As a game, Star Fox Zero isn't so much broken as deeply and disappointingly lacking in inspiration. Shiny but not smooth, it's a game about a space-faring fox in a spaceship that turns into a chicken without any sense of joy, and that might be the biggest disappointment of all.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime may or may not be a great game to play on a date. (Is there even such a thing? Shouldn't there be?) It definitely isn't sexy, and it doesn't have anything to say at all about love as a thing you feel. It is a fantastic engine, however, to enact love as a thing that you do.
There is a certain telos to the platformer, a process of movement bound up in a particular path to a determined destination through a specific set of obstacles. Similarly, iteration tends to be bound to sequence, starting with relative simplicity and slowly building complexity or variation through a regular series of modifications.
But these moments are too few and too far between, in a brief but well-designed puzzle game that really just doesn't need them. There's a strong tradition of puzzle games enlivened by the voices that inhabit their world, but the more I look at Pneuma, the more I am forced to conclude that it would be better if it simply had the confidence to be silent.
True to this experience, Her Story finally operates with a sort of functional ambiguity under its veneer of objective presentation. The player is presented with a crime and a sole suspect. By the end, there is even a narrative of what exactly took place, but no archive is ever truly complete, and all the information is never really all the information. You will have questions at the end of Her Story. Making sure that they're the right ones may require figuring out exactly who is looking and how, though which camera and on which screen.
In places, Life Is Strange utilizes familiar gestures toward unhurriedness, allowing the player to direct Max quickly to the obvious and clearly designated story/action waypoints, or to meander instead, examining objects and pursuing optional conversations. The moments in the second episode that truly stand out, however, are the ones where the game allows Max to just sit down, and, after a bit of not-great but not-awful internal monologue, just be where she is, as long as she and the player want.
Don't let its electro beat fool you. Crypt of the NecroDancer belongs in a jazz club, a live, imperfect performance, sometimes fumbling and sometimes transcendent, where preparation can become improvisation with an audience shouting "go, that's right, go!"
In horror, we confront monsters, and survival is the only operational term. The resolving state is trauma rather than malaise. Forgiveness is a non sequitur. For a game whose design dwells so deeply and strikingly in darkness, it is unhappily ironic that the story prefers at the end to turn toward an illusory light.
All of this will likely be tremendously appealing to a particular sort of player, and Aaru's Awakening clearly deserves a certain recognition for putting its own twist on the unforgiving 2D platformer. But if you are going to enter this world, know that the extrinsic rewards are few. The challenge is really all there is. The gods give only what they will, and are unconcerned with whether mortals find it sufficient.
As adventure park, Far Cry 4 performs admirably well. There are ample opportunities and excuses to do within its bounds whatever it is you want to do. The particular darkness of its narrative might be a bit more basic cable than HBO, but there are other parks if that's not your sort of thing. This is the kind of place where even your enemies love you, as long as you say yes to everything. That's the price of admission. Well, that and $60.