- Devil May Cry 3
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Mother 3
Considering how mindless and tailor-fit for mobile audiences the substanceless gameplay loop of Shop Titans is, one has to wonder why Kabam saw fit to pursue a PC release. Of course, the "why" is made painfully clear the moment players hit their first wall. Progression is very blatantly designed around micro-transactions. Anyone who doesn't want to spend a dime will need to contend with a very long grind. Even then, the game actively withholds items and content from players who don't want to spend real money. Worse yet is the monthly subscription service, which Kabam fully expects anyone who wants to play Shop Titans in earnest to purchase. Already aggressively mediocre experience by design, jumping from mobile to PC has done Kabam's shopkeeping "simulator" no favours. Shop Titans is worse than video game junk food; it's slop.
Looks can be deceiving, and while In Other Waters does look too simple for its own good, it's a title overflowing with depth. Between a well written script, intensely atmospheric sound design that begs for headphone use, and methodically slow pacing, it's hard not to think of Ellery Vas' expedition through the depths of Gliese 677Cc long after all is said and done. Moody and sombre, In Other Waters is a must read… and must play.
In spite of featuring less content than the title's 2013 remake for iOS and Android, that doesn't change the fact that this is the best version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 currently available for a home console. Knuckles is included as a playable character, Super Sonic and Super Knuckles have their own unlockable modes where the Chaos Emeralds are collected out the gate, and the inclusion of the Drop Dash only adds depth to already excellent platforming. With a fantastic set of levels, and plenty of quality of life additions, SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of the line's better offerings.
The words 'creepy' and 'moody' don't often come to mind when thinking about jigsaw puzzles, but that's the beauty of Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions. Puzzles often result in surreal imagery, and Nikita Sevalnev's soundtrack adds a chilling layer to the already ethereal atmosphere. With difficulty modes suited for both beginners and veterans of the jigsaw puzzle, Glass Masquerade 2 is a must play for anyone looking for more flavour in their puzzle games.
Short, sweet, and to the point, Lydia makes for a memorable and engaging hour of gameplay. Its story of abuse will prove uncomfortable, but a restrained hand ensures audiences never have to confront anything too visceral through gameplay. There isn't much in the way of replayability, but a well told story, plus an excellent visual style make Lydia a worthwhile play-through for anyone looking for something emotionally dense.
StarBlox Inc. is a perfectly enjoyable action puzzler that manages to balance reflex-based gameplay with on-the-fly puzzle solving. The core gameplay loop doesn't have much in the way of depth, but it's easy to pick up, and fun to play, especially in groups of four. Unfortunately, no online means that StarBlox has no real shelf life in spite of a surprisingly decent single player campaign. If nothing else, this makes for a decent couch multiplayer alternative to Puyo Puyo and Tetris.
In spite of a somewhat spotty presentation, Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark manages to fill a tactical RPG niche that had been lying dormant for far too long. Beyond just serving as a competent TRPG, however, Fell Seal engages with the genre in increasingly dynamic ways. It borrows a good deal of its concepts from Final Fantasy Tactics, but nothing is just brought over as is. While there are conceptual similarities between the titles, this has more than enough mechanical depth to stand on its own. Strong map design and plenty of customization options make this game a must-have for fans of tactical RPGs.
Uninteresting and uninspired, Dauntless is certainly impressive in its own right, but as far as actual gameplay goes, what's present fails to engage beyond the surface level. Perhaps that'll be enough for most who download the free title, but between aesthetically resembling Fortnite and aping Monster Hunter's combat wholesale, Phoenix Games has failed to contribute anything truly novel to the experience. Dauntless is as derivative as they come, and while that lack of price tag may be appealing, there are much better games to spend one's time (and even money) on. Go play Monster Hunter instead.
It's always a good thing when old titles are once again available for purchase, but Capcom should perhaps start pricing their rereleases accordingly. Devil May Cry 2 wasn't worth the money in 2003, and it certainly isn't worth much today. A miserable hack 'n' slash, it's a miracle the franchise managed to survive such a blunder in the first place. It's perhaps worth playing from a historical context - if only to gain a deeper understanding of how it failed the original's legacy… but Devil May Cry 2 is otherwise better left in the past.
Charming, original, and terrifically paced, Tangle Tower is a strong contender for the best point-and-click adventure of 2019. Puzzles require real wit without bogging readers down with irrelevant information. Each screen is filled to the brim with detail, blending colour and lighting into a living, breathing tower. Only a few hours long with a gripping mystery at the centre of its plot, Tangle Tower is a must play for fans of the genre.