The world would be so much more entertaining if a trip to the local cafe could be interrupted by goblins, and if chests of loot were stored around every corner. Life is Magic seeks to augment the real world by introducing location-based RPG elements, but in the process replaces our everyday grind with another kind of grind entirely. The game's location features are visually impressive, overlaying a fantasy filter over real-world maps wherein local stores become equipment warehouses and restaurants turn to taverns.
If you’re the type of fantasy role-playing gamer more accustomed to orcs and fearless paladins, sliding into the role of an anthropomorphic panda bear is admittedly difficult. But Blizzard has done a fantastic job of creating an engaging story around World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria's Pandaren race. And its new, Asian-inspired continent, with its detailed shrines and stoic monks, may be some of Blizzard’s best work.
Depending on whom you ask, there's a sentiment in some circles that the Japanese games industry is struggling to maintain relevance. While traditional Japanese role-playing games don't clinch the Western market quite as tightly as they once did, The World Ends With You stands as a prime example of the genre's staying power. Actually, it's one of the best role-playing games – regardless of region – we've played in years.