Josh Di Falco
Tour de France 2020 is an improvement over its 2019 counterpart, thanks to the improved loading screen times, and reduced crashes that may take place. However, by and large it is still pretty much the same game otherwise, with minimal changes or quality-of-life features to make the experience more engaging. For those who love the sport of cycling, then this may fill in the time until the real-life racing starts up again - however for those with no interest in the sport, then it may be a tough task for Tour de France 2020 to latch newcomers into the title. The ingredients for a really engaging micro-managed cycling-simulator is here, but it is let down by the AI.
Frostpunk is quite simply one of the best city-building experiences on the PlayStation 4 with a highly detailed narrative written for four huge campaigns. The sadness in there only being four campaigns is a true testament to the team at 11 Bit Studios, as they have crafted such a memorable experience, with gut-wrenching decisions at every turn. The savagery of the game can have long-lasting effects that can carry into the subsequent play-throughs, as the memories of what arose from making previous decisions can sway future decisions down other pathways. For those who wish to experience a more laid-back 'Sim City' like experience, then this title may not be the right title to jump into. However after experiencing this, it will be easy to feel anxious to see whatever the team behind it has in store next.
Bow to Blood: Last Captain Standing is a great concept that could've used with a bit more time in the oven to knuckle down the controls a little better. The slow and cumbersome movements don't make for an excitingly adventure. However, the idea of playing a futuristic version of Survivor, by competing against opponents, forming alliances, and then double-crossing other captains to vote them out of the game, makes for an enthralling few hours. For those who are in need of a bit of time to kill with a different type of a video game, then Bow to Blood: Last Captain Standing may be worth checking out.
Team Maniax has delivered on creating a cute, but frenzied party title that simplifies the act of dodging bullets, and making it look cool while doing so. With easy controls to learn, and only having one focus, the barrier for entry in Retimed is low. Whether engaging in team battle with some friends, or taking part in a 'free for all,' there's a ton of energy and excitement to be had.
Paradox Soul is a fine experience that retells a typical story centred around an empty facility, with dead scientists and killer robots. There's nothing original here, however the controls are tight and Dr. Rose plays well. For those looking to kill a few hours on a short metroidvania title, then Paradox Soul is one title worth checking out. While it's not as engaging as others in the genre, nor does it offer any new interesting innovations, it's still one worth adding to the list for short-lived titles to smash out over a weekend, or to knock out another easy platinum to add to the digital trophy cabinet.
The controls are an absolute mess and it's a shame, as Surgeon Simulator CPR is a funny title that is great entertainment for team of friends. While the aim is to "save" patients, doing the opposite is what eventuates most of the time thanks to some unintentional, but humorous moments. With a better control scheme, more responsive controls, and less glitches, Surgeon Simulator CPR would be an easier title to recommend on the Switch. However, beyond the poor controls, there is some enjoyment to be found here for those who don't take these too seriously.
Sparklite is a colourful rogue-like that yearns for the pixel-based games on the original NES. By removing most of the challenges generally found in rogue-likes, this puts itself at the top of the list for newcomers who want to dip their toes into the water. Aged fans of the genre won't find any surprises or challenges here, and the lack of a real contest or a risk-versus-reward system can be a turn off. Ada's journey can be a short one, as it can be completed in less than five hours, and it provides enjoyment due to an addictive gameplay loop, catchy music, and the ability to relive the pixelated days of old.