F-Zero 99 scratches a very specific itch where gamers can get an intense and thrilling rush for a bit before moving on to something else. It will be very disappointing when Nintendo inevitably terminates the service for it because it is some of the best F-Zero content since F-Zero GX.
Despite its outward appearance as a cheerful and friendly-looking game, Tiny Thor harbours a formidable array of challenges that can prove to be surprisingly daunting. It provides an unrelenting challenge for even the most experienced players, and yet feels endearingly satisfying and rewarding. Tiny Thor unveils itself as a remarkably intense, gratifying - and also highly accessible - action platformer, standing as one of the most demanding and rewarding experiences within its genre.
Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal is a largely satisfying portable interpretation of the classic assassination simulator. While technical constraints result in visual compromises and the save system oversight undermines intended difficulty, the core gameplay loop remains engaging and the intuitive controls facilitate smooth execution. The convenience and versatility of playing Blood Money on the go outweighs some of the port's limitations, making it a worthwhile proposition for fans and newcomers alike.
The Wonderful One: After School Hero is a very fun diversion and was worth the wait. It is noticeably low budget, but PlatinumGames' ingenuity shines through in this lean, mean, but clean mini adventure. For its price, it largely delivers the thrills and is packed with enough variety to make replays enjoyable.
There are over 500 monsters in Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince, and over 40 hours of main story to trudge through. Fans will get a lot of bang for their buck, but expect to wince at the presentation which is embarrassingly low for Dragon Quest standards. The battles in the colosseums are a little tense to watch as the AIs smack each other around, but are otherwise tedious. The substance of Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince is in being the coach to a team of cartoony-looking Toriyama monsters.
Howl's pace is a brisk whirlwind of quick turns and calculated moves. Its imagery is a charming blend of whimsy and violence, dancing across the screen with a playful ferocity. Yet, beneath this surface, a shallowness lurks. The challenge lies not in the depths of its strategy, but in the player's ability to exploit the predictable patterns of its adversaries. These creatures of the wilderness, though fierce in their appearance, are ultimately creatures of habit, their actions dictated by algorithms and predictable responses. Howl isn't a test of tactical prowess, but a puzzle of exploitation. A game of manipulation, where the gamers are mastermind puppeteers in the shadows, orchestrating the movements of their foes to their own ends.
Despite its gameplay flaws, Red Dead Redemption is a classic on seventh gen consoles. Its well-crafted characters and script are among the era's best. It's a technological marvel with meticulous attention to detail. While the gameplay may require adaptation on the player's part, it's worth it because Red Dead Redemption's overall experience is greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Sea of Stars may not be a legitimate Chrono Trigger 2, but it does feel like it a lot of the time. This is largely due to the music, visuals and the break-neck pace that keeps the story from ever getting dull. The protagonists will not endear gamers, but the setting, side characters, and atmosphere will. It seamlessly weaves in homages while showcasing greater originality than initially apparent. It stands as an artistic triumph, excelling in both visuals and audio, with its engrossing turn-based combat embodying impeccable design.
This new iteration of Quake II is the definitive approach to remastering a classic. The past melds seamlessly with the present, as not only are the two original expansions resurrected, but the very campaign from Quake II 64 is transposed. The new campaign crafted by the hands of MachineGames is a testament to the fusion of innovation and nostalgia. This revitalization becomes a symphony of rejuvenation, as the past is reborn in the crucible of the present, leaving players to navigate a world that is both familiar and novel, both retro and modern. This is not just a remaster; it's a journey through time, a testament to the power of transformation.
Brok the InvestiGator sets you up with frustrating questions and then leaves them hanging. It even throws in sequel bait just to tease. There are multiple endings, but it feels like they got dropped in without much thought, leaving a feeling of wanting more. The blend of genres is a beauty, hitting those noir thriller tropes while revelling in chaotic fun. Truth be told, it falls short of tying it all together in a way that satisfies.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was always a hidden gem that deserves recognition for its innovative gameplay, engaging storyline, and charming presentation. It successfully blends puzzle-solving elements with an intriguing narrative, making it a must-play for fans of the adventure and mystery genres. A unique and memorable gaming experience, this captivating journey as a ghostly detective is definitely worth embarking upon.
.hack//G.U. Last Recode is a remaster of PlayStation 2 games... and it shows. The resolution is crisp and razor-sharp, but there is no hiding how basic these character models are. Lead characters fare best, but most NPCs are hopelessly devoid of detail or articulation - typically stuck with frozen expressions, too. On Nintendo Switch, .hack//G.U. Last Recode runs a perfectly stable 30 frames per second. The new bonus chapter is an epilogue where gamers can find out what has happened to all the characters that they have grown attached to. It is a welcome addition and lasts a few hours, but is ultimately unnecessary.
Sol Cresta can be a little annoying with its mechanics for anyone who is willing to take the time to get good at it. There are way better scrolling shooters already on Nintendo Switch and the one thing that makes this one notable is the pedigree behind it. At the very least, the music is pure fire and energy - some of Koshiro's best work to date.
Cuphead & The Delicious Last Course is absolutely recommended to anyone who never played the original when it came out. Everyone else will get lots of fun out of the DLC, but it all depends on how much the vanilla game was enjoyed. Cuphead & The Delicious Last Course is more of the same, and for some people, Cuphead is already an acquired taste.
The online module of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is effectively broken and useless. Everything feels way too slow and unresponsive. Matches will also end randomly or never happen at all. However, the local play works exactly as intended and the story mode is as entertaining as the goofy and boisterous manga that it is based on. At the end of the day, Araki's style and the strong JoJo flavour is what elevates this Tekken-like fighting game from being completely average.
Somerville's greatest flaw is just how boring it is. It is more of a walking-sim than a platforming-adventure game. Reactive objects are also colour-coded yellow, so there is never any question about what to do. This robs any sense of discovery in a title that is already so tightly focused on pushing players forward. The terribly slow walking speed will pad out Somerville's length to around four to five hours, when there is maybe only two hours of actual substance. Traditionally, these kinds of games are short but make up for it with excellent pacing. Somerville feels like a flatline for most of the entire run.
Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary goes for a stark and minimalistic style. This is still present in the more detailed and gritty look of this re-release and the new details elevate the ambiance. There isn't much that could have been done to what could laughingly be referred to as the "story". The plot is exactly the same as it was, recycling the exact voice over narration of two characters. Interestingly, Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary offers a mode that edits out all story development involving characters and background music that drives the narrative. This mode borders on being pointless, but playing the game in this manner does change the atmosphere and adds a stronger sense of mystery due to the lack of explanation of everything.
Super Kiwi 64 is a very pleasant and cathartic experience for anyone who grew up playing Nintendo 64 or for children who are learning to play 3D games. There are not too many obstacles, most threats aren't threatening, and Kiwi's mobility and tight controls make him manageable for neophytes.
Yomawari: Lost in the Dark is more of the same. The custom avatar was an almost meaningless addition and it plays itself extremely safe. Fortunately, those who are looking to play an atmospheric and moody horror game will find that this latest entry is just as scary as the rest. There are some choice jump moments and the ambiance keeps players in a constant state of dread and unease.
For a game called Buddy Simulator 1984, the "1984" part is not as crucial an aspect as one would think. The game transforms and reinvents itself several times over as the story unfolds, and a majority of these are nowhere near as crude as actual computer software from the mid 1980s. There are some genuinely fun scares to compliment a clingy and abusive AI friend. The command line mechanic may not work as intended on a console controller, but at least the soundtrack is incredible.