New mechanics, monsters and a gorgeous setting make Monster Hunter Rise a new high-water mark for the franchise. The Wirebug, Switch Skills, Palamute and carefully thought-out monsters shake things up enough to make the game feel fresh for hunters who have previously spent thousands of hours with the series, and while the package could be slightly intimidating for newcomers, it's arguably the ideal place to get started if you're serious about getting into the franchise. And, with a peerless four-player multiplayer experience, the new Rampage quests are a blast. After spending some serious time with the game, it's very easy to say that Monster Hunter Rise is one of the strongest entries into the franchise to date, and another stone-cold classic for the Nintendo Switch.
Though somewhat stylistically uneven, Demon’s Souls PS5 manages to capture the spirit of the original game. The experience is certainly not for everyone, but if you manage to get your head around its steep learning curve and obtuse mechanics, Demon’s Souls will give you a rewarding experience, seeped in an unrelenting and oppressive atmosphere that you will almost certainly never forget.
With a length of over 40 hours to get through the main story, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot might linger a bit too long for those looking for a varied experience, as the variety in sidequests is incredibly lacking. While everything looks pretty enough and a healthy dose of fanservice and nostalgia for those who are diehard Dragon Ball Z fans, it often feels like more effort than it’s worth.
Corpse Party: Blood Drive is the very definition of a mixed bag. Its 3D exploration aspects never quite work and just when you're finally able to settle into playing the game, it suddenly switches back over to another visual novel stretch. Combined with poor pacing in the game's early hours and a lack of any options to help explain the events of the prior games to new players, it feels like Corpse Party: Blood Drive struggles to decide what it wants to be, and despite the occasional show of strength in its writing and characterisation, it ultimately results in a frustrating, inconsistent experience.
Doraemon: Story of Seasons is an enchanting, relaxing romp through a world that is so much simpler than ours. With gorgeous visuals and a never-ending list of things to do, it's unlikely that you'll get bored while playing it. While its slow-pace might turn off some, it's incredibly welcome to play a game where the fate of the world isn't at stake, and you can instead just sit down and decide what plants you might want to grow for the upcoming year.
Call of Cthulhu manages to deliver a game that's ripe with atmosphere but is built upon tried-and-true tropes of the genre that never really manage to evolve beyond the scope of what's already been seen and heard before. Paired with some technical hiccups, we can say that Call of Cthulhu is only really for truly dedicated fans of Lovecraft; everyone else is advised to look elsewhere for their entertainment.
Yu-No: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World was clearly once an incredibly daring visual novel, but some of that sense of mystery is done a disservice when revisiting the concept via this remake.
Despite the bumpy setting and plot, Rebel Cops is a great game to take on the go for a little bit of tactical action. It stands up with stalwarts of the genre, and offers enough challenge and replayability to make you come back for more. Where the game falters is in its UI and quality of life options, but some instances of small text and slightly finicky menus do not take away from what is a solid turn-based tactics game.