Disgaea Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Disgaea RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 14 Non-Horror Games to Play for Halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/kdgrd/14-non-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/kdgrd/14-non-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:59:56 -0400 Joshua Broadwell


Costume Quest 1 & 2


It's difficult to find a set of games more perfectly suited for Halloween than Costume Quest and Costume Quest 2. The first centers around your team of characters trying to restore the stolen candy to their neighborhood and rescue a kidnapped sibling, while the sequel has you fighting a team of dental-hygiene fanatics intent on ruining Halloween for everyone.


They are set up as RPGs, with sidequests and turn based battles. However, your gear is more than just what keeps you safe. Why is that? Because your costumes allow you to transform into what they represent, be it a knight, robot--you name it. The games look adorable as well, with a charming mix of spooky and quirky and environments that can't fail to put you in the Halloween spirit.


Plus, until November 1st, both games are discounted on Steam: $0.99 for  Costume Quest, $5.24 for Costume Quest 2 or $4.99 for a bundle with both. Note too that the DLC for Costume Quest comes bundled with it.


Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (or Complete)


Disgaea is a perfect series for Halloween, and the latest entry is no exception. You play as a demon overlord of some kind or another in every entry and recruit a variety of different monsters to your team as you fight to fulfill morally dubious goals and secure your position as hellish ruler. It's got everything a strategy fan could ask for too: deep mechanics, micromanagement galore, challenging battles, and a plethora of character classes and skills to master.


Then there are the Prinnies. They're fun and slightly cute, plus they explode. But they're also the reincarnated forms of murderers and the worst kinds of criminals. If that alone doesn't tell you, the series prides itself on juxtaposing seriousness with ludicrous humor, all in a very anime style. It's a refreshing twist in a genre usually prone to taking itself too seriously and is sure to provide you with a frightfully good time.




From RPG to quirky platformer and puzzler, there's plenty to tick those spooky seasonal boxes and keep you occupied until -- and after -- Halloween. Let us know in the comments what you're playing for Halloween!


Looking for more Halloween-themed content? Make sure to check our other Halloween articles on GameSkinny!




Lumo is a charming little puzzler that has you take control of what looks quite like a Black Mage from Final Fantasy as you solve the brain-teasing puzzles in each of the game's many rooms. The game looks equal parts Fantasia and Chocobo's Dungeon, with a hint of Harry Potter, and it sees you traverse through a tremendous variety of locations in each of those rooms, from your basic storeroom setting to a hallway filled with lasers and a rotating tower with crumbling steps, among others.


The puzzles are never overly difficult, so it's the perfect game to play with your children, if you have them, but it's certainly not too easy for adults to unwind with at the end of the day. Some of you might recognize it, too, as it's meant to be a revival of the classic British isometric puzzler genre, and it does a superb job of what it sets out to do.


Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2


Continuing on with the theme of costumes means the Kingdom Hearts games are next. Sora and co. change their gear with every world they enter, but there are two real main reasons for having these games on your Halloween list. The story becomes more convoluted as the games progress, naturally, but at the core of it all remain the themes of redemption, friendship, and, of course, the conflict between light and dark. It's a lighthearted take on the concept of battling the darkness within us all that carries with it a certain tone with it that perfectly suits the cold, dark autumn nights.


More to the point, though, is the visit to Halloween Town! In both mainline games, you'll visit Jack Skellington and friends and battle the Heartless that manage to terrify even these monsters. The sequel puts you in Christmas Town—still in Halloween getups—excellently recreating the juxtaposition of happy and spooky that makes the film so enjoyable.


Final Fantasy V


It's Final Fantasy, but with dress-up! But seriously, Final Fantasy V stands out from its brethren for more than the adorable sprite costumes that accompany each change of class. It's a story that takes you across the world, only this time, the world is a lot more expansive, from dealing with mummies in a desert tomb to flying across the mountains on a dragon and everything in between. It's the plot and antagonist that really make this worth putting on your Halloween list, though.


FFVI's Kefka is villainous in his own right, but Exdeath is the embodiment of evil, almost literally, considering the possibility that he was once the spirit of a forest, now turned corrupt. Along with his evil machinations, you've got a haunting (sorry) time-traveling, interdimensional tale of love, loss, and betrayal. That makes FFV much easier to recommend than that other costume-driven game, FFIII, since there is not much story in the latter. Plus, if you really want to scare yourself, you could play the mobile version of FFV.


Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia


The latest mainline Fire Emblem offering, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia provides both an eerie atmosphere and intense gameplay. The land of Valentia is suffering at the hands of a manic priest devoted to a corrupt god. Soulless witches who have offered themselves up to Duma wreak havoc, but that's not all. Fans of later games, including Sacred Stones and Awakening, will see the roots of the undead adversaries in Echoes, in the form of Terrors, legions of the undead controlled by some unknown force and popping up everywhere.


From a gameplay perspective, it provides a serious challenge, too, requiring you to carefully plan your every move and delivering its own form of tension in the process. It's definitely one of the darker entries in Fire Emblem, and it only gets darker as the game progresses, with the final climax *mild spoilers ahead!* taking place deep underground, involving possession, murder, and betrayal.


Hollow Knight


Hollow Knight looks like what you'd get if Tim Burton made video games. Based on the classic Metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight combines the best of 2D platformers with a distinct and attractive art style. Hollow Knight himself, sporting a stylish skull helmet, must traverse the dark, monster-ridden depths of his underworld home to find the secrets buried in it corrupt heart.


