Spiders' Mars: War Logs' lack of limelight stems from perhaps not trying to be the epic experience of other RPGs, and also arguably a bit from the past offerings of its development studio. Previous RPGs such as Game of Thrones and Of Orcs and Men granted it a reputation for some neat ideas but insubstantial experience perhaps caused them to lack a bit in content and execution. Mars: War Logs admittedly doesn't do anything particularly mind-blowing, but this out time Spiders gives RPGamers a solid and entertaining experience throughout and shows a marked step-up in the final product.
Mars: War Logs helps itself by never trying to do too much, and keeping things focused on its fairly tight but intriguing setting. This is coupled with another good European case of offering choice without veering wildly down obvious moral paths. The gameplay is fun, never being over bearing, supported by solid customisation and levelling options. For those tired of RPGs perhaps trying to bite off too much or losing focus, or just those looking for another interesting experience to while away some time, Mars: War Logs is well deserving of a look, much more so than it has been given credit for.
Coming so soon after big hitters Diablo III and Torchlight II and being the first RPG offering from Hungary-based NeocoreGames caused The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing to not quite get the level of recognition it deserved. Its gameplay readily competes with the aforementioned titles, albeit perhaps lacking a touch of polish and post-game features. A particular stand-out area is in the game's main characters and supporting cast, helping create an interesting and entertaining setting, one area where it arguably surpasses its more illustrious colleagues. The second part of the planned trilogy for Van Helsing is set for release in 2014, and RPGamers should keep an eye on NeocoreGames to see how it builds on a very strong first offering.
A small indie RPG on the PlayStation seems like an uphill battle to start with, but on top of that poor Dragon Fantasy Book II launched in early September right in the middle of a flood of major game releases. As such, Ogden and his crew were overlooked by many. This is a shame, as this game is quite the improvement over the original with its enhanced battle system, multiple story paths, and hordes of monster to collect. While quite a few RPGamers knew about this one, it seems like Book II was overlooked by many. Do yourself a favor and check this little gem out on PlayStation 3 or Vita and you might even get an easy platinum trophy for your effort.
by Alex Fuller, Michael A. Cunningham