There are myriad good reasons why Marvel's Spider-Man is the best-selling and highest-rated Spider-Man title in years. While it has a few glaring flaws, they pale in comparison to all of the things the team at Insomniac got right. A well-acted, strong story serves as the backbone for an experience that just plain feels right for Spider-Man, and fans and newcomers alike won't be disappointed by this trip to the Spider-verse.
In the end, Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII is a rock-solid title, but it could have been so much more. Forcing it to fit under the Black Ops moniker was a mistake, and comes across as forced, given its very light relation to the previous three titles. The whole thing smacks of Treyarch wanting to take risks and go in new directions, but stopping just shy and instead tacking older characters or ideas. Longtime fans of the franchise won't want to miss out on this - especially those who love the Zombies experience - but those who checked out of Call of Duty before likely won't find enough here to bring them back.
Final Fantasy XII is a good game that broke a lot of ground upon release, as an RPG, as a work of fantasy, and as a Final Fantasy entry. With that said, The Zodiac Age feels like a bare-minimum up-port, with little besides the textures being improved.
Colossal Order might be asking a little much for what some would consider a small DLC, but there's no denying that it has created something pretty special here. Focusing the DLC on zooming down to street level and getting into the nitty-gritty of placement of pretty much everything in the park was a stroke of genius, and something it will hopefully implement into future DLC releases. In a genre about building a city, it's interesting to get players to come down from the clouds every now and then and really set up something unique to their town, and serves as just another reason why this game is special among others of its ilk.
Devious Dungeon is a solidly built game with a downright ingenious combat system, where the developer has used the retro-styled limitations to their advantage. It struggles in the RPG department, giving players little-to-no reason to care about any of the events, and offering barebones levelling and equipment.
The gameplay isn't overhauled here, but it doesn't need to be. Cities: Skylines - Green Cities adds new content and refreshes current content, making for a more whole and diverse gaming experience, which is just about everything a good add-on needs to do. It might not be a must-have, but it does add to the Cities: Skylines experience, which is one the development team at Colossal Order has kept running strong since launch.
Of all of Cities: Skylines' DLC, Concerts adds the least to the experience. Perhaps the price tag went into audio licensing, but Colossal Order and Paradox should have come up with more content to package with these songs to justify making this a paid DLC. As it stands, barring a huge price cut or sale, or just requiring the full Cities experience, there's no reason to pick up this DLC.
As with the DLC before it, Mass Transit brings very little new to the table, feeling less like an expansion and more like a minor content injection. It's a little worse here than before, as this one doesn't even bring the heavy visual overhaul that After Dark or Snowfall had. Still, the buildings and scenarios present are well-made, welcome additions to a game already rich in content and endlessly fun to play, making Mass Transit another solid addition to the already fantastic Cities: Skylines—but one fans will likely find themselves waiting for a sale to pick up.
King's Quest isn't a graphical powerhouse, it's not a bastion of good gameplay, and it isn't even a particularly excellent puzzler. What it is is one of the best stories found in gaming; the amount of charm and love put into the game, and subsequently poured out of the game, makes it a unique experience just about anyone can get behind. Here is a story that would put most award-winning animated films to shame, and cleverly binding it to puzzles and gameplay segments helps invest players even more into this unforgettable, emotional journey.
Shovel Knight became an instant classic for a reason, and the ability to pack it up and take it anywhere makes it a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch. Available as a standalone app or as a collection of all three campaigns, the titular Shovel Knight has dug his way into the hearts of Nintendo fans everywhere, and the ability to take the game anywhere makes the Nintendo Switch the ultimate platform to experience the Shovel Knight phenomenon.
Snow Place Like Home doesn't do much for King's Quest in the gameplay department, but anyone who has played it this far is probably past caring much on that front. This story and these characters have cemented their place in our hearts, and the game feels like a good book that can't be put down. Lack of per-episode scenery or gameplay variety aside, King's Quest is everything an episodic title should be, as well as a pinnacle of storytelling all game developers should aspire to compete with.
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus set the bar ridiculously high, and years of delays didn't help, but The Last Guardian fits into the series and sets itself apart from the rest of the gaming world, rounding out the Ico trilogy as some of the biggest, prettiest, most unforgettable experiences anyone will find in gaming. Technical issues like framerate, glitches, and controls (most or all of which will hopefully be patched out as time goes on) don't stop this from being a gorgeous and highly emotional gaming experience—exactly what fans have come to expect from Fumito Ueda. The development team's vision was clear, if the execution was a little lacking, and the final product doesn't feel like one that should've taken ten years to hit shelves, but The Last Guardian is still an achievement in both storytelling and game development that gamers shouldn't miss out on.
Natural Disasters is the most interactive, exciting Cities: Skylines expansion yet. With each update, the game feels more alive and more complete, and those who perhaps don't find the content worthy of the price tag can take comfort in how much Colossal Order adds to this game for free alongside the paid content. All of these new features fit right in, and the disaster system adds a layer otherwise entirely missing from the game. The pressure is raised, gamers will have to think and act a little more on their feet, and Cities: Skylines remains one of the best city builders on the market.
King's Quest is shaping up to be one of the stronger examples of storytelling in modern gaming, and gives episodic titles a good name. Criticisms are taken into account and polished with each episode, but the writing and presentation aren't suffering at all. Characters are memorable and fun, brought to life by a strong cast and solid writing. The wait between episodes feels long, but The Odd Gentlemen and Sierra have shown that it's well worth it, with each episode improving in quality over the last.
I Am Setsuna is a solid title. The story and gameplay both have their moments, even if they feel a little too reliant on nostalgia, and the wooden battles don't stop this from being something JRPG fans will still enjoy. A gorgeous soundtrack accompanies a beautiful, if not repetitive, snowy landscape, and the game holds its own and should feel right at home to people who like mobile RPGs.
Crush Your Enemies takes itself just seriously enough to stand out as a full-fledged title, but isn't afraid to have fun along the way. There isn't a lot to turn the RTS genre on its head, but the gameplay is solid. The developers obviously put a lot of work into laying out and balancing each map, then packing the rest of the game with a sense of humour and a light-heartedness that probably could've carried even a poor game to goodness—and this one was already anything but poor.