The entire world exudes an eerie, almost otherworldly -- netherworldly? --atmosphere, drawing you in and keeping you wondering what might be beyond the next turn. Yet despite focusing on muted tones and various shades of darkness, the art manages to remain appealing throughout the difficult campaign. Even better is the new Grimm Troupe DLC dropping October 31, even more reason to dive back in or pick up the game for the first time!


Dragon Quest VI


"What the heck is a Dragon Quest game doing on a Halloween list?" you might be asking. Well, there's good reason Dragon Quest VI is. You see, long before Halloween became the blood-filled fright-fest it is now, it was one of two times of the year when people of almost every culture believed the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest. That meant the spirits of the dead could cross, of course, but also all manner of other creatures, including fairies -- not the Tinkerbell kind; the steal your soul and curse your cattle kind -- and other nefarious creatures from beyond could walk in our world.


Dragon Quest VI captures that theme perfectly. It alternates between an illusionary dream world and a real world, blurring the lines between both (and even making you a kind of ghost when you first visit the real world). The main antagonist draws his power from both worlds, breeding a host of monsters and causing nightmares in the dream world to create havoc in the real one.


Luigi's Mansion


The launch lineup for the little purple lunchbox that could might have suffered from its games being too short, but that doesn't mean they lacked innovation and quality. And Luigi's Mansion is one that stands out. It's the first game to feature Luigi in a prominent role and completely changes the style of gameplay one would expect from a Mario-type game.


Over the course of one stormy night, Luigi must explore the depths and heights of the mysterious mansion that appeared from nowhere in order to try and find his missing brother.


You'll come across multiple mischievous ghosts in the process, along with the masterminds behind the kidnapping, the Boos. The original Luigi's Mansion brings with it a much spookier atmosphere than its sequel, owing partly to the fact that the camera is much closer to Luigi and also the fact that the mansion is much, much darker until you solve the puzzles of each room. For maximum enjoyment, play with the lights turned off.


Axiom Verge


If 2D Metroidvania is more your taste, then Axiom Verge is just the game for you this Halloween season. Drawing inspiration from Super Metroid, among other titles, Axiom Verge places you in an unknown environment that blurs the lines between reality and the subconscious. You end up there as a result of a lab accident, so you're not entirely sure at first if you're alive or not.


However, the game gives you a great deal of control over your environment through the glitch mechanic, letting you manipulate your weapons, enemies, and even landscapes -- some you might not have been intended to see. There's a deep story here, too, as you'll uncover the remnants of an ancient, apocalyptic war and try to piece together how this domain ended up the way it did. The entire affair is rather dark and moody, as you would expect, and it's an excellent way to add some atmosphere to your Halloween gaming.


Metroid Prime


The Metroid games are known for creating eerie atmospheres and a sense of isolation, with the possibility of mortal danger lurking around every corner. Any game in the series would be suitable for Halloween (though some fans might say Other M is the most frightening of all, even if for reasons not entirely intended by the developers). However, the original Metroid Prime stands out above the rest in this regard.


Its first-person mechanic and the dreary desolation of Tallon IV combine perfectly, and no matter how many times you play it, that first time the Metroids burst out of their tanks still holds the power to make you jump. If this doesn't quite sound appealing, though Prime 2: Echoes is also a good candidate, with an even darker plot and the terror of the Ing to contend with as well.




Puppets are creepy, and that goes double for marionettes. Puppeteer manages to maintain that creepiness, yet makes it endearing by adding to it with a quirky, eerie aesthetic and a storyline pulled straight from a fairytale. The story begins when the Moon Bear King puts your soul into the body of a puppet to serve as a slave, but your troubles don't stop there. Before tossing you into his dungeon, the Moon Bear King also rips your head off -- but that sets the stage, so to speak, for the game's signature mechanic.


You acquire various powerups throughout the game, and these are incorporated via wearing different heads. Your journey takes you across the world and through a wide variety of landscapes, but it's all presented as though it's on a miniature stage, as you'd see with a real puppet show, complete with audience effects, props, lighting, and the whole works. It's a superbly tight platformer and a joy to play, plus there's the added bonus of it being a form of exposure therapy.


The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask


Arguably one of the darker entries in the LotZ franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask takes everything you know about the series' structure and chucks it out the window. Taking place right after the events of Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask sees Link taken to the mysterious world of Termina, a land where time is quite short because the moon is going to crash into it in three days' time. From there, you travel through Termina's four main regions and try to uncover the mysteries surrounding the catastrophe and the enigmatic Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask itself.


As you'd expect, masks play an important role throughout the game, providing new powers and abilities and even transforming Link into different Link-forms. Needless to say, the entire atmosphere is quite dark and broody, rivaling even Twilight Princess. And as the days progress, the people you interact with begin realizing their lives are about to end influences the way they conduct themselves in the game, with reactions ranging from desperation to quiet acceptance of their dark fate.


Animal Crossing


Of course, no Halloween game list would be complete without Animal Crossing. With the exception of Wild World, with its grudge against holidays, every Animal Crossing game has some form of Halloween festivity. Whether it be the GCN original's hunt for Jack to get Spooky furniture or New Leaf's wider array of activities involving month-long specials at the Nooklings' store, mask collecting, and neighbor-scaring, there's plenty to do throughout the month of October.


Later entries, especially New Leaf, allow you to customize your look down to the finest details, so you can always be in costume. Or you can just finish a long day by taking an evening stroll through your village, appreciating the change of scenery.


