Josh Di Falco
Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is an over-the-top playground for those who love all things monster trucks. In addition to the comical trucks that many will recognise from the real-life Monster Jam events, Rainbow Studio has also done a fabulous job of creating the worlds that are inspired by the various teams. There's the well-designed Mutt-map that best reflects the comical sights of the Mutt vehicles, to the haunted Graveyard that left a lot to be desired from a racing perspective. As is the case with monster trucks, there are a few bumps and hits that can often mar the experience and put a dampener on things - but for the most part, this title is a few hours of fun for the monster truck enthusiasts who just want to escape into this virtual playground of destructive carnage and mayhem!
Despite the visual breaks and screen tears that seem to happen oftentimes, WRC 10 is the ultimate rally game on PS5. At this point, there is no better alternative if the objective is getting the wheels dirty on the gravel roads. WRC 10 makes great use of the haptic feedback, bringing the vibrations to a new level of immersion while the triggers help add a new layer also. Career Mode is still unchanged from previous years, though the Season Mode is also still an option for those who don't wish to partake in the managerial aspects of the team management options. Otherwise, for those looking for the ultimate challenge beyond the AI opponents, the Online mode is still a bustling wonderland of challenges for all diehard competitors. Of course, this package wouldn't be complete without dipping into the historical races over the last 50 years of WRC, allowing for drivers to explore the older cars while also learning about their historical significance to the sport.
MXGP 2020 is an improvement over the previous title - however, don't expect a leaps-and-bounds, next-generational jump. While this is hardly a spectacular next-gen overhaul, the building blocks are all lined up for an even more impressive iteration in the years to come. Career Mode still seems quite lacking, as bike customisations and sponsor benefits are minimal, and the experience points earned to rank up don't amount to anything. On the other hand, Playground Mode and Track Editor open up avenues for much more excitement and enjoyment, especially as the online community continues to produce more advanced and elaborate tracks.
Replica is an interesting title that has some really good ideas with how it lays out its puzzles. Rather than focusing on the generic "video game" ones, Somi instead has incorporated more "in real life" problem-solving with trying to crack into someone's phone. However, the overall premise that is dealt with important concepts should've had more heightened tensions that Somi needed, to make the story more believable. The corny dialogue detracted from the terrorism and surveillance-overlord Big Brother plot that needed to be taken a bit more seriously. However, presentation aside, the puzzles are quite clever and are worth at least a look into this experience.
There may not be a lot of choices on Nintendo Switch for those who want to jump into a worthwhile pool experience, however Pure Pool is the one to get for those who are keen. As good as it gets with a pool-based digital experience on the handheld, with plenty of offline and online content to make this easily worth the money.
MotoGP 20 is a fine title to play on the Nintendo Switch for those who are itching to jump into a digital bike racer. However, MotoGP 20 suffers from the same old troubles that this may only appeal to the hardcore fans who watch the sport religiously as it is. However for those who haven't dabbled in MotoGP 20 up until this point, it's unlikely that this year's iteration is going to move the dial or sway opinions. But for those who do decide to jump into this title, there is a steep learning curve - but once it's overcome, this title can provide plenty of hours of fun, despite some of the visual hurdles and lack of local competitive racing or online modes.
For those who enjoyed the original TT Isle of Man, the sequel Ride on the Edge 2 raises the stakes with an improved career mode that delivers a more immersive experience. Sign with a manufacturer to get access to their livery, then proceed to unlock perks and part upgrades to enhance the performance of those bikes with each successive race. Newcomers can easily pick up and learn the ropes while making good progress on the stat sheets thanks to the arcade-like controls that don't make the racing experience too complicated, unlike the more realistic sim racer. However, beyond the career mode, there is a basic online mode to further gain some racing experience. While this isn't the premium two-wheeled racer on consoles, it is a step in the right direction for Kylotonn.
With no shortage of zombie games to purchase or browse through in the store, it's hard to understand what void Yet Another Zombie Defense HD is trying to fill. It's a top-down twin-stick shooter that doubles as a base-defence zombie game... however it doesn't do anything to push the boundaries that other titles have already established. It is fun to play in short bursts, and its longevity is only extended by finding some local or online people to play with, but even still, the many shortcomings are impossible to ignore. While Yet Another Zombie Defense HD didn't have to bring anything new to the table, it still needed to be a zombie-stew worth eating and unfortunately, despite having some potential, it's still missing quite a few ingredients to make this experience worth anyone's while.
Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition may not be for everyone. It is a grind-based dungeon crawler that relies on the ability to endlessly run through dungeons, earn better loot, and repeat against harder and stronger enemies. For those looking for an enriching story in the world of Warhammer Fantasy there isn't much to see, which is a shame, but the enjoyment here is based on buying into the gameplay loop. It may wear thin for some, while being a treasure for those who seek nothing but the menial grind of repetitive dungeon-crawling and looting for that never-ending quest of creating the optimal build. While this won't earn any accolades on the PlayStation 5, this is hardly a title to gloss over, and is worth checking out at the least.
Ride 4 offers a tonne of content for those who itching for a deep dive into an expansive career mode. Race all across the world by winning licenses to open up access into better and more advanced events. Gain affinity with various bikes and manufacturers on the way to becoming the greatest rider. However, a weak online mode, a lack of other real features outside of the career mode and having a steep learning curve for beginners prevents Ride 4 from being the complete package. With plenty of bikes on offer, and upgrades on both the 'stock' and 'racing' side of things to allow for vast improvements over the troublesome AI, this is one of the better digital biking experiences out there.