OTHER: Her Loving Embrace by Chimera Labs

I like RPGs, I really do, but they weren’t exactly a genre I personally grew up with. While their aesthetics and narratives greatly appealed to me, the controls and mechanics felt largely impenetrable when access to consoles was no longer an issue. Chrono Trigger was arguably my first run in with SQUARESOFT style action RPGs, and came across as a vivid revelation, refreshing due in no small part to its hybridized turn based system and elegant overworld navigation.

OTHER: Her Loving Embrace is the kind of game that reminds me why I got into RPGs in the first place.

One thing that stands out immediately about Chimera Lab’s entry into the genre is it employs a clever mix of platforming and fighting game mechanics into the combat system, it’s smooth, it’s intuitive, and It’s actually incredibly challenging. For whatever reason, it’s these sorts of dynamic fighting mechanics in RPGs that make it all click together in a very easy-to-grasp-hard-to-master sort of way.

A crisp, immediately distinct SEGA style soundfont gives it a tremendous amount of personality, because as enjoyable as many classic nintendo soundtracks are, there’s just a sort of funky vibe that SEGA titles managed to cultivate with their chiptune scores.

In an era where nostalgia is extremely cheap these days, OTHER managed to grab my attention, cutting through my deeply wedged cynicism. The demo is worth a look, especially given that they’re currently running a kickstarter campaign to fund the full game’s development. Once you see it in motion, the reasons we’re so smitten will become quite self-evident.

OTHER has a strong grasp of tangible mechanics that tunnel through the meta layer that divides the overworld and combat dynamics, unifying the experience and giving everything an incredibly grounded presence.

Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice