Hands-On: Cladun: This is an RPG!


“We’re not exactly sure how someone can be sexy “in an 8-bit sense,” but we certainly applaud the folks at NIS America for loading up their latest retro gaming throwback with some seriously off-the-wall character dialogue and wacky self-referential humor. Amusingly, Cladun: This is an RPG literally wears its genre on its sleeve while poking fun at it in the process. Blocky 8-bit warriors, jokes about cosplay, heavy duty dungeon grinding and talking cats punctuate this promising and quirky retro RPG.”

Check out the full hands-on preview here at GamesRadar.

Free Bytes: Vertical Drop Heroes


“When princesses (and other captured royalty, for that matter) are in need of serious rescuing from dastardly villains and fanged monsters, it’s rare that a hero just comes falling out of the sky to promptly save the day. However, in Vertical Drop Heroes, that’s exactly what happens. Every level seems to practically hemorrhage heroes, but most are in cages and are incapable of doing much besides twiddling their thumbs out of boredom. That’s where you come in. Setting them free – or as we prefer to look at it, consuming their souls – lets you steal their powers and carry the torch to glory.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.

Preview: Etrian Odyssey III

“There’s nothing that gets a true RPG geek all hot and bothered for some hardcore dungeon crawling action quite like having to draw our own map charts on virtual graph paper – okay, we’re kidding. But there is a certain hardcore-ness to it, as well as everything else about Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City. This third outing into nigh-endless, dark and dangerous catacombs doesn’t screw around much with the gameplay that made the first two games both brutally challenging and awesomely geeky. But it does offer some fresh goodies that get us good and wet. And not in the way you’re thinking of, pervert (seriously, why go there?).”

Check out the full preview here at GamesRadar.

Hands-On Preview: Disciples III: Renaissance


“Coming out nearly a decade after 2002’s Disciples II, which was old-school even then, Disciples III: Renaissance is obviously a niche offering. The grim, war-torn landscape of Nevandaar, filled with warring gods, demonic hordes, and rampant death, makes a great stomping ground for your battle ready armies – but grid-based fantasy strategy games simply aren’t in vogue these days. But our inner geeks would sign up to pass kidney stones the size of 20-sided dice to get to this game when it ships next week…”

Check out the full hands-on preview here at GamesRadar.

Review: Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow


“It might have a strong identity in some areas–likeable characters, a solid plot, an interesting world to explore–but it’s odd how the Blue Dragon series is constantly reinvented with a different style of gameplay in each installment. Whatever the reasoning behind it, the original Blue Dragon’s traditional turn-based battles were thrown out the window in Blue Dragon Plus on the DS for a full-blown turn-based tactical strategy approach. Now Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow takes the series in a different direction with more of a real-time action focus. This latest change of pace brings a few minor changes to the series and makes room for some decent multiplayer opportunities.”

Check out the full review here at GameSpot.

Review: Record of Agarest War


“Fantasy RPGs are not often without moments of romance and heartbreak, but few such games released in North America are as sexually charged as Record of Agarest War. Even with a mighty war brewing between the forces of good and evil, there’s apparently still plenty of time to peep some supple skin, woo comely maidens, and even make a few babies along the way. But don’t expect to pick up this staggeringly lengthy title and find yourself constantly awash in a sea of sexiness. While that does indeed pop up at regular intervals, the real heart of this game is its deep turn-based combat system.”

Check out the full review here at GameSpot.

Review: Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon


“Post-apocalyptic worlds are all the rage these days. Never mind the fact we may inevitably be one day cast, bruised and battered, into the decimated ruins of our own crumbling society following some global catastrophe; it’s still fun as hell to wander around grim virtual wastelands mingling with other depraved souls struggling to survive by resorting to any means necessary. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon eschews the brutal smash and grab mentality that sucked me into many dozens of hours of loot-hunting slaughter-fests in Fallout 3 and Borderlands, delivering instead a more poetic and introspective journey through a slowly dying world shrouded in darkness.”

Check out the full review here at GamePro.

Review: Infinite Space


“As its name implies, Infinite Space is a vast and expansive sci-fi RPG that will send you rocketing into the furthest reaches of space to show scores of intergalactic baddies who’s boss. Getting caught up in an armed struggle between warring planetary factions has its exciting moments. It’s also a real struggle to enjoy at times, due to a number of substantial gameplay design issues that will gradually erode your enthusiasm until you’re left wondering if the many frustrating hours you’ve sunk into the quest were a fair trade-off for the limited fun it yielded.”

Check out the full review here at GameSpot.

Review: Star Ocean: The Last Hope International


“It seems rather fitting that the end of the long-running Star Ocean series would come around full circle to revisit where the series first began–with the degradation of our beloved homeworld and with humanity teetering on the brink of annihilation. As far as prequels go, Star Ocean: The Last Hope gets a lot of things right in terms of gameplay, even if it falters in other areas. PlayStation 3 owners had to wait an extra year to get a crack at saving the galaxy one last time, and while the few extras and tweaks found in the exclusive international edition may seem a meager reward for your patience, they do make it the more enticing version to own.”

Check out the full review here at GameSpot.

Review: King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame


“Neocore Games didn’t beat around the bush in coming up with an accurately descriptive title for King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame. The game beautifully blends some familiar and engaging war strategy genres into a powerful concoction that’s heavily steeped in Arthurian legend. The King Arthur mythos is ripe with fantastic subject matter and story elements to pluck from, and it’s seamlessly woven throughout the adventure in interesting ways. This epic and challenging quest to unite Britain by sword doesn’t disappoint, but you’re going to need some great fortitude to persevere in your righteous conquest.”

Check out the full review here at Cheat Code Central.