Steam Summer Sale – JRPG Game Deals

We continue our coverage of the 2022 Steam Summer Sale with a look at the best deals for JRPGs! These are ideal if you want to get lost in story-rich worlds and have your anime character undergo the long level grind they deserve!


Octopath Traveler

Octopath is the game that pioneered Square Enix’s HD-2D artstyle, and we have to say: They nailed it pretty well for their first attempt. While reminiscent of the SNES era of JRPGs, HD-2D takes the Pixel-look and updates it to make the world come alive. It’s goes a long way to feel the impact of your flashy attacks destroying the enemy’s guard. Even on the overworld, the lighting effects and for the various regions do a good job setting the right mood.

One defining feature of Octopath is the multitude of characters. As the title suggests, you’ll get to learn the tale of eight in total, all traveling the lands for a different reason. They’ve all got unique ways to interact with their surroundings; like a Scholar making investigations and a Swordsman challenging people to a duel. The gameplay starts off simple, but ramps up in the later parts when you’ll be able to switch classes and unlock new and more powerful ones.

One part that got the short end with the eight-travelers-from-all-over idea is the storytelling. It’s like segmented main pieces that never got the connecting parts to fill out. Since the game can be started in eight different locations it’s no easy task to make the narration work as well as a linearly structured title could. There are some noteworthy moments when the cast has some interactions that flesh them, as a group, out. Beyond that, they just take turns on who gets to be the main character while the others watch on from the sidelines until a battle starts.

Did we mention how good the battle music is? This game has a fantastic soundtrack.


Yakuza: Like a Dragon

The seventh entry in the Yakuza series has turn-based combat and thus departs from its traditional action pace. Whether or not you can vibe with that decision, it doesn’t take away from the absolute lunacy going on with the story. Wanna beat up men wearing diapers in a Nursery? Encourage people by feeding ungodly spicy food? The depths the Yakuza games go to provide entertaining side-quests and minigames is respectable to say the least.

At its core, the game is still about… well, the Yakuza. That is to say you fight against them with your party of misfits you assemble throughout the story. However, the real gift of the setting is the city you get to explore. Inspired by Yokohama, this entry in the series notably takes place in a newly designed open world. That makes it a great starting point for newcomers while giving veterans a fresh look at a diverse Japanese metropolis.


Tales of Arise

Another long-running JRPG series is the “Tales of” franchise. Tales of Arise, like its predecessors, is a more grounded approach to the genre.

Unlike the first two games we discussed, this one offers the whole action combat package with dodge rolls and air juggle combos. Instead of making calculated decisions turn by turn, you can feel the enjoyment of landing fast melee strikes or casting a series of powerful spells.

The story makes up a sizable chunk of the game, either in the way of long cutscenes and texts providing detailed worldbuilding or personal moments with your party members. Even if not every moment is a fully animated immersive experience, the game doesn’t need that to get across its meaningful topics and likable characters.


Zanki Zero: Last Beginning

This one’s for the people that prefer extra weird JRPGs. Playing in a post-apocalyptic setting, 8 people are left to explore the island they are stranded on. Well, not exactly the island itself, but the dungeons that sprawl underneath. That’s right! It’s a dungeon crawler, a first-person one at that. So it doubles down on the slow and strategic gameplay by making tile-based movement a part of your turns.

In terms of the story, the characters all age rapidly as you play. This effects what their fighting capabilities are and goes on until they’re too old, at which point a clone (reincarnation?) is created. That way you can play as a child and go from there. What this unconventional worldbuilding exactly entails is up to you to discover, but don’t expect world peace and happy ever after from the creators of the Danganronpa games.

Original Trailer omitted due to algorithmic failure.

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition

Cyber Sleuth is a hard sell for people that never had any connection to Digimon in the past. Imagine Pokémon, but instead of a cute electric mouse you’ve got the yellow poop emoji and DJ-monkey with sunglasses and a gold chain. Long story short, it’s worth a look if you’ve been aching for a Pokémon game that goes more in-depth with the monster training and offers more rewarding challenges to overcome.

At the end of the day, it’s a decent game for anyone that wants to re-experience the fond memories of watching the anime. Fortunately, the story is not just a retelling but still captures the same kind of charm. As is tradition, the stakes escalate equally fast towards the later parts, when the poop emoji and DJ monkey triple-ultra-digi-volve and threaten world domination! This is only slightly exaggerated.


Prices & Discounts

Prices may vary based on your region.

Which hour-long journey will you embark on? Did you have great enough taste to have already played some of these? Let us know in the comments below!

