13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is one of the most unique experiences on the market, combining a twisty, non-linear story – told in segments that resemble visual novels or old-school point-and-click adventure games – with tactical battles that play like a cross between a strategy RPG and an intense tower defense game.
Although there are no other games that offer the same experience, there are quite a few games that share some of its basic characteristics. If you’ve just beaten the latest Vanillaware and are looking for another meaty experience to dive into, here are some places to start.
Alright, yeah, you might have played this one before; if you enjoyed the relatively niche 13 Sentinels, you’ve almost certainly experienced its more mainstream cousin released by Atlus. But if you managed to miss this huge, delicious JRPG, consider it a sign from the universe to pick it up.
13 Sentinels and Persona 5 follow a slew of animated teenagers as they develop their relationships with each other and realize they face the world. The royal re-release of the latter adds even more content.
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a high definition remaster of 13 Sentinels developer’s first big hit, Vanillaware, and there’s a definite family resemblance. Both games feature overlapping non-linear storylines, a cutscene viewer that organizes the plot into a cohesive whole, and jaw-dropping 2D art.
But Odin Sphere is also self-contained, with a unique Viking-inspired fantasy atmosphere and fun, fast-paced combat. It’s a great game on its own, not just because you can see its younger brother’s DNA.
before Square rpg mission
13 Sentinels’ big hook is its combination of visual novel storytelling and tactical combat, and if you’ve dug halfway through the game’s mech strategy, then Front Mission is a no-brainer. Its strategy gameplay is certainly a lot more serious than 13 Sentinels – there’s tremendous depth here if you spend the time learning the game’s overlapping systems – but the two games share a cool anime/sci-fi aesthetic like hell.
Plus, Front Mission is getting a gorgeous HD remake on the Switch, so there’s never been a better time to get into it.
VA-11 Hall-A: cyberpunk bartender action
Say I described a game as featuring “visual novel-style storytelling set in a futuristic world with a unique gameplay twist.” Sounds like 13 Sentinels, right? In fact, the game I’m talking about is VA-11 Hall-A. Surprise!
Its subtitle, “Cyberpunk Bartender Action”, is a good description of what to expect – it’s set in a cyberpunk dystopia, where you play as a bartender. You’ll listen to your customers’ stories as you prepare their drinks, and your bartending skills will determine the path of the story. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to live in a neon cybernetic cityscape, this is your game.
Demon X Machina
13 Sentinels is a game of giant robots playable on Switch. Daemon X Machina is another game about giant robots… which is playable on Switch. Need I say more?
Daemon X Machina is much more action-oriented than 13 Sentinels, with real-time combat taking place in massive arena-style locations. It also features a huge range of customization options, so you can outfit your mech like you would in real life…if you could pilot a mech in real life. They really need to work on this.
Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
If you’re looking for value for your visual novel, Zero Escape: The Nonary Games is calling you. It is a set of all three games in the Zero Escape series, which combines elements of horror, sci-fi and mystery. Like 13 Sentinels, the games mix visual novel segments with more gameplay-focused sections; but unlike the old game’s robot battles, Zero Escape features brain-twisting puzzles where you attempt to bust characters out of trap rooms.
Developer Spike Chunsoft would later create the massive Danganronpa series, but Zero Escape’s sci-fi leanings make it a natural fit alongside 13 Sentinels.
Like 13 Sentinels, Radiant Historia is an RPG released by Atlus dealing with time travel and branching paths. And while Radiant Historia is definitely a more traditional JRPG in terms of gameplay and aesthetics, it shares another important quality with 13 Sentinels: it absolutely rocks.
Unsatisfactory time travel takes on a dime a dozen, so Radiant Historia’s thoughtful storytelling is truly refreshing, while its turn-based combat system offers plenty of strategic possibilities. Its 3DS port, Perfect Chronology, includes updated art and voice acting, but either version is worth following.
A delightful action game from the maestros at Platinum Games, Astral Chain actually shares quite a bit of DNA with 13 Sentinels. Both games have a dystopian sci-fi edge, both emphasize adventure game-style hangout segments, and both feature characters teaming up with powerful humanoid weaponry to battle others. invaders.
However, Astral Chain’s fast-paced combat is much more complex and intense – which makes sense from the studio that created Bayonetta.
Really consider this entry a placeholder for any quality SRPGs on the Switch; it’s just that Triangle Strategy is one of the best. This is the latest “HD-2D” game after Octopath Traveler pioneered the aesthetic, featuring old-school sprites animated on 3D environments with earthy colors and cutting-edge lighting effects. the breath.
Like 13 Sentinels, it’s an incredibly striking game to watch. And like 13 Sentinels, Triangle Strategy is built around a combination of deep storytelling and strategic battles, so it has a lot to offer if you’ve dug Vanillaware’s teen mech simulator.
To deny: automata
So we’re ending this list as it began: with a game you’ve almost certainly played. And if not, what are you waiting for?
Nier: Automata is one hell of a sci-fi action-RPG, with unique characters and a stunning story that questions the very nature of humanity, set in a future world where all bets are off and nearly all life is artificial. In other words, it’s a great sidekick to 13 Sentinels, with plenty of anime nonsense and a punchy soundtrack.
NEXT: Things That Make No Sense In 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
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