The sun sets early, the evenings are getting darker, and there's a certain something in the atmosphere that sets your hair on end. That's right, Halloween is almost here! But not all of us are fans of horror, blood, and gore, so what's a gamer to do if Resident Evil and Silent Hill are out of the question? 


Never fear! We've got a list of the best 14 non-horror games (because 13 is supposed to be unlucky, right?) you can play in the run-up to Halloween without having to plug in your night-light. Plus, as an added bonus, these are almost all perfectly safe for you to play with the younger members of your family -- and this first one, in particular, should prove widely popular with that specific audience. 

6 JRPG Series' With Unique Game Mechanics https://www.gameskinny.com/irmig/6-jrpg-series-with-unique-game-mechanics https://www.gameskinny.com/irmig/6-jrpg-series-with-unique-game-mechanics Mon, 06 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Rena Pongchai [Kazurenai]

JRPGs are a complex genre as they can span a variety of subgenres within them. However, the most common ones often have the same gameplay with random encounters and a similar story about needing to save the world. This can get too repetitive because of the constant grinding and turn-based battles. Not to mention, while you are a hero travelling the lands to save the world, sometimes the world is just a bit too big that you may need to consult a walkthrough or your characters will probably roam the earth until they die.

The time travelling mechanic in Chrono Trigger, despite not being a series, definitely deserves a special mention.

However, there are some JRPGS that have proven to have a solid theme and gameplay that have managed to span several entries into their series that'll keep you not only entertained, but have your RPG craving filled until the next entry hopefully comes out. While they may still have their grinding and turn-based battles, they provide some new gameplay mechanics that bring something fresh and unique only to their series.

The games in this list not only provide interesting gameplay mechanics, but also, a considerable amount of entries in their respective series so that you can play to your heart's content (if you wish).

Fire Emblem

Personal favourite entry: Fire Emblem (2003)

I'm sure many people have played or heard of Fire Emblem by now. Coming into prominence with Fire Emblem: Awakening, it has since become one of the most popular games in Nintendo's lineup, releasing not one, but four games within the next two years.

The first mechanic I want to mention is Permadeath. It's common knowledge in strategy games that "every move counts." And that is emphasized in Fire Emblem by how once your characters die -- they're gone for good. While the newer entries added a casual mode to make it easier for new players, it should still be acknowledged it was still one of the game's defining features and it really created that extra importance in planning your moves. Even now, you're not truly playing if it's not with permadeath on.

The second mechanic, which has become one of the main appeals for the newer entries (to the dismay of longtime fans) is the Support System. The whole point of having supports between characters would be to build up their stats when they were in close proximity with one another in the battlefield, but also to reveal backstories between different characters and thus add some characterisation. However in Awakening, they took that one step further by having characters support increase the chances of tag-teaming or shielding one another from attacks. But in addition to that, characters who've achieved full support can lead to marriage, and then even have children with combined stats of both the parents, leading to incredibly overpowered units in the game.

In addition to the mechanics, the game provides class changes aswell which allow for alot of replayability and customization for your units. With an expansive lore for each story and different difficulty levels to suit your needs, Fire Emblem has hours of fun for both casual and hardcore fans alike.


Personal favourite entry: Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (2013)

You've probably never heard of the Atelier games if you aren't a big fan of JRPGs but the series has been quite popular, releasing 18 titles (13 localised for the west) showing that that it is a solid contender among JRPGs.

The Atelier series is surrounded on the concept of Alchemy as you spend your time either crafting up new items or exploring dungeons for new ingredients and recipes.

Certain entries in the series give the player a time limit in which they must complete a task in order to advance the main storyline (or even continue the game at  all) so management is a big key in the game. To get items such as weapons and armor, you need to synthesise the required items which you need to explore dungeons to find -- and to get even better items, you need to find raise your alchemy level to do so, making it integral that you don't just fight your way through dungeons, but explore them thoroughly.

Despite the battle mechanics bringing nothing new to the genre and can be a bit of a grind, this is forgiven due to the intriguing plot and charming characters that  bring a new twist on the old RPG formula.

Monster Hunter

Personal favourite entry: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (2013)

Monster Hunter is definitely the epitome of "Role-Playing." The feature of the game is explained in the title itself. You hunt monsters in the game, but it is no easy feat. You can't just hack and slash them, you need to learn the way they work such as their movements, their attacks, their weak spots. When you defeat them, you then skin and take their parts in order to create better weapons and armors to power yourself up. (There is no leveling up, you simply improve with your own skill.)

This always keeps the game fresh and exciting as you always have to be on your feet and while some monsters are easy, some monsters -- no matter how strong your armor or weapon is -- if you just rush in, you're gonna get a good beating even from a monster you already beat.

Even if you somehow expertly defeat all monsters, there are also a variety of weapons to choose and master, even if you get a strong weapon, its effects may be inferior to a weaker weapon you have. Work with what you're comfortable with.

It also encourages multiplayer too, as not only are the monsters sometimes impossible to defeat without friends, but also the streetpass players you get can be sent on missions to get freebie items. Despite being a fan of turn-based systems (because I basically suck at playing real time), this game really brings that sense of adventure and fun that you really want to be looking for in a RPG.

Rune Factory 

Personal favourite entry: Rune Factory 4 (2012)

Rune Factory is a spin off of the Harvest Moon games. The main mechanics are to fight monsters and farm. This game is more focused on the social aspect as the plot is focused on the player talking to the citizens and saving the world. As a spinoff to the popular Harvest Moon series, farming is fun as its one of the ways you earn income in the game. Of course if you want, you can just go to the dungeons outside of town and hack and slash your way and gather stuff.