The Steam Summer Sale is in bloom! Check out our other highlights to find the best deals for you:

Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Nintendo Direct Reveals Story Details and New Gameplay

Ever since Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was pushed ahead to release in July of this year (preponed?), we’ve been itching to get new infos. At long last, yesterday’s Nintendo Direct was entirely about the next entry in the JRPG series. A release date has been confirmed for July 29th, 2022.

For now, let’s go through the highlights of the story teasers and an exhaustive gameplay showcase from the Direct and discuss what we’re looking forward to the most!


The Characters and Story

Xenoblade games are known for their captivating narrative. Overall, they aim to give a look into the separate motivations and characteristics that define the inhabitants of its world, while still building up towards a greater narrative of grand proportions.

In the case of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, we’ve learned more about the playable cast: Two groups of three young adult-looking fellows that have to set aside their mutual hatred and national pride. They join forces and fight for their own cause, helping others in need in the process.

At first glance it may seem that the characters are shallow and easily defined by stereotypes. Just be assured that as the game goes on, they are likely to gain more depth and intricacy. On a last note, there’s no need to play the prior three games that released. I’d recommend it, cause they’re good. but not necessary to understand the overall plot.


Open World

Besides obvious talking points like “We’ve still got fast travel!”, or “Here you can buy things from merchants and accept side quests!”, there wasn’t much in terms of innovation. Which is fine, innovation shouldn’t be mandatory in that regard. In their decades of refining the genre, we’re certain that Monolith Soft will deliver on a competent open world.

Over the course of the trailer we’ve recognized some familiar scenery: A vast desert, mountainous green lands, and what looks to be a cliff-side beach. On top of that we caught a preview of a spooky-ambient forest and the red remains of another forest (possible volcano theme?)


Combat & Game Mechanics

Since its inception the Xenoblade franchise has been infamously associated with overly busy and hard to parse UI elements. At the very least, you might find solace in the fact that not every mechanic has to be understood to its fullest right out of the gate.

The freedom of customization goes a long way to cater to any preferred playstyle. Do you want your tank to heal as well? How about a DPS that provides their own buffs? With 6 (and sometimes 7) characters at your disposal, the amount of options appears to be outstanding!


The Power of Ouroboros

As a new twist to the combat, a pair of two characters can unite into an Ouroboros. A mech-like suit that combines their powers. I don’t know about you, but personally I’ve always been a sucker for this trope. Whether it be Power Rangers, Digimon, or Dragon Ball Z. The idea of joint powers that are funneled into the creation of a new being, thus reaching unprecedented heights of strength was always a hype moment to me.

Furthermore, there’s hints that the Ouroboros and its associated infinity symbol will play a greater part in the story. So far, the evil faction seems to possess machines of similar design, feeding off the souls of the dead. Without going into any wild speculations, we are excited to see how this will develop!

One of the Ouroboros’ design and skill tree. There’s three combinations with six designs depending on who’s in control.

You can watch the full Nintendo Direct on their Twitch or YouTube.


Are you in on the hype for Xenoblade Chronicles 3? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

The world of gaming news never sleeps. Stay informed by reading about all the other exciting events happening across the gamingverse:

GOG Summer Sale – 6 Handpicked Roguelike Games

GOG is hosting their Summer Sale event which runs until June 27th, with over 3500 deals on all kinds of games! We’re continuing our series of posts covering games from different categories. If Roguelike games aren’t your thing, check out our other selections at the bottom of this post!

You can find the list of links to our handpicked games, as well as their cost, at the bottom!


Darkest Dungeon + DLCs

Darkest Dungeon is one of the older titles on the list. At its heart, it’s a Turn-Based Dungeon Crawler RPG in which your party of four ventures into the depths of the Not-So-Brightly-Lit Dungeons. Every run becomes a weighing of risk versus reward, as you engage in combats that might spell the end for your adventurers.

On top of that, the gloomy art style and narration pair nicely with the unforgiving nature of the game. Just – “Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.”


Rogue Legacy

Rogue Legacy might’ve been one of the titles to pioneer the sub-genre of Rogue-Lite back in 2014. It’s designed around failure, as every run in this Action-styled Sidescroller earns you the cash to unlock permanent upgrades. Every iteration of runs come with its own twist as your offspring inherits new flaws.

With the recent release of Rogue Legacy 2, the predecessor has sort of turned obsolete. If anything, it’s still worth giving the original a try now that it could be described a “retro” title.


