The Chant is a surprising and impressive experience. It runs tight and brief; rarely wasting time but allowing enough breathing room for the player to explore at their own pace. It looks amazing, has excellent acting and a compelling narrative that explores some unconventional topics for a horror game. It is too bad it rarely is scary and is too easy. Making Jess a terrible fighter would probably be a worse design choice, but The Chant really needs to have more threatening foes and redesign them to be scarier. Fighting a massive toad that has a shark-like head feels more like something out of an off-brand Resident Evil than a 70s-inspired horror game with a new-age mysticism bent to it.
Poker Club is good for anyone interested in a very realistic looking poker sim with a big emphasis on tournament play. What you see is what you get, but it is much slower and more flashy than one might expect. The customisation options are impressive, but the beauty only goes skin deep.
Sanity of Morris is going to be remembered as one of those kinds of ironic and unintentionally funny video games. While it is not quite Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, the lack of quality control and effort suggests the developers leaned heavily on their concept. The idea of a grounded stealth/horror experience, with adventure-style puzzle-solving is an easy sell to a lot of people. The only problem is that Sanity of Morris does not even try.
Dungeon Encounters is a very difficult game to fault for its premise. It has very specific goals and it achieves them, much to the chagrin of the player and it achieves its goals thoroughly. This is definitely not something for the average Square Enix fan and caters more towards gamers who enjoy the likes of The Dark Spire or very old dungeon crawlers. Expect to have to rely on imagining the adventure and the battles, because of how nothing is ever realised in text or visuals. This is a hard title to recommend to general audiences, but for those who are truly hardcore RPG maniacs, Dungeon Encounters might be worth exploring.
Rekt! High Octane Stunts is a very lightweight stunt game. The casual play style, and easy to grasp controls, make it a decent option for children. There is very little penalty for failure, and the package is dense with unlockable content. It is a humble, often boring, yet endearing title that is easy on the eyes. The most challenging quality within, is playing for long sessions. Rekt!'s style is only enjoyable in short bursts and anything more than two hours will make players enter an existential fugue state.
Fez is a very easy-going experience for the most part, but it is also very capable of presenting a diabolical challenge to anyone looking for one. The descent to an otherworldly nightmare glitch-world is something that is not often done in video games, yet it makes a lot of sense; especially for something that focuses on a theme of perception and dimension. While the creator of Fez may have his issues, his game has very few and is very pleasant to play.
Tales from the Borderlands's visuals have aged poorly and the animation quality won't impress anyone, but the centre of the experience is the characters and story. Coming into this and expecting a traditional Borderlands experience will only lead to disappointment. This is enjoyable for people who have never played any Borderlands title, or for fans of the setting who want to see the universe get further fleshed out. The sense of humour is still intact, for better and for worse: it can be a bit exhausting for every character to be a snarky and sarcastic rogue, but at least they do have heart where it counts.
DARQ: Complete Edition is a very curious and compelling living nightmare. Fans of puzzle adventures games like Myst or Broken Sword will find the alluring mystery and quandaries to solve to be very satisfying. The art direction is impressive, and for a title that was developed by an incredibly small team, it is comparable to mid-level developed indie creations. It is simplicity in a very pure form, and that is why it works so well... at least when it doesn't glitch.
Beautiful Desolation is a very unique and different kind of adventure game. It has a tremendous amount of respect for the player to figure things out, but also has little respect for their time too. The writing is very engaging, and the acting is surprisingly exceptional. The South African flavour of the cast adds a ton of personality to the experience; Mark and Don's chemistry feels very real, and their slang and colloquialisms make them very unlikely video game characters. They're both schlubby guys in their '40s, and even POOCH manages to have a great deal of humanity to her character, despite being a robot dog.xploring a post apocalyptic cyber-nightmare South Africa, while solving puzzles and talking to religious robots and using diplomacy to diffuse warring factions without any combat sounds like a fun time, then Beautiful Desolation is that kind of game. The experience is held together with amazing looking backdrops, freakish cyborgs to converse with and movie quality CGI cutscenes. This is not an RPG, but it is a highly creative and imaginative adventure game that has some spotty controls and overly cryptic puzzles.