Outside of the plot, there is an array of things to do and absolutely no time limit. You can farm, you can fight, you can craft things, you can even tame monsters and either get produce from them (milk/wool/honey) or even use them to work on your farm or as companions. Also, there is no limit to which monsters you can interact with. Want to ride a giant tomato monster into battle? No problem! Want to raise your affections with your giant turtle monster? Just pet and brush them everyday!

In a way this game pokes fun at the RPG game, breaking the boundaries such as growing giant fruit, the in jokes, and absurdity of the character portrayal in the game. And the best part is, there is no end-game. Even when 50 years have passed and your character is married with a child, you can play the game forever. There's also a debate regarding what the maximum level your character can achieve is, with the most I've seen being 600 but apparently some have said you can go up to 30,000 (I've only gone up to level 40...)


Personal favourite entry: Suikoden 2 (1998)

I'm sure you may have heard that Suikoden 2 is one of the "best" JRPGs you need to play. But the reason I included the series in this list is that all the plots, while connected to its prequel or not, all revolve around the 108 stars, which are characters you need to collect in the game. While some are generic and you can miss some, this doesn't change the fact that there are 108 characters to recruit. It really brings that personal experience into the game and there is a variety of combos and parties you can play, not to mention the characters and the conversations you may also miss out on. As part of the plot, you manage your own castle in which your party members reside, so it's pretty fulfilling to see your army getting bigger.

The game also allows you to have 6 party members, yet the battles are fast-paced and require you to think about both the speed of your characters (which determine who attacks first)and the combos and group attacks that you can do (depending on the characters you have in your team). But the most interesting mechanic I find about battles is that, no matter if human or monster, you can bribe them to flee from battle. (Which I would say is weird but then again, you get gold from monsters when you defeat them so... actually it makes sense.)


Personal favourite entry: Disgaea 4 (2011)

To be perfectly honest, I have never completed a Disgaea game before. But I had to include it into the list because of how well done the battle mechanics are. In particular, the introduction of Geo Symbols, which control the field and can change anything from stat effects to completely disabling your character's moveset. Geo Symbols can only be destroyed by using your turns to move your characters across the field to remove them. This, along with being able to throw items and characters, and group attacks can make for some intricate strategy tactics.

The game's most defining feature is that due to the multiple endings that can be acquired, the game offers new game+ and the ability to carry over characters and items, which can lead you to bring your characters to the maximum level of... 9999. Yes, if you so may wish, you can raise your characters to be level 9999, leading to a lot of game time. The game also has a "complicated" gameplay mechanic during battles as your environment can affect your character's abilities leading to quite some thinking.

The party can be entirely customized also, as you can choose plot characters or create your own based on the available characters you have. I would say this game is for the hardcore players who love tactical strategy RPGs, as there are countless of missions, both storywise and optional, to get through -- you also have multiple ending depending on choices you have made.


In the end, these are just my own personal favourite JRPGs and I am in no way claiming they are the best. Have you tried any of these game series out? Do you have any others you'd recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

The 10 Best Strategy Games on Steam That Aren't Civilization https://www.gameskinny.com/0m6kt/the-10-best-strategy-games-on-steam-that-arent-civilization https://www.gameskinny.com/0m6kt/the-10-best-strategy-games-on-steam-that-arent-civilization Fri, 28 Oct 2016 12:03:31 -0400 Stefano Bonacchi


Star Ruler Series


I like to call this series "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann simulator" -- because it is, to my knowledge, the only space-themed 4X where you can build a ship as big as the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which is 1 million light years in length.


If you want to kick reason to the curb and do the impossible, this is the game to do it in. It has an incredibly detailed ship-building system. And it's also completely moddable, coming with the source code in text file form. This makes for a pretty big modding community, and that is always nice.


The first game itself isn't particularly hard, although it requires micromanaging at times, second one requires less micromanaging but has a more "realistic" max ship size (the size of a star).Overall it's a pretty solid series for any strategy fan to pick up.


Do you agree with these choices? Do you feel there are other, more deserving strategy titles that we forgot to mention? Do you want to share your gameplay experiences with these games? Post a comment below and let us know!


Crusader Kings 2


You may have noticed by now that I am a bit of a Paradox fanboy. It's hard not to be when you love grand strategy games, and they happen to make some of the best around.


That said, I can summarize Crusader Kings 2 with a sentence:


"If god didn't want us to conquer the holy land, why did he populate it with infidels?"


As the title says, you will play a Crusader King, (or duke, or count, maybe emperor if you're lucky) in the base game. You must try to carve a dominion for your dynasty within the holy lands -- or anywhere else, really, but the Middle East is pretty rich. You will play as your ruler character until he dies, then continue your game as his heir. This goes on until your dynasty is either toppled and unladed, or fades into obscurity and goes extinct.


The base game itself is good, but the DLCs make it a hundred times better -- allowing you to experience a plethora of fun events and easter eggs, and also giving you a chance to become a filthy pagan, an incestuous zoroastrian, or a Muslim Jew or Buddhist. These expansions even flesh out character interactions, bring the start date backwards in time, and add more realistic illnesses.


The only sore point here is the price. Both the game and most of the DLCs are overpriced at the moment and (in my opinion) should only be bought with a 50% or more discount on Steam. But whenever you do decide to buy, this title will grant thousands of hours of fun.


Get Crusader Kings II on Steam. Deus Vult!




Compared to the other Paradox Games previously mentioned, Stellaris is unique in that it is a 4X rather than a grand strategy title. Regardless, it's a pretty fun game that's still as hard as any other Paradox title.