Enter the Gungeon

The Gungeon welcomes you to give it a try! We’ve now come to a Twinstick Shooter that hands you a dodge-roll for you to maneuver around the countless amount of bullets thrown at you throughout. Gungeon puts an emphasis on getting flawless ratings at the bossfights for additional rewards. In a way, that’s the same kind of motivation the Dark Souls series is known for.

In terms of effective in-game improvements, Enter the Gungeon offers many Guns and Passive Abilities chock-full of popculture references that can be added to the pool of random things you can find in a run.


Loop Hero

For a more hands-off approach at a Roguelike, Loop Hero is a great fit. Your diligent hero keeps running laps and auto-fights enemies on a map by your creation. Finding a balance of what enemies to throw at them is key, as you try to farm up enough loot for the scripted encounters.

There’s hidden interaction between all the tiles that can be placed, so there’s some value in experimentation as your knowledge over the game’s mechanics expands. Let the min-max-management lead you to the mightiest Hero!


Inscryption

Inscryption celebrated its recent success thanks to the uniquely meta storytelling Daniel Mullins is known for. What may seem like any other Deckbuilding Roguelike unravels into an odyssey as you piece together the circumstances that lead you to this mysterious shack in the woods.

It’s definitely one of the darker games on this list, although that’s also part of the game’s charm. There isn’t much of an escalation compared to what the first hours of the game has to offer, but watching your squirrels shiver in fear in anticipation of their sacrifice is a different kind of eerie to be sure.


Book of Demons

Lastly we’ve got Book of Demons, a paper-craft-style game inspired by Diablo’s Action RPG gameplay. Unlike the other games on the list, this one lets you freely choose the length your runs. Perfect to weave in some fun without going the extra mile.

Notably, Book of Demons also has a Deckbuilding mechanic, turning your equipment and spells into a deck of cards from which you then choose from. Since the game even has a Demo on Steam with a sizable amount of content, you can see for yourself how that plays out!


Discounts & Prices

Prices may vary based on region.


The GOG Summer Sale lasts until the 27th. Did any of these strike your fancy? Let us know down in the comments if so!

Check our other lists of games discounted at the GOG Summer Sale:

Summer Game Fest Showcase: Choo-Choo Charles

Choo-Choo Charles was part of the initial trailer showcase and caught lots of attention through the titular train’s creepy design. Now that the news hype has died down a little, let’s take a look at what the actual scope of the game will be.

For starters, this is an indie game, worked on by a single developer. They went on record saying the game is in its closing stages of development, meaning most of the final features are set in stone for its release sometime later in 2022.


The Premise

Charles is a corrupted take on a childhood icon, partially inspired by Tom Coben‘s animations and Pennywise the clown

You travel across an island on your train, looking for upgrades while defending yourself against a creepy looking spider-train that’s dead set on devouring all of the island’s inhabitants.


Open World

The game takes place on a 6 km2 large map and has you traversing longer distances by train. It’s been confirmed that there will be exploration in the way of side missions provided by NPCs, juicy scrap parts to pimp your vehicle with, and hidden secrets that explore the deeper lore.


Gameplay

On your own, you are defenseless. This means that the remote missions (such as the abandoned mine one shown in the video above) turn into stealth/escape sections, where you are at the mercy of the armed cultists.

Invest in your stats with all the junk you found on the island

The main focus on foot lies in the collection of scrap pieces that are used to either improve various train stats, or repair the health it lost after an encounter versus Charles. Presumably, gathering ammunition will also be a part of this.

Speaking of fighting against Charles, the eight-legged locomotive will be a constant threat looming over you. You won’t be able to be at ease until the end of the game, so the best you can do is hide or deal enough damage, forcing it to retreat for a while.


Weapons

Thankfully your safe haven comes equipped with a machine gun attached to a mount at the backside. During your travels the train will chug along on its own, which allows you to focus on Charles. It’s been confirmed that three more weapons will be unlocked throughout the game, including a rocket launcher and even a flamethrower.


Frequently Asked Question

Lastly, here’s some quick general facts from the developer:

  • How much will Choo-Choo Charles cost? Around $15-20.
  • What’s the expected playtime for Choo-Choo Charles? 3-4 hours casual, 6-10 hours for completion.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have scripted jump-scares? No.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have Multiplayer? No.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have a Demo? No.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have Achievements/Trophies? Yes.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have DLC? Maybe. No plans yet.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles release on consoles? Maybe in the future. For now, PC only.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have have VR support? No, probably not.

If you want to learn more about Choo-Choo Charles, consider following the developer on YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, or Twitch.