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Throughout the campaign you'll always be running against the clock. You have a limited window of time to save humanity before the aliens take over completely. Successful missions only set them back slightly. Unsuccessful missions set you back significantly. It always feels like you're in an uphill struggle and failing means the end. It always feels like you're not gaining an advantage and the aliens have something else in store. This is reinforced in the missions. You never know what type of aliens there will be or what their reinforcements will bring. Encountering new species makes you fear for the well-being of your squad. It's rare for a game to keep you feeling like this. See More
One of the main aspects of XCOM 2 is preparing your squad for each mission. You need to consider the terrain, objective, and enemy types. Based on these you'll select the appropriate soldiers, weapons, and gadgets. A lot of the missions have some leeway, so you'll be able to form a squad that fits your playstyle. It can either be a group of stealthy rangers, running in with machetes to surprise the enemy. Or it can be a group sharpshooters, allowing you to systematically clear the area from afar with sniper rifles. After each successful mission/kill your soldiers will earn experience. With enough experience you'll be able to promote them and earn learn new skills. You can also research new weapons and build them. A lot of it comes down to looting alien technology and reverse engineering it back at the base. All these things add up and it's really exciting watching your soldiers grow into unstoppable killing machines. See More
One of the more fun parts about this game is managing your squad. You can customize the looks, voices, and even names of your soldiers. As you take your soldiers on missions you'll get attached to them. This will create a lot of tense moments when your soldiers are about to die and you desperately try to save them. If you decide to input the names of your friends or family, multiply the tension by ten. See More
Tactical RPGs can be really intimidating, especially if you're just starting out. The tutorials often blaze forward, causing you to miss important mechanics. Luckily, Banner Saga 2 tries to alleviate this by adding a trainer NPC who will give you challenges. These involve performing various combat exercises, helping you to solidify your understanding of the game and even learn something new. See More
A unit's current number of hit points equals the damage it will deal to an enemy. Because of this, the best strategy is always to hit all enemy units in a sequence, so they inflict as little damage as possible. Any other strategy is too risky and can backfire way too easily, limiting your creativity. See More
Even though Banner Saga 2’s turn-based combat system is fairly straightforward. You and your opponent take turns in moving and attacking with units on a tactical grid. Each unit has its strengths, weaknesses, and set of unique abilities that you need to consider. For example, archers can attack from far away but they have low armor, so you can’t leave them out in the open. Another example are the Varl, very durable and strong melee units that occupy 4 tiles as opposed to 1. This makes it trickier to position them since more enemies can stand next to them and attack them. This creates combat that is not too simple but still has enough variety and strategy involved to feel rewarding. See More
To get a full and satisfying story, you’ll have to play the entire Banner Saga trilogy. Banner Saga 2 on its own feels like you’ve suddenly started reading a book from the middle. There are a lot of characters you know very little about, making it hard to understand their motivations. The on-going events are not explained fully. Even the ending is not a satisfying conclusion but just a setup for the next arc. See More
Banner Saga 2 environments, characters, and animations are all hand-drawn. This includes your caravan as it marches over a snowy hill, passing trees and houses in the distance. The various viking-esque soldiers, centaurs and other mythological creatures, swinging axes and thrusting spears on a worn out bridge. Even the very detailed character sprites as they discuss matters with extremely serious expressions. Everything just feels like you’re watching an animated movie, which is something almost never encountered in a game. See More
While there are plenty of fart jokes in this game, it primarily focuses on satire. At the forefront you have a parody of superhero movie franchises, which allows you to create your own ridiculous superhero origin story, managing to mix in commentary on modern culture, political correctness, and even our unhealthy obsession with social media. There are quite a few laughs to be had in this world seen through a grade schooler's eyes. See More
Over the course of the game, you and your superhero friends will take on various enemies. During fights, both sides are placed on a tactical grid and take turns in moving, attacking, and using special moves such as fireballs, explosions, and even fart bombs that stop time. Some abilities even have button prompts to make the combat slightly more engaging. You also have to consider positioning, weaknesses, combos, and when to use your superpowers, giving the combat a fair amount of depth. As a result, whether you're beating up 6th graders, exterminating crab people, or challenging Morgan Freeman to a duel, the combat is really entertaining. See More
Playing South Park: The Fractured but Whole feels like watching an episode of the South Park TV show. It's very colorful, detailed, and interesting to look at, especially because everything seems like a cardboard cutout laid out in 2D view. This includes the environments, the houses, the occasional car that passes you by, and even the many characters. There's also very little in terms of animations with characters having jittery, stop motion-esque movements. All of this gives South Park: The Fractured but Whole a very interesting and enjoyable feel. See More
The first time you 1-hit-kill an enemy, you'll realize how good it feels to overpower an enemy. So when you encounter stronger enemies, you'll want to keep this feeling up, turning it into an obsession. This will repeat all the way to the strongest boss in the game – Overlord Baal. Being able to defeat him in a single turn feels like a lifelong accomplishment since you've reached the pinnacle of strength in Disgaea 5. See More
In Disgaea 5 it's all about having your character cooperate. They can perform combos together, multiplying the damage done and showing a cool animation. They can pick each other up, allowing you to throw them into a better position to perform a devastating attack. They can also pick up enemies to throw them among your squad, allowing for a multipronged beat down. Your monsters can be combined into a giant monster or turned into weapons a humanoid character can equip. All of these and many other things give the gameplay enough variety to keep it interesting for a long time. See More
Valkyria Chronicles features an expertly-crafted, turn-based combat system, where you control only a few characters in each battle. You are often against greater numbers, so tactics play a huge part in this game. The combat system is called BLiTZ (Battle of Live Tactical Zones). You view an overhead map of the combat area and can control each character individually. There are a plethora of options with each character: repositioning to have a better attack capability, taking cover, using special abilities or items, or simply attacking. These actions are limited by the AP gauge, so you'll have to pay close attention to how much you can do in a single turn. Each character also has their own class, so you'll also have to plan around their strengths and weaknesses. Some are better at moving, some are better at shooting, but most of them are defined by their special abilities and stat modifiers. See More
This game features a soundtrack composed by Hitoshi Sakamoto (known for his work on FFT and FFXII). The orchestra music makes you feel various emotions at the right times. It's a mix of melancholy, hope, and also fear. Some of the songs make you feel even more tense than the battles themselves. See More
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