Stellaris also allows you to design your own ships and negotiate with alien lifeforms, who can be basically anything -- even cute kittens that want to purge your wretched form in nuclear fire.


What's not to love there?


Get Stellaris on Steam and start genociding your own adorable alien races.


Battlefleet Gothic: Armada


This game is a decent space-themed RTS set in the Warhammer 40k universe.  The game is not as complicated as say, Victoria II, but its combat mechanics do require at least a few hours to fully grasp.


All in all, Battlefleet Gothic is fun and its combat is pretty engaging -- especially for fans of the setting. (Although it does need more orks, because GREEN IZ BEST!)


 Get Battlefleet Gothic: Armada on Steam.


Agarest Zero


I recommend Zero over the first game in the Agarest series -- mostly because it has less boring random battles, it is harder but more rewarding, and has a digest mode with the full storyline of the first game. So it is better all around.

The gimmick in these games is that you play successive generations of characters which you yourself can create by choosing a spouse. Different spouses will lead to different children who will be good at different things. In Zero specifically, you also create your main character at the start and can customize his every detail, making for a nice number of options.


All in all the Agarest series is nice, if a bit clichèd, set of strategy RPGs. And the Steam versions patched some bugs and put in a few nice touches that make end-game grinding much more bearable.


Get Agarest Zero on Steam.


Victoria 2


A friend of mine calls this game the "Marx was right simulator", and he has a point. The game models 19th century capitalism and imperialism really well, and also models the ethnic makeup of any province in the world and accompanying nationalism accurately. Basically, it is almost a politics simulator.


Why does my friend call it what he does?

Because by late game, most markets will be flooded and there will be continuous crises of overproduction -- giving rise to a lot of communist agitation and frequent communist revolutions. But that's part of the game's fun too!


I've yet to play a strategy game as deep and complex as this one. Though as is true with other Paradox titles, combat is left up to chance. But that's more than made up for by the fact that you can conquer the world as sapient polar bears. How cool is that?).


Get Victoria II on Steam.


Europa Universalis Series


This series has produced a lot of gems, but it has some sore spots too. These games are increbly historically accurate and pack some series depth into their gameplay. The series' main focus is on running a nation and dealing with diplomacy. But it's a bit weak in the combact aspect. Battles are for the most part simulated based on your and your opponents' troop numbers, quality, and location, with no human input.


EU:Rome in particular needs to be mentioned for being a very good strategy game. It focuses on the time between the first Punic War and Augustus' rule as Emperor.


Sadly the fourth game in the series, Europa Universalis IV, is both the best and the most overpriced. There are some pricey expansions for it, too -- so it's probably better to wait for a sale and buy this title then if you're so inclined.


Valkyria Chronicles


This game is unique because it has a gameplay that can only be summed up as "RTS meets RPG meets TPS meets turn-based tactics".

You control, train, and equip a unit of soldiers fighting to liberate their small nation of Gallia from the invading forces of a much superior foe. Battles are played in turns that get determined by spending CP (short for command points, of which you get a limited amount per turn). You can control a soldier and move it on the field, but they will get fired on if spotted by an enemy, and can in turn fire on those enemies as well. 

This makes for an intriguing mix that -- alongside a pretty nice plot -- makes for a very good and fun game. On top of it all, the Steam port is the best version of the game. So you should grab it. 


Get Valkyria Chronicles on Steam.


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Series


The series itself has some good and bad points -- its good being very good and its bad being mediocre at best. All Warhammer 40k games are real times strategy, though there's a big difference between Dawn of War 1 (plus its expansions) and Dawn of War 2.

The first game is in many ways reminiscent of a 4X game. You had to conquer points of interest on the map to gain more resources, so you could then build more troops and overwhelm your enemy's base -- all the while preventing your opponent from doing the same to you. Meanwhile, the second in the series is much more focused on small unit tactics and the ability to create troops or buildings is almost completely gone. 

Almost any game in the series is good. But you can probably skip over Soulstorm (the standalone expansion of Dawn of War 1), which is the worst of the series due to bad voice acting and rushed programming that made it buggy. 


Disgaea PC


The Disgaea series is pretty well established among lovers of strategy-RPGs. It has quirky humor, it's full of pop-culture references, and it's incredibly over-the-top -- having your characters statistics easily reach the millions and turning the late game into a "rocket tag".


The game is very fun and deserves mention despite being very old. The PC version is a satisfactory porting, making it a nice choice.


Get Disgaea on Steam.


If you're a strategy game fan, chances are you're playing Civilization 6. Even if you aren't, you know that it's been everywhere since its launch. Strategy gamers everywhere can't seem to get enough of it.


Civilization as a series is one of the staples of the strategy genre, but there happen to be many other good strategy games available  on Steam right now (and cheaper too). So whether you aren't planning to play Civilization VI at all, or you just haven't gotten the chance to pick it up yet, there are other games out there for you.


Let's take a look at some of the best strategy games that aren't Civ.

Five Tips for Beginner Disgaea Players https://www.gameskinny.com/esw2j/five-tips-for-beginner-disgaea-players https://www.gameskinny.com/esw2j/five-tips-for-beginner-disgaea-players Sun, 18 Sep 2016 17:19:45 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

With so many sequels across so many platforms, it’s no wonder the Disgaea series is known as a fantastic strategy RPG. The characters make appearances in several of Nippon Ichi’s games and the series has spawned an anime and a manga adaption. But, for someone with no experience with the series, or any strategy RPG for that matter, there might be a few foreign concepts. If you want to know what you’re in for before jumping in, here are a few tips for being the best Overlord you can be.

