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Best 3DS RPG

Monster Hunter Stories

Best 3DS RPG
Second Place
Third Place


The release of a new Monster Hunter title is a momentous occasion. 2017 saw fans of the franchise get a brand new handheld spin-off, Monster Hunter Stories. Though the game breaks from what the series offered in the past, the end result is nonetheless an outstanding outing featuring new gameplay elements that would appeal to an audience outside the series' traditional scope. Being able to collect and raise your own Monsties provides the collecting satisfaction, while a turn-based rock-paper-scissors combat system shuffles some new strategies into battle encounters.

Monster Hunter Stories is worthy of praise in many areas, not least of which is its commitment to present handheld RPGamers with a lengthy quest with triple-A presentation values, not to mention truckloads of post-game and downloadable content to round out this impressive package. Graphics are simply stunning, with buttery-smooth animations particularly noteworthy for its many attack skill animations. The distinctive cast of colorful characters puts the proverbial cherry on top of an already outstanding title. It's no wonder itís our pick for Best 3DS RPG of 2017.

Ever Oasis is an entirely new IP, but this action RPG was directed and produced by none other than Koichi Ishii, the creator of the Mana series. Comparisons to the long-running franchise are inevitable, but there is plenty to enjoy about this 3DS title in its own right. Ever Oasis has an imaginative setting with aesthetics and lore borrowed from Egyptian mythology. The graphics and art style are cute, colorful, and vibrant. The combat is fairly simple, but fun, though the real joy of gameplay comes in the clever puzzles found in dungeons. Developing and upgrading the game's titular oasis by enticing new people to take up residence and upgrading shops is also quite engaging and surprisingly addictive. While Ever Oasis passed under many RPGamers' radars, it is a rather enjoyable 3DS game.

It's kind of funny to think that Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia hasn't been changed a great deal from its original rendition on the Famicom. Sure, it looks much nicer, its sound has been enormously enhanced, and some features were added — but the core of the game is fully recognizable from 1992. Of course, it wouldn't have garnered so many fans if the original Famicom interface and its multitudinous inefficiencies had been preserved, but it's telling that not a lot of modernization needed to happen in order for people to appreciate it a great deal.

by Pascal Tekaia, Cassandra Ramos, Mike Moehnke


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