Super Mega Baseball 2 is a grounded baseball simulation wrapped in an arcade-style look and feel. An accurate physics engine generates realistic hits, and it keeps stats and models fatigue and morale in interesting ways. This realism is betrayed by a few control issues that affect the timing when batting and an AI that doesn't always behave as you'd expect. However, the unique Ego system allows you to tweak the difficulty of batting and fielding individually until you find the perfect challenge. And while it lacks the MLB license, you could use the accessible customization tools to recreate the entire MLB if you wanted to.
Even though the bleakness is palpable, Frostpunk is a captivating experience. The gameplay is unique and varied, using the best aspects of city-building and survival games, with a little exploration mixed in. The story is engrossing and can go in a variety of ways based on the choices you make. All of this is relayed through outstanding aesthetics and graphical design that make staring at a frozen wasteland more appealing than you'd expect. Most original, though, are the ethical quandaries that Frostpunk raises, forcing you to balance the needs of individual and survival of the city without sacrificing your humanity.
The strength of the MLB The Show series has always been its authentic gameplay, which traditionally does a fantastic job capturing the essence of baseball. The 2018 version of The Show continues that trend, creating the most realistic baseball game to date. However, the nuanced gameplay and visual changes don't quite make up for the lack of innovation – or removal – of MLB The Show's core modes.
Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock pleasantly checks a lot of boxes: Sci-fi tactics and strategy; good controls; proper Battlestar Galactica game with attention to detail. That it does so with enjoyable and challenging gameplay makes it easy to overlook the less-than-stellar graphics and interface issues in the strategy layer.
Overall, I really like the theme and setting of RAID: WWII, especially considering its irreverent tone that evokes memories of Inglorious Basterds. But even though I'm a sucker for all things WWII, the bullet-spongy enemies, lackluster unlocks and customization, and poor mission variety don't excite me enough to want to play beyond a few rounds. And while it's putting the cart before the horse, without a strong community of users to drop into a raid with, there's even less reason to stick it to Nazi Germany in this particular instance. Very little in RAID: WWII is absurdly broken or flawed, but its mediocrity makes it a missed opportunity to create a highly replayable co-op game within the WWII shooter genre.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is by no means a great game, though its value is raised by short and varied missions, fun action elements, and an ability to make me feel like a legit action hero. Regardless of how much it borrows from other games, I can't deny that I had a good time blowing through missions and enemy troops. However, the poor graphics and technical issues like long loading times and crashes occasionally ruined the fun. And, minus any sort of multiplayer, there's not a lot of reason to go back.
Overall, MLB The Show 17 builds on last year's version, which many cited as the best in the series, by adding some key features and improvements. Most notable are increased hit variety, MLB Network integration, and the RTTS documentary. All of these additions make the game feel more like real baseball. This authenticity makes games more fun to play, as it's easier than ever to become invested in every pitch.
As a game that attempts to represent one of those relatively minor sports, this is a good effort despite a relatively limited set of features. Gameplay, as bland as it is, does offer something new and is certainly functional. In all, this game feels like an indie title you'd find on the Xbox 360, like the well received College Lacrosse 2012. Unfortunately, this game comes with a much steeper price tag of $40. At that price, I can't recommend this title to anyone except a die-hard handball fan who's hankering for some virtual action.