Keep your team well-rounded

One of the many unique features in the Disgaea series is the ability for the player to build their own team. The main characters can each have their own servants. The player can use mana, which is obtained by defeating enemies, to make more characters. It is important to be aware of the characters you make and who you choose as their mentor. Mentors determine who the servants will fight better beside in battle and their Weapon Mastery levels. Characters made under Laharl are more likely to be proficient with a sword than a character made under Etna.

It’s also important to keep in mind what kind of characters you make. You won’t have many choices in the beginning, but it’s vital to keep your team balanced. Clerics are useful for long-ranged attacks and healing. Warriors and Brawlers are powerhouses and best used for close-ranged combat. Mages are good for attacking enemy element weaknesses. Monster characters have high aptitudes, which increase stats given by items. As more classes are unlocked, others will become obsolete, so pay attention to what each class has to offer.

Obey Weapon Mastery

Once you create a character, you’ll see that each weapon type has a grade next it. These indicate how much experience your weapons will receive.

  • S = 25-35 Points
  • A = 20-24 Points
  • B = 15-19 Points
  • C = 10-14 Points
  • D = 5- 9 Points
  • E = 1- 4 Points

This experience allows characters to learn stronger skills and deal greater damage. While you will be able to increase this rate with Armsmasters specialists found in the Item World later, at the beginning it is much easier to obey the Weapon Mastery levels. Save your Armsmasters for the highest rank Weapon Mastery levels rather than trying to force a weapon type on a character.

Make Use of the Item Worlds

You will be introduced to the Item Worlds pretty early in the game, and, while it seems optional, it is important for boosting your characters’ stats early on so you don’t fall behind later in the game. After a certain point in the story, the enemies get significantly stronger, so utilizing the Item Worlds will eliminate hours of grinding to get back up to the right level.

Item Worlds are used to do two things: increase the power of your items and to defeat Specialists. Each level within an Item World that you defeat will give the item a small amount of power. These maps are designed to be long and tedious, so it’s important to note that you cannot level an Item World without a Mr. Gency’s Exit item. You will obtain one free Mr. Gency Exit, but the rest you have to get from Item Generals, Item Kings, or an Item God. These units will spawn on floors 10, 20, 40, 50, 70, and 80, or floors 30, 60, and 90, or floor 100, respectively.

Specialists add to an item’s power when defeated. There are several types of Specialists and each one adds to a different aspect of the item. A Specialist can add stat bonuses, resistance, status effects, or increases to what an item’s user gains upon a kill. Once defeated, a Specialist moves on to a different Item World.

Stat Bonuses
Specialist Stat
Dietician HP
Master SP
Gladiator ATK
Sentry DEF
Teacher INT
Coach SPD
Marksman HIT
Physician RES
Specialist Resistance
Aeronaut Wind
Cryophile Ice
Firefighter Fire
Pharmacist Poison
Coffee Maker Sleep
Medicine Man Paralyze
Psychologist Forget
Social Worker Deprave
Specialist Status
Alchemist Poison
Hypnotist Sleep
Witch Doctor Paralyze
Amnesiac Forget
Gangster Deprave
Kill Bonuses
Specialist Increase
Broker HL
Manager Mana
Statistician Experience
Armsmaster Weapon Mastery
 You have limited characters on the field

You can only have so many characters you can use on each map, so choose wisely. Always check the enemies before choosing your characters to make sure you have someone for every enemy's weakness. While this isn’t completely necessary, it makes the game much easier and gives you the little boost you need for boss fights.

Group Your Units

A huge element of the Disgaea series is strategy. Without one, the game will be very hard to play, let alone beat. A simple strategy you can employ is to group your units. In battle, characters standing next to characters that they have a higher compatibility with can perform team attacks. Team attacks deal more damage than regular attacks and are important to use. These attacks can use up to four characters. Keep in mind, however, enemies can perform these attacks too, so be mindful of your surroundings.

In addition to team attacks, grouping your units allow for less flank attacks during enemy turns. A back attack or flank attack will do more damage to your characters, so by having more units grouped together, there’s less of a chance for extra damage. It is better to not employ this strategy with mages and clerics, however. They are put to much better use in the back, away from the fighting.

I hope these tips help you on your way to become the most powerful Overlord ever. Remember, the game is always about having fun and you’ll learn the basics while you go. None of these rules are set in stone and can be adjusted to your style of play very easily. Good luck!

The Top 5 JRPGs For Beginners https://www.gameskinny.com/wmjwr/the-top-5-jrpgs-for-beginners https://www.gameskinny.com/wmjwr/the-top-5-jrpgs-for-beginners Mon, 15 Aug 2016 09:19:54 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905


Persona 4 (on easy)


The last game on this list is Persona 4 on easy mode. Persona 4 is a turn-based JRPG with tons of Japanese mythology and history crammed into its story and characters. While this could alienate a beginner, I think it can also just enhance the experience.


This game also has a nice blend of humorous and serious tones, and the gameplay is super simple. The most difficult thing in this game is the strategy in battle and the grinding while waiting for the rainy days to fight the bosses. While you fight, you have to maintain your school life and relationships.


Even if this sounds boring, give it a try! The meat of the game is still the fighting and the plot and these other things just help pad it out a little bit more. It helps you get invested in the characters and know more about the world around you.


Persona 4 is an all-around cool experience and a must-play for anyone just getting into JRPGS.


