Will Final Fantasy diehards get a kick out of Stranger of Paradise? It's hard to say. There are multiple enjoyable nods to past games throughout the levels, enemies and pieces of lore. The soundtrack is excellent, featuring remixed or remastered themes of multiple games. The combat is fast paced and the extensive job system takes the Final Fantasy system of old and thoroughly modernises it. Yet the game is decidedly un-Final Fantasy. Exploration is minimal, the story takes far too long to get going, the dialogue is often laughable and the characters are mostly bland blank slates. As an over the top action cheese-fest, the game puts points on the board. Just don't expect it to compete with the greatest hits.
Despite the performance issues there is plenty to like here. The story is engaging and the characters are likeable. Using the Monstrum abilities adds a genuinely new layer to the core Ys gameplay and combat remains a blast to play through. The Switch may crumble a little under the weight of the game, but Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is still highly recommended.
So FIFA ends its run on this console generation as the undisputed champion of sales, and will probably remain that way for years to come. Whether EA will try to further innovate the actual game, or if they even want to remains unseen. eFootball PES continues to outshine it on a pure gameplay level, but without the flashy licenses and expensive bells and whistles many will be content to keep rolling with EA's juggernaut. FIFA is still a fun game to play and at times can still be addictive as anything. You just can't help but wish for those two or three major signings that would take it to the next level.
Marvel's Avengers seems uncomfortable with itself. The single player campaign is charming and only lags in the areas that feature dull loot collecting sections. The post-game features fun combat in a co-op setting but can be a genuine drag to slog through. Overall the game is lacking a sense of life and variety to compliment the fun combat. It's a shame because playing as the Avengers is a delightful experience, with each hero having its own endearing play quirks. Perhaps future updates will nail the balance, but right now it's not quite worthy of lifting Thors Hammer.
Deadly Premonition is both very hard and very easy to recommend. For fans of the series it's a no-brainer. It's another 30 hours with York and his gang of nutty friends. The story is Twin Peaks meets True Detective put through several extra filters of oddness. For newcomers to the series the gameplay, graphics, animation and loading times may simply be insurmountable obstacles. For those that can look past it there are so many interesting ideas at play and the game can be genuine fun. In short it sucks, but it may also be one of the more interesting games of the year. It's destined to be a Let's Play classic.
So, does Final Fantasy VII Remake live up to the standards set all those years ago? Overall, yes. The world is lively, the script is well written and the combat feels natural. There is still a long way to go in the saga yet, but with these bones it feels like Square Enix has the potential to build something great. The first instalment strikes a great balance of catering to long-time fans while opening up the tale to a newer generation. If you don't like it, there's always the original. This trip to Midgar is well worth taking, even if it feels like the best may be yet to come.
Syberia and its sequels suffer a common fate with many classic games released on the Switch. It is expensive. 15-year-old PC games should not be double the price of pieces of genius like Celeste, there is a problem. Nostalgia should not extend to the feeling of knowing you've been ripped off because Electronics Boutique is the only store in town that carries the game you desire. If these games were half the price, I'd suggest looking in to two hidden gems of a mistreated genre. As it stands, I hesitate to whole-heartedly endorse it. Fans of the series may get a kick out of it, but there's so much more out there.
The lack of changes to the gameplay are emblematic of the series as a whole. As PES continues to tweak its on-field game, FIFA tweaks the modes surrounding it. These tweaks are a success overall but the game finds itself lagging behind. Ultimately none of this matters. FIFA fans are going to continue to eat up the game and PES fans are going to continue to think of themselves as football purists. If you like FIFA, the new Volta mode is a ton of fun and the upgrades all around make it worthwhile. If you hate FIFA, this won't change your mind.
Ultimately the question everyone is asking, is it better than FIFA? It comes down to personal preference. PES 2020 undoubtedly plays a better more compelling version of the beautiful game. But some people will never get over the unlicensed content, and the extremely little effort Konami seems to place on anything outside of the on the pitch action. The effort Konami has made into the on the pitch action deserves notice. T hey've once again tweaked the formula and made an exciting yet realistic game of football. Not quite a wonder goal, but you've got to appreciate the effort put in.