- Final Fantasy VII
- Persona 4
- A Link to the Past
Samurai Warriors 5 is a game of reductions. In its move to reboot the series it seemingly has gone back to providing as much content as the first entry. A cynic may say they'll likely slowly start to reintroduce these established features like they're new innovations. Innovation… It's insane that while Omega Force continues to do just that. To innovate. To deliver. But only with titles it produced for other people's franchises. When it comes to its own franchises, frankly, the developer is going backwards. Following the disappointment of what Dynasty Warriors became, Samurai Warriors has now joined the club as a shadow of its former self.
Absolutely, absurdly, ungodly, good. An honest to Gods masterpiece, the likes of which are rarely seen anymore. As fun on the first run as on the fiftieth. What makes a Roguelike special is one that can keep the player engaged long term and there are so many little elements that will keep its audience coming back again and again. It's hard to find a flaw. To find a way this could be better. Supergiant have set their bar high here, delivering a game that will be used as an example in numerous areas for years to come. Following on from Transistor, and Bastion, it's exciting to see what they'll do next.
An experimental experience that feels like it tries too hard with its surrealism and strangeness, to the point it actually negatively affects what it was trying to do. There are some wonderful experiences in both the 2D and 3D worlds, and there's something of a coherent story lurking in the forced quirkiness, but the pacing, combined with the nonsensical aspects hold this back from being something a little more.
Ubisoft's signature franchises continue to deliver on what the fans have come to expect and Far Cry 6 is no exception. A sprawling sandbox with tons to do and perfect escapism for a few hours… a few tens of hours. Fans of the series or Ubisoft's style, in general, will want to pick this one up, those who haven't ever clicked with them will find nothing new here to change their mind, with only a few changes that just do not push the boat out or move away from the formulaic. Most exciting though, is the upcoming DLC: a season pass that promises to give players a whole different experience. Stepping into the shoes of the villains of the previous games, starting with Vaas. Stay with us here at Cubed3, where we'll be covering it soon.
There are some routes and plotlines in Olympia Soiree that stand amongst the best Idea Factory! has put out, but the price for entry is just too high. There's some beautiful art showcased here, and some memorable moments, and each person in the audience will find a bachelor that fits them… but it's hard going. The deluge of exposition, and dragging slow start makes it a slog to get to these points. This combined with the overly edgy "bad endings" tarnishes the experience as a whole.
Little Nightmares II delivers a terrible experience. Terrible has retained the connotation of something bad, but it can also mean inspiring fear, dread, and awe. It's clear that's what Tarsier Studios was going for: an experience in delving through a terrible darkness. That experience is not terrifying, not scary, but creeping disquiet. An unsettling experience. Best of all though, that experience is memorable. Those who have the opportunity to experience this best version should do so. The world and its presentation are huge highlights, and this gives a shine of polish to enhance that. It's just a shame it clocks in at such a short runtime, and leaves so many questions left unanswered. Even heading back to see it all still offers a short playtime. The world of Little Nightmares deserves a third entry to explain it all, hopefully, one day it will get one.
There's a slow burn to this fire, but it's certainly worth waiting for it to catch and see the sparks. Blue Fire offers up a challenging, and dynamic 3D platforming experience that is sure to make it a cult hit with those brave enough to persevere through the frustrating opening - but 'cult' it will remain, with little chance of garnering attention from wider audiences, sadly, as there are just too many issues to elevate this to something more. The recycling of areas in that second half combined with the flimsy fundamentals stops this from becoming a classic.
Aksys has brought across another winner and hopefully, they will continue to do so as the Switch has become a wonderful home for visual novels. Like most Otome games there is drastically different quality between the individual stories, with some feeling like filler to pad out the game. But good stories here are so good, it really sets it apart, with those routes managing to land on every emotional level. Steamy romantic moments, heartbreaking moments, touching tear-jerking, genuinely funny comedy. This combined with a cast of suitors that cover off just about every otome archetype makes for a must-buy for anyone wanting to embrace their inner Fujoshi.
An utter disappointment, for fans and newcomers alike. For the newcomers, this is more likely to dissuade potential interest in a series that is so much better than this. For fans of the series, this not only does not do any of the adaptations - be it light novel, manga, or anime - justice, but it is a terrible adaptation. Low quality. Low budget. Just embarrassing, especially considering how long this has been in production. It's hard to think of anyone to recommend this for. It's flawed and forgettable in every way.
For the Monster Truck fanatics in attendance, those that know the difference between "Hook Up" and "Hooking Clay" or between a "Slap Wheelie" and a "Sky Wheelie", there's going to be something to enjoy in Monster Hunt Championship. But, while there's some fun to be had, the game just feels lacking. The experience is more fitting with arcade-style mechanics compared to the sim-style elements, and by delivering these sim elements it makes the game feel as slow and clunky as the vehicles.