These are just my suggestions. There are plenty of other JRPGs to check out, so don't limit yourself to the ones on this or any other list. Beginner is a relative term, so if you're feeling up to it, just pick a game and start playing! 


Fire Emblem (on casual)


The Fire Emblem games on the 3DS are a great introduction to the series. They’re not as plot-heavy as some other games and are pretty easy to get into, even without knowing the plot to the past games. Characters drop hints of previous plots that definitely enhance the story, but aren’t necessarily needed to enjoy the game.


The gameplay can be complicated, but you can get by with just knowing the basics. And, the games are just fun. They have a good blend of humorous and serious moments and the gameplay is easy to follow along with. The main problem a beginner would probably have with Fire Emblem games is when your characters die, they’re dead forever. Therefore, I suggest playing the game on casual the first time because you can keep your characters alive.


The Tales of Series


The Tales of Series is the only game on this list that isn’t turn-based. Some people cannot play and enjoy turn-based games, and that’s okay. The Tales of Series does away with the turn-based system, but is still a pretty good introduction into JRPGs. The games have relatively simple controls and some of the later ones go out of their way to make sure players know what they’re doing, with tutorials accompanying every new game mechanic that gets introduced.


Something that may turn off beginners is the plot. Every Tales of game has an extensive plot -- and unless the player is into that, they may feel overwhelmed and need to step away from it for a while. I would suggest Tales of Symphonia, Tales of the Abyss, or Tales of Phantasia as a starting point.


The Disgaea Series


For those who want a little more depth for their first go at the genre, the Disgaea series could be the way to go. There’s a story that has some connect from game to game, but it’s a loose one at best. At worst, it’s nonsensical and I love it. The Disgaea games are strategy RPGs at heart. They’re wacky, even with the more serious themes. So if you’re into weird games, this might be the one for you. From the weird weapon descriptions to the main character being physically hurt by “sexy ladies”, it’s a weird adventure. Each game adds more functions, so I would suggest starting with the first one, but it’s definitely not necessary.




With the new craze of Pokemon GO, more people than ever have probably heard of Pokemon. So why not start simple? While the newer games are trying to be more complex for more savvy Pokemon players, they’re still a user-friendly introduction into the genre. It’s simple; it’s turned-based; it’s a classic. There’s no ongoing story, so anyone can jump in at any time without missing out on key plot points. Speaking of the plot, it’s super simple. If I could follow along with Pokemon Red when I was 6, anyone can follow along with it. The game mechanics are just as easy to pick up on, so just jump right in.


JRPGs are some of the best and weirdest games I have ever played. I grew up on basically anything my dad could find at the flea market or bargain bin, so I played some pretty unique ones. I’m still playing them today though, so that probably speaks to their credit, right?


Getting into JRPGs when you’ve never played on can be a task, especially with all the different ones floating around. So, I thought I'd compile the top 5 JRPGs for beginners to help ease those new to the genre into the process. These are in no particular order because I love them all.

Here are 10 (of many) great titles discounted in Steam's Anime Weekend Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/7maw3/here-are-10-of-many-great-titles-discounted-in-steams-anime-weekend-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/7maw3/here-are-10-of-many-great-titles-discounted-in-steams-anime-weekend-sale Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:31:23 -0400 Ashley Shankle

An "Anime Weekend Sale" on Steam? What the hell is that even supposed to mean? Apparently it means games with anime-style art direction, even if they're developed outside Japan.

This weekend's sale has slapped some hefty discounts on several of Steam's anime-style games, ranging from fighters and platformers to RPGs and visual novels.

Just like with any other Steam sale, there's a huge variance in quality. And if you want to find something good you have to do some digging -- which is a bit irritating this time around, considering almost all the games' Store images are eye-catching but so many are visual novels. I like visual novels as much as the next shut-in, but they're not what I turn to Steam for.

Back on point, let's take a look at some notable titles that may just be worth a purchase this weekend while they're on the cheap. These aren't the only good games on sale this weekend, but they are worth a look if this weekend's sale selection is overwhelming.


Genre: Metroidvania-bullet hell
Steam Store link
Price: $14.39 (Normally $17.99)

This Metroidvania-bullet hell hybrid is only 20% off but it's one recent overlooked release that's basically a must-play for Metroidvania fans even if they're not all that crazy about bunny girls and cute CGs. This game is gratifyingly (see: brutally) difficult, mostly due to the bullet hell combat elements.

Every Metroidvania on Steam has its own gimmicks and this one's are its disgusting cuteness and bullet dodging. It's hard to finish Rabi-Ribi and not go back for another taste at a higher difficulty.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse

Genre: 3D fighter
Steam Store link
Price: $16.99 (Normally $49.99)

Dragon Ball Xenoverse came out last year amidst a pretty huge wave of brand new Dragon Ball media, including the new show and Resurrection of 'F' movie.

This online multiplayer fighter is a dream for fans of the series and lets them create a character to self-insert into the Dragon Ball storyline and fight alongside the Z Fighters. Online multiplayer is fun but don't expect any semblance of balance. None at all.

Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Regia

Genre: Raising sim strategy
Steam Store link
Price: $16.24 (Normally $24.99)

I might be biased here, considering I imported a physical copy of this game ages ago based on its art by Ooyari Ashito (all five of us Princess Maker 3 fans represent), but anyone with an inkling for raising sims or unique, cute games would find themselves at home raising Kaya and Aria in the magical arts.

This game is extremely dialogue-heavy, often too much so, but it's unique and ultimately it's hard to forget the bizarre raising aspects and overall comfortable feeling.