There is no reason why anyone would ever play this on any console. Even if it were played on its intended platform, Rip Them Off is barely a game. It is a strategy based, tower-defence where there is no strategy, as it revolves around failing to understand the conditions. No con-artist would ever accept failure, and yet this insists that gamers should learn to enjoy losing.
Mighty Goose won't push players to their limit the way Blazing Chrome does, but it is satisfying to play, thanks to all the mayhem and destruction to be had. The impressive sprite art and animation go a long way at elevating the experience from being just another run and gun action title. There aren't many like this that have so much pandemonium on screen. The harder, unlockable mode definitely seems like it would have been the standard difficulty if this had come out in the era that inspired it, and it feels like the intended way to play. For some reason, causing havoc as a goose is one of those things that makes a lot of sense in a video game.
Beat 'em up fans should not overlook Double Dragon Neon. For some inexplicable reason, it was scorned upon release by reviewers who failed to learn how to play it. With the revival of brawlers and local co-op becoming popular again, gamers will hopefully give it a second chance. It has an amazing soundtrack that is good enough to warrant the game be played on a big screen during get-togethers, and the playability is rock solid.
The folksy ambiance helps Mundaun distinguish itself from most horror indies on the market. The rough and flawed graphics work in ways the developer may not have intended and the frequent backtracking may not be for everyone. With only Curdin's notebook giving any idea of what to do and the terribly unresponsive combat, many people might give up on Mundaun. It may be a slog at times, but this is definitely worth a look for fans of horror classics.
Katamari Damacy REROLL is not the best way to play Katamari Damacy. The faster load times and stable frame rate are par for the course with the ports to much more powerful consoles that came two generations later. This should have been so much more; there are too many features that have been bungled or got cut. Even though REROLL may not be ideal, the core gameplay of rolling a Katamari and picking stuff up and building a planet-sized ball is still gratifying and fun to watch.
Now that Marvel's Avengers is dirt cheap, it might be worth a play for the impressive action sequences and impressive visuals. Maybe with enough people picking it up at a much more agreeable price, it might inject the tedious co-op modes. It certainly did not deserve the utter disdain it received, and was at best just a corporate, tone-deaf project that nobody wanted. It is rotten with executive sleaze for sure, and the game can feel like work a lot of the time due to the grind, but there is an ok experience in this somewhere. It is buried beneath all the obnoxious writing, grinding, and generic design.
If it weren't for the helpful quality-of-life features added, the first two Turrican instalments would likely never be played by anyone today. This is less of an issue for the other two titles included in Turrican Flashback. Super Turrican and Mega Turrican are really exciting, and highly stimulating action games that hold up today. The only modern day indie equivalent would be Gunlord X, which cheekily mapped the beam weapon to the analogue stick for the fastest possible action. Turrican was where it began, and anyone who enjoys the likes of Contra or action games by Treasure should really give this a look.
This competent knock-off won't stick around in anyone's memory after playing it, but Bladed Fury has a strong foundation and the action feels satisfying to play. However, the droll story is a hard sell for anyone not familiar with Chinese history. The art, though, is very good - almost as good as the Vanillaware titles that inspired it. From a certain angle, it might pass as the real thing.
Fans of adventure games will get a big laugh out of Lair of the Clockwork God. Sadly, the platforming half of the experience is mediocre and unpolished. The experiment of Size Five Games is mostly a success with managing to find a careful balance of platforming and puzzles, but the team needed to refine the experience with tighter quality control. The writing and humour elevate theis from being average, to being worth a look towards anyone who enjoys the adventure genre.
Blair Witch is probably best played on other platforms, where the pop-in is not so atrocious, and where the game won't break. The atmosphere during the day time is diminished thanks to the low level detail that generates only a couple of meters away. These glaring flaws hurt Blair Witch from becoming immersive, and the obtuse path to the good ending won't be figured out without a guide. There is potential here, since the foundation is solid, but this version is not easily recommended.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sister would be an acceptable entry level horror-adventure for teenagers. It is easy enough to be picked up by mostly anyone, and the multiple endings add some replay value to encourage new gamers to try things differently next time. The low-key art and animation just barely get the game's point across, and would be more impressive in an adventure title that wasn't horror-themed. Fans of Clock Tower might find this interesting, but it is an amusing distraction at best.