Resident Evil Village feels like such a culmination. Bringing together elements from the franchise all the way up to now and crafting what looks to be the next step of survival horror, it embraces every aspect of the franchise. While the insidious dread of Resident Evil VII is missing, there are still plenty of scares. The monster designs are fantastic, from the generations undead, the fury of the Lupine beasts, to the towering monstrosities. It's well worth delving into the concept art and 3D models to enjoy them fully. The story is just the right amount of silly with the terrifying, and the odd dash of the surreal. The combat is smooth and fluid, best evidenced in the addictive Mercenaries mode. All of these elements added together make quite possibly the best Resident Evil to date, and a foundation for a fresh new generation of terror.
The bad rap that Skyward Sword received is evidenced here to be undeserved. Even the worst Zelda game is still a good game, and this is by no means the worst Zelda game. It has some dungeons and experiences that are standing side by side with the very best of the whole franchise. While the controls aren't as good as they could have been, and some of the early annoyances remain, this is absolutely a must-buy. It's not the worst Zelda game, not a bad Zelda game, but a great Zelda game.
It's easy to dismiss Immortals: Fenyx Rising as just a Breath of the Wild rip-off, or yet another Ubisoft IP built on the principles that the it has cemented its brand on, yet, there's some real magic here. It being launched so close to Assassin's Creed Valhalla has helped to differentiate the two, and to showcase just how much this feels like a breath of fresh air when compared. "Fun" is often an overused word in gaming, but it's exactly what this feels like. Ubisoft's open-world titles can invoke burnout towards their conclusion - crumbling under their own weight due to their size. Instead, this is a real palette cleanser. It feels like it hits that real sweet spot in the genre of the open-world adventure games. The world is large but enjoyable to explore, with just enough to do, and the constant commentary keeping things interesting. This combined with the genuinely funny and smart writing results in something that will be the big surprise hit for many.
Haunting, evocative, introspective, atmospheric and memorable, Shady Part of Me feels like a journey - and, a very personal one at that. It's the kind of journey that many in the audience will be able to identify with. It may only take a few hours, but it's one worth experiencing more than once. Just eight people made this title, and it's exciting to see what that little team will be able to do next.
It's the absolute perfect time for this game. Not only because Pokémon is just settling into a new renaissance and resurgence of interest not seen since the 90s, but also because of the state of the world. Games that encapsulate escapism and the ability to just chill are desperately needed. It's part of the reason Animal Crossing exploded like it did. New Pokémon Snap is enjoyable in the exact same way. A game to lose yourself in. A game to play on rainy Sundays. To play late at night. To unwind and to decompress. Best of all, it's the perfect way to reconnect with the franchise in honour of the 25th anniversary. So, settle in, sleeve those new Shining Fates, throw on season two of Pokémon Journeys and get snapping.
Piofiore is a solid and enjoyable romance story, but one that falls a little short from some of the better Otomate productions out there. One thing that does set it apart though are its bleak story paths. There's torture, murder, rape. Things get awfully dark, much more so than the majority of these types of titles, and for those who enjoy such experiences, it certainly delivers. Stay with Cubed3, as it will soon be looking at more Otomate games coming to Switch.
Despite its age and the backdrop of the tower remaining the same, Ys Origin still manages to shine. All three play-throughs are enjoyable and engaging, each with its own story, and each character feeling so very different thanks to their drastically different play styles. Better yet, even after finishing all three play-throughs, there's much more to enjoy including brand new modes like Speed Run, Time Attack, and even an Arena mode; tight, fast, controls and combat; wonderful big boss encounters. It's easy to see why it garnered its cult status, and this latest re-release is going to introduce it to even more players; players who will be eager to experience more, and there's plenty waiting in the long-running story of Adol.
Collar X Malice delivers a dark and twisted thriller, filled with some of the signature elements that have made Otomate the best in what it does. The presentation and writing are absolutely some of the company's very best. While the heavy romance elements of its other games could be inhibiting to those outside its core demographic, this feels like the most inclusive of all of their titles, and one any visual novel fans could truly enjoy. This version brings the quintessential experience too. The extra side stories, and the alternative story are solid enough additions, but it's in the epilogues that this really shines. It's always wonderful to see a "What happened next" in games; addendums to the tales that deliver satisfying conclusions for each character, and that's exactly what's on hand here.
Oceanhorn 2 has the odd moment which is really enjoyable, mostly limited to the puzzles and bosses within the dungeons. But there could be so much more here, there are glimpses of a game that could be really special, but it regularly loses the attention of its audience due to the barren open world. The presentation feels low quality and dated, the combat clunky, the world empty. This looked so promising, but is quite the disappointment.
Forget what you think you know about the history of Breath of the Wild, this takes that story and makes it its own. The result is a hugely satisfying and wondrous adventure. Outside of the main story, it's worth coming back to this again and again. Omega Force has mastered the Musou style and is fully exhibiting that in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. The missions offer up plenty of replayability thanks to their diverse range of 'win' conditions. There is an impressive roster to keep coming back to, and it's filled with some fantastic characters that are a true surprise to discover. Every little element of this game works, and it all comes together so perfectly. While gamers are understandably excited to get their hands on the next-gen, Nintendo is ensuring the Switch isn't gathering dust. This will tear attention away from those shiny new boxes, and rightly so. There is so very much to love here. Frankly, a must-buy.