get through the main-quest as well as get the best gear. Still, it’s something that I think is worth trying, due to its interesting setting, cool monster designs, and fun gameplay. If you have a Vita, PS3, or PS4 and enough cash, definitely give this game a shot!

God Eater Is Back!

One of my favorite underrated games of all time would have to be Gods Eater Burst on the Playstation Portable. This game was fantastic! Good gameplay, good voice-acting, lots of customization, an entertaining yet somewhat predictable story, etc. Well, not only did they remake it and add a bunch of stuff to it, they are also coming out with a sequel in a few months over here in America! I have yet to play the remake yet, though I plan to get it by the end of the week.

God Eater was a game unlike few others. The world was ravaged by war with evolutionary beings who had killed most of the populace. You were one of the few remaining humans and it was up to you fight for what little you had left. Working with Fenrir, you don a God Arc and face the monsters in wide-open cities while utilizing various attacks. It’s fun, entertaining, and very enjoyable. I look forward to getting back into the series when I have the chance!