Made out to be something bigger than it is, The Nightmare fails to deliver once again in what is a recurring theme for Shadow of the Tomb Raider's download content. The Croft Manor sequence could and should have been something much more than it was, and the tomb is another short and simple challenge. There are always signs of something good in each of these DLCs, but none have added up to anything great yet.
Despite starting stronger than the previous DLC, getting right into the puzzling and platforming action, The Pillar doesn't really feel like a Challenge Tomb. It's more like a challenge leading up to a tomb, which is followed by some minor combat areas. Perhaps these additional missions really are going to be much smaller than many would have anticipated.
£3.99 might not sound like much, but it's still overpriced for what is a really boring bit of content, with a Challenge Tomb that isn't on par with some of the ones from the main adventure. It is over far too quickly, but the Time and Score Attacks and ability to tackle it through online co-op add some reasons to re-run.
There is more bang for the buck in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate than almost any other game - especially fighting games - since, well, probably the last Smash Bros. When you start lamenting a lack of new stages, hardly any extra music tracks from certain franchises, and a scarce amount of adventure cutscenes, you start to sound overly picky when there are nearly 900 songs, over 100 stages, and the solo quest is over 20 hours long. When so much of what's in a Smash game has been seen before, though, can a fan be blamed for expecting just a bit more? There always seems to be areas that Nintendo doesn't quite expand on - and with the removal of descriptive Trophies whilst using copy-pasted official art for Spirits, and the absolutely pitiful online mode setup and features contained within, it's difficult to say that this really is the ultimate Smash game. Regardless, it is a fantastic celebration of not just Nintendo, but video games in general, and it will provide months, if not years, of both solo and multiplayer mayhem.
At $99.99, this is a hefty sum for the only way to get Persona 4 Dancing on PS4, but considering the entire package as a whole, the three rhythm games do provide a good deal of content...even if the entire track selection and remixes aren't top tier. There is some good stuff here if you can deal with the poorly-designed gameplay interface, but only the most enthusiastic of Persona fans will want to fork out for this collection.
Short but sweet perfectly sums up Luigi's haunted quest. Very little has changed in the transition from GameCube to 3DS, except for slightly inferior visuals and way worse controls...unless using the Circle Pad Pro. With the added benefit of the attachment, Luigi's Mansion plays exceptionally well, and is an enjoyable, if easy, romp through the spooky mansion that really kicked off Luigi's gaming career.
A consistent triple whammy of 3D collectathon platforming remade with extreme care and faithfulness to the original material. Spyro Reignited Trilogy plays well, looks fantastic, and is rarely an overwhelming or difficult set of adventures, with small worlds that are simple to conquer and ideal for a younger audience. By the time of the third game, things are a little more gimmicky, and there is a repetitive nature about the constant running around and collecting, but these colourful platformers still manage to deliver real delight if you try not to blast through each game one after the other.
Maxima provides a good reason for players to return to World of Final Fantasy, but only really because of its extra bosses and dungeon. The rest is really just minor nostalgia-driven content, which does fit in well given that's what the game is built around. The avatar change system is neat if only to use fan-favourite characters in battle now, and might provide some new set-ups for bosses, but don't expect much in the way of cut-scenes and major roles for the new champions. Taken as a whole, still one of the better Final Fantasy games in many years, but Maxima as an upgrade is only worth it for the title's biggest fans.
It is great to finally see the Taiko series released in Europe, even if it is at the cost of having the drum kit available to play it with...which was kind of the whole big selling point of it all. Without having the drum to test out, it is difficult to tell if Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! is an inferior game without it, but it is still most definitely a fun rhythm title in its own right with the regular controller. With only a few note types - and, therefore, buttons - to remember, this is simple to pick up, and the support options make it highly accessible to rhythm casuals. The higher difficulties and plentiful options to add handicaps allow experts to test themselves freely, too. For a very Japanese themed rhythm game that is chock-full of tracks, Drum Session! is well worth a beat.
It is more of the same for Valkyria Chronicles 4 - and that's no bad thing. Going back to what SEGA did best with this series following the awful Revolution was really all that was necessary, even if it might feel too familiar if coming off of playing the first game recently. Comic book visuals, a story based on World War II, appealing anime-like characters, a mix of overhead and third-person strategic and real-time gameplay - there are so many crazy ideas melded together, and yet it all comes off so well. There still isn't a series much like it.
Episode 1: Roads sets Life is Strange 2 up for potentially great things, but the entertaining moments are extremely fleeting in what is clearly intended to be an emotionally-driven adventure that works to set the tone for what is to come, with particular value placed on the story of brotherhood. The supernatural element at play as the main plot device is interesting, but it again only works to serve as a teaser for what is lying further down the road for the brothers. Not as gripping as season one, but this short episode does its job.
It is so difficult to recommend Warriors Orochi 4 right now when the series has made a name for itself through re-released games with added story content, characters and modes. Why would this title be any different? The main story is an enjoyable enough ride for hack and slash fans, but that's really all there is to it (unless you have an online subscription and want to battle with friends). Just wait for the inevitable ultimate edition in a year's time.
Lumines has always been a challenging game, and that hasn't changed in this remaster. Despite excluding some modes and tracks from later games in the series, rendering it not quite the supreme title it could have been, Lumines Remastered is a great package that will suit puzzle purists seeking an addictive title to reward skill and dedication.
When it comes to adventuring, exploring the unknown, and the raiding of tombs, this is some of the finest in the series. Shadow of the Tomb Raider takes Lara Croft to the most beautiful locations of the Peruvian jungles, rewarding players that search around with well-made and challenging tombs. For a change, it actually feels like you are a treasure hunter grappling and platforming through ancient ruins. Unfortunately, this is all offset by a forgettably weak and over-dramatic story, and simple combat sequences that do little to push creativity, underutilising what is otherwise a cool stealth and camouflage mechanic. In many respects, it is the best in the trilogy - but it is also so severely lacking in other areas that it just doesn't reach its full potential.
There are flashier and more intricate fighting games out there, but SNK Heroines is different - and certainly in a good way. Customisation of the characters is played up, but unlikely to really be truly appealing outside of a few cosmetic items to adorn them with now and again. A few more modes could have really helped bump up the value, but the unique take on tag team combat should ensure this title carves out its own little niche. Tense and tactful matches are what fighting games are all about, and that is most definitely here. It is clear the developers had fun creating this game, so give this one a chance. You'll most likely have fun, too.
If you have ever been turned off Metroidvanias for their tendency to prove too confusing or challenging, or pined for a larger focus on plot, Iconoclasts is the answer. By relegating the heavy exploration side of the popular genre in favour of driving a captivating narrative and characters to the forefront, Joakim Sandberg has crafted a 2D adventure that comes out as one of the most entertaining of the year, and certainly in the genre as a whole. Don't sleep on this.
A mixed bag of emotions and gameplay sum up Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. A lot in the way of graphical fidelity has been hacked away at in order to get this on Nintendo Switch, but it is quite clear those who are interested in this FPS know exactly what to expect on that front. Despite the obvious visual downgrade, coupled with the pacing and storyline issues, there is still a solid arcade game here that can sit alongside DOOM (or maybe the next shelf down).
MUSYNX is an excellent entry point for anyone looking to get into rhythm games, but the difficulty can ramp up early on, despite the fine-tuning and customisable controls that are available. With over 90 tracks here, it certainly isn't light on content, but there really needs to be improvements made to the presentation to make it a little bit more accessible.