The PlayStation Easter Sale is now live, but it's a bit of a free-for-all that's burying some absolutely fantastic bargains. Especially, it turns out, for a host of brilliant niche JRPGs that weren't even mentioned on the PlayStation Blog.
Having reviewed all of them, however, we'd like to shine the spotlight on what we'd consider to be the highlights, and explain exactly why they deserve your attention.
"Tales Of Hearts R is a fantastic handheld RPG and one of the most impressive remakes of recent years. Expect a top-quality JRPG experience from start to finish, even if it's a touch familiar in parts." - 8/10 review
"Tears To Tiara 2 is nearly crushed under the weight of its sluggish opening act, but once it gets going, this fascinating SRPG hits a unique groove. Great turn-based tactics, superb characters and surprisingly accurate Punic Wars setting make for a rough little diamond that deserves your attention.
If you have the time and patience to spare, Tears To Tiara 2 could well be one of this year's left-field highlights." - 7/10 review
"Demon Gaze is a superb grid-based dungeon crawler that streamlines the oft-impenetrable genre, yet fleshes it out in numerous exciting ways. A strong, smart and sexy addition to the Vita's JRPG lineup, if occasionally a little too sexy for its own good." - 8/10 review
"Fairy Fencer F feels like a huge step in the right direction. Lazy level design and primitive visuals bring down the package, but the quirky dialogue, interesting overarching storyline, unique gameplay systems and superb combat make for a worthwhile romp for genre fans." - 7/10 review
"Akiba's Trip is one of the most pleasant surprises of the year. What was marketed as shameful fanservice is actually an anarchic, innovative, big-hearted and even-handed love letter to all things Otaku and geeky, propped up by stunning localisation and a great cast of characters, and that makes up for a fair few clumsy shortcomings with its uninhibited cheeky sense of fun.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, don't miss this left-field gem." - 8/10 review
Not technically a JRPG, but this is my list and I'm including it anyway. Because it's awesome.
"One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 is a hectic and unapologetically over-the-top brawler that's worthy of the license. If you're a fan of the anime or just fancy a more vibrant and exciting take on the Dynasty Warriors franchise, it's hard not to recommend this weighty serving of colourful catharsis." - 8/10 review
Natural Doctrine | £14.99 (PS Vita)
"Natural Doctrine gets so much right. A strong premise, great top-level strategic mechanics, sensational skill system and ruthless tactical battles ought to have made this a left-field cult smash.
So it breaks my heart that what could have been the niche Japanese XCOM is scuppered by its obsession with being as obtuse and punishing as possible, willing to obscure and even break its own rules in the process. Iron-willed veterans with a stomach for sadism might find much to love here, but conflicted as I am, I just can't recommend it in good conscience." - 4/10 review
One of our more controversial reviews, courtesy of Brendan. But one I fully agree with!
"Think Soul Sacrifice set in the future but with worse upgrades and less combat features. The smooth online co-op missions don't gel properly with making your way through the campaign though and the small number of enemy types and environments make this one of the poorer Monster Hunter clones out there. Play Soul Sacrifice/Diablo III instead or buy a Wii U/3DS for Monster Hunter." - 4/10 review
"The combat system could have worked if they’d have removed the Scratch bar or more importantly severed the link between the Hero Actions and your health. It’s just so miserably hard, even seasoned RPG players will be shocked at the game’s attitude. If you’ve finished all the other console RPGs that have come out recently (out of work are we?) and you like pain and anguish, then by all means step up." - 6/10 review
Not exactly 'overlooked' but still an absolute corker!
"One of the best JRPGs of the last decade, Ni No Kuni is in many ways a love letter to a genre slowly fading away into obscurity. Brimming with imaginative aesthetics, and packing a hefty emotional punch or two in spite of its rather clichéd story, Level-5 and Studio Ghibli have worked wonders to whisk us away to another world. An utter triumph in roleplaying escapism in a game that manages to stand on the shoulders of the genre's best to deliver a modern classic." - 9/10 review
And more besides!
- Sword Art Online: Hallow Fragment hallow fragment | £19.99
- Atelier Ayesha | £17.99
- Yakuza dead souls | £6.19
- Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory | £11.99
Make your money go even further by bookmarking our cheap PlayStation + and PSN Wallet deals guide! Check out the rest of the PlayStation Easter Sale here.
Special thanks to BuzzDuraband, who brought this to my attention this morning.