If you find yourself in the right frame of mind, the unhinged nature of Saints Row can be cathartic, particularly if you find yourself in a good series of missions where the writing and humour aren’t too manic, and the action isn't too humdrum. In the end, Saints Row succeeds in recalling and refreshing the affable personality of the dormant series, but this reboot is simply a return, not an evolution.
Essentially, Midnight Fight Express’s approach to enemy behaviour echoes the approach of challenging retro arcade brawlers, but its more grounded fighting mechanics don’t feel suitable for the pace. And it’s this off-kilter balance between your character’s own ability, the effectiveness of environmental weapons, and the aggressiveness of the enemies that is ultimately to the detriment of its longer-term gratification.
Even if tell you that I think Bluey: The Videogame deserved a bigger budget, more development time, and bigger emphasis on the narrative, if the target market keeps pestering me to hang out in it every day, can I really ignore that intrinsic enjoyment?
Viewfinder is a short and sharp exploration of a strong concept that builds an unimposing space to play with those ideas, and fosters a mild, continual hum of gratification as you go on that journey. A pleasant exercise in gently massaging your brain synapses, it’s like a brisk refreshment that leaves you feeling slightly more satisfied when you’re done.
Taken as a leisurely journey where the goal isn’t the be-all and end-all, Tchia can be a very pleasant getaway into a playground of delightful sights, sounds, and toys to play with. As a series of quests, it can feel ordinary. But as an escape to another place, it can be wondrous.
Despite being an undeniably beautiful piece of work, its identity as a weapon combat game lacks edge. I’m glad I stuck with it until the end – some of the late-game setpieces are certainly a sight to behold – but I left Trek to Yomi in a hungry search for something else that would give me the inherent satisfaction that comes from feeling the impact and hearing the sound of crossing blades.
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition represents two examples of game preservation with varying results. The sharper, more accessible, but poorer-performing Chrono Cross is both a blessing and a curse. But the debut of an official English translation of Radical Dreamers is a moment to celebrate as a Chrono and video game history fan.
Ghostwire: Tokyo’s open world city is beautiful, and its world-building, environment and creature designs are also excellent. But even with a sensible runtime and a brisk plot, the game spends too much time engaging you in repeating, unchanging, and unexciting activities. It’s the terrible and taxing curse of open world monotony, plaguing a piece of work that otherwise has so many unique and original ideas.
Once you leave the world of Extraction, it’s very hard to muster up the enthusiasm to go back in. Sure, there’s an endless cycle of parasitic aliens invading, but I know that no matter how much time I put in, the reward for doing a good job is just going to be more work to do.