Monster Hunter 4 has a great game full of options, activities, and a vast world to explore and immerse yourself in living somewhere deep inside of it. And it will even show you these things. But its questionable design and control decisions suck all the fun out of it and make you feel every second of your time in the untamed wild.
Chaos Theory can't escape the shadow of its superior predecessor, but that's not to say it's a bad experience. Once you power through the dull fetch quests and irritating Chloe Time, it manages to provide some powerful moments and the best ending of any episode so far.
Chapter 1 of this five-part series is off to a promising, if timid, start. It presents a lot of ideas and mechanics just to show you what you'll be doing later, but it's pretty clear that the really interesting bits are yet to come. Still, this is a game worth checking out if you can handle the unavoidable alerts and iffy art choices.
You should definitely try Hohokum if only to understand how weird and hard to describe it is. Some will appreciate its laid-back attitude and guidance allergy. It's certainly a beautiful and unique title, and I enjoyed playing it, but you should bring along some extra patience just in case.
While shooting fascists in video games will likely always be fun, The New Order falters when it's trying to decide how you should feel about it. Its options and ridiculously sized weapons provide a lot of enjoyment, but the story tries so hard to be serious that it forgets that this is a game that includes Moon Nazis.
Escape Plan Bravo marks a departure in setting and tone for the series, but the humor, fun, and charm of the series remains intact. It's the funniest installment yet, and despite a few technical hiccups, it will have you preemptively sad that a series this entertaining only has one episode left.
Dark Room doesn't give you much room to complain, unless you hate things that make you have feelings. It's the best-paced, most emotional entry yet, and it handles its super-serious subject matter with skill and maturity. This is the chapter we've been waiting to play since the beginning.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is an amazing conclusion to the beloved puzzle series. Its variety and clever storytelling make it the most interesting and well-executed installment of the franchise, and it’s nice to see that after six games, Level-5 can keep surprising players with intriguing, surprisingly moving plots and hundreds of clever puzzles. I’m sorry to see the main series end, but if it must, this is exactly how to do it.
Murdered: Soul Suspect is one of the most surprisingly good games I've played in a long time. It manages to sell its bizarre premise and builds a solid, moving story out of it, and the plot-propelling investigations add immensely to the detective feel. Walking around as a ghost is clever and entertaining, and it even manages to inject variety into some of gaming's most overused elements.
Life Is Strange's conclusion is as effective and powerful an ending as we could hope for. It's been an emotional, haunting, and often ridiculous time following Max and her friends on their timey-wimey quest, and I'm going to miss them.
Episode 5 cements the series as Telltale's best
Judging by its content alone, LittleBigPlanet 3 is easily the greatest value for your money this year. But beyond that, it's a fun, deep, and endlessly charming experience that has plenty of ways to entertain and amuse you. This is the PlayStation 4's first must-buy title.