Umihara Kawase Trilogy

Genre: Platformer
Steam Store link
Price: $14.99 (Normally $29.99)

This is the one entry on this list that's more than one game, mostly because if you like one of them you'll like all three. The Umihara Kawase series only recently found its way outside of Japan but has been well-known among the importing community since the first game's release in 1994.

All three of these are utterly unforgiving platformers where you have to use your fishing lure and rod to grapple onto platforms and swing to your destination in hopes of figuring out the route that actually finishes the game. Give any of the three trilogy games' trailers a look, this series is hard to describe.

100% Orange Juice

Genre: Board game
Steam Store link
Price: $2.06 (Normally $6.99)

Do you hate your friends? Do your friends hate you? Do you want to learn the true meaning of hate in online multiplayer? If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, 100% Orange Juice is for you.

100% Orange Juice is a card-based board game with a fair amount of unlocks, continued support from their publisher (not even the original Japanese version has online multiplayer), and a great deal of charm. It's almost a sure bet if you're looking for a game to play casually with friends, and the 4-pack is only $5.99 during this weekend's sale.

Disgaea PC

Genre: Strategy RPG
Steam Store link
Price: $15.99 (Normally $19.99)

Disgaea isn't so well-known just because it's cute. The series has been going strong since the original PlayStation 2 release, and the Steam version brings the additional content added in the Afternoon of Darkness release, elongating what even at its most base is an absolute time-eater of a game.

There's just a ton to character growth and building, not to mention the well-known and certainly reachable 9999 level cap. NIS America ironed out some of the issues Disgaea PC had at launch, making this now the best introduction to one of console game's most popular strategy RPG series.

One Way Heroics

Genre: Sidescrolling roguelike RPG
Steam Store link
Price: $.87 (Normally $3.49)

Don't let this game's tiny price fool you into thinking it's trash -- if you like roguelikes and quirky games, it's more than worth even the standard $3.49 price tag.

It's hard to stop playing One Way Heroics once you get started. It keeps you walking forward, both during runs (which most often end before you'd like) and in overall progression. This is another one that's hard to describe, but it is much better than it looks. Especially with the Plus DLC adding new content.


Genre: Shoot'em up (Shmup)
Steam Store link
Price: $9.99 (Normally $19.99)

One of developer CAVE's better-known titles, Mushihimesama stands as one of the best-known shmups out there and one of the best on Steam.

You probably know if you like shmups. If you do and haven't grabbed this one up yet, the lower base game sale price and 50% discount on the V1.5 DLC that adds the remixed Matsuri mode and the more aggressive MAX mod. The base game and the DLC are well-worth the buy for shmup fans. But let's be honest: If you like the genre, you've probably bought it already.

Tales of Symphonia

Genre: RPG
Steam Store link
Price: $9.99 (Normally $19.99)

Generally regaled as one of if not the best Tales of game in the West, the Steam version of Tales of Symphonia was the first entry in the series to make it to the platform. It's a classic and hard not to recommend.

While the game's visuals are certainly dated, it's hard not to get wrapped up in the story, characters, and battle system. Tales of Symphonia has mixed reviews on Steam due to the game being a technical mess when released, but Bandai Namco has and still is patching it to (hopefully) pristine condition.

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

Genre: Shop sim, action dungeon crawler
Steam Store link
Price: $4.99 ($19.99)

Is it possible to go through the Anime Weekend Sale listings and not mention Recettear? No sir, I don't think so.

One of the first Japanese games on Steam when it was released in 2010, Recettear is an exercise in stone-cold kawaii capitalism and action dungeon crawling. You own a shop, which you must stock with goods and then sell. Selling itself requires haggling and every customer is different--for better or for worse. And dungeon crawling, well...it's fun.

There is nothing about this game that is not fun. If you somehow have not played Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale yet, it's time to get to it.

There are certainly many more worthwhile games on sale this weekend than the 10 listed here. My shortlist leading up to these 10 was less "short" and more "25+ games long". If you've skimmed through this weekend's sale, which titles would you recommend? Toss those opinions out in the comments lest my wallet stay obese!

Disgaea, the next JRPG port, to grace Steam in January https://www.gameskinny.com/kng0p/disgaea-the-next-jrpg-port-to-grace-steam-in-january https://www.gameskinny.com/kng0p/disgaea-the-next-jrpg-port-to-grace-steam-in-january Tue, 17 Nov 2015 03:28:38 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Did you skip console gaming during the PlayStation 2 era but enjoy JRPGs nonetheless? You may want to keep an eye on Steam January 2016 as the fan-favorite Disgaea makes its way to PC for the first time ever.

Disgaea PC is just one of many JRPGs finding their ways onto Steam as of late. Ports of the earlier Final Fantasy games, PlayStation 3 RPGs such as Valkyria Chronicles and the Neptunia series, and even lesser-known classics such as Grandia 2 are now on Valve's distribution platform.

Disgaea itself is unique among what's been ported by Japanese developers this year, in that it's an anime-style comedy strategy RPG. You don't see much in that genre on PC outside of Japan-only doujin games.

With a new port comes some new features. Disgaea has found its way on a number of platforms, and the version we're getting on PC isn't the same as the one we got on the PlayStation 2 all those years ago.

This release will contain the additional content added in the Afternoon of Darkness version of the game, as well as classic and modern UI options, plus native keyboard and mouse support.

Disgaea PC isn't the only Japanese-made RPG to be making it to Steam in January. Capcom's Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen will be finding its way to PC that same month. If you've stuck to PC gaming, January's going to be a decent time to give some Japanese games a shot.