- Devil May Cry 3
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Mother 3
Deathsmiles isn't bad by any means, but it also isn't good, either. The aesthetic itself has plenty of charm and sets itself up to be a memorable experience, but the core gameplay just isn't complex enough to warrant long play sessions. It's a fun experience in very small bursts and the bosses are certainly engaging, but the bullet-hell doesn't manage to expand or change the genre in a meaningful way. It's a cookie cutter shoot 'em up that leaves a lot to be desired and doesn't offer anything in return.
Is Battle Worlds: Kronos wholly original? No. Is it fun despite that? With a real person, yes. It's far too generic for its own good, but it does manage to take the turn-based strategy formula and advance it just enough it for a modern audience.
After years of delays and broken promises, Mighty No. 9 still manages to disappoint despite having the lowest of expectations. It controls, looks, and sounds worse than any Mega Man. Everything about Mighty Blunder 9 screams "amateur," with homage turning into borderline plagiarism most, if not all, of the time. Inafune and Comcept would have been better off canceling the project and refunding the Kickstarter; it would have saved them all the embarrassment of being attached to one of this decade's worst titles.
A low price tag doesn't excuse the low amount of effort put into Ascent of Kings. Everything works on a technical level, but it's just so unimaginative that it can't justify a second play-through, let alone a first. It's a meandering mess of ideas taken from far better platformers, blended together in an hour-long hurricane that destroys any and all quality in its path. There's simply no appeal to the MS Paint drawn world that's been created; it's a boring and thoughtless mini-disaster that should just be ignored and forgotten.
Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash is little more than an overpriced iOS game. In fact, that's precisely what it is. Low quality visuals are masterfully blended together with low quality sound design to deliver a package that can't seem to even reach the glories of mediocrity. There are countless endless runners on the Wii U eShop, and Ninja Strike simply doesn't offer anything to make it worth purchasing.
For fans of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Eyes of Heaven is a dream come true, filled with nods to even the most obscure of references. It's a love letter to a decades long franchise that never forgets to cater fully to its audience. Compared to other competitive fighters, it might come off as a bit lacking, but more casual fans of the genre and those unfamiliar with the series will still be able to enjoy the more simplistic mechanics. This really doesn't require anything more than an open mind and a love of fun, and while that might not make for the best game ever, it certainly does make for one worth playing.
Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs is mixed parts good and bad. On one hand, it shows great concepts in its desire to blend visual novels with turn-based strategy RPGs, while also managing to sport genuinely good writing. On the other hand, it spreads itself too thin between both parts, feeling like two betas to two separate games.
Avoider is very much trying to hearken back to the Atari era of videogames with its simplicity, and that's a fine goal to have, but it also suffers from the exact same problems of that era without adding any modern design philosophies into the fray. Tedium rules Avoider's world. Playing through the same scenario over and over again for a high score can only be fun so many times. The lack of real skill or growth also hinders the dodging simulator from being anything other than an unpolished homage. At an incredibly low price tag, it might seem worth it, but it would just be throwing away money at a product with a shelf life of half an hour - if that.
Thanks to an excellently paced single-player campaign featuring little to no fluff, and a multiplayer that emphasises genuine strategy and smart play, Titanfall 2 manages to stand out as one of the better surprises of 2016. The campaign is a very enjoyable sci-fi character drama that is only elevated by its fun cast and equally fun story. A clear eye for level design keeps the single-player fresh, blending the FPS and platformer genres together to continually pump out memorable moments. Titanfall 2 fixes just about everything that went wrong with the original, featuring better map design that plays to the core mechanics, and greatly expands the once dull universe. There are still some issues with multiplayer mode variety, but Titanfall 2 is strong enough to overcome its shortcomings to be a great sequel, and an even greater game.
There's so much effort put into the actual gameplay and level design that Arkane Studios' laziness with everything else makes the unrefined parts stand out all the more. It isn't enough to ruin the whole experience, but Dishonored 2 absolutely suffers from its horrible story, voice direction, sound mixing, general lagginess, and sloppy optimisation. A video game's first priority should be the gameplay, but its other facets shouldn't suffer as a result. The actual game design is incredibly creative and the replay value is through the roof, but everything else is lacking in just about every other regard. As it stands, Dishonored 2 is certainly playable and fun, but never lives up to all its potential.