Deep Silver didn't need any more bad games under its belt, but if there is nothing else that can be said, it can be stated definitively that this is not as bad as Ride to Hell: Retribution. Some would call this a victory, and it's a noble effort to not throw away work that was already underway, yet that's part of the core problem. Homefront: The Revolution wasn't finished and released because gamers needed something great to play; it was completed and sold because some manager out there refused to let the work go to waste.
"Obnoxious" is the best description of ASSimilation, as might be guessed by the entirely meaningless suffix in the title. There are fewer Death Blocks, but the level design isn't any better, and is, in fact, more generic than ever. Enemies and obstacles too clearly fall into one of about five categories and change only appearances between the stages, and the bosses are just as uninspired. A replay of the initial Angry Video Game Nerds Adventure would be vastly superior to waste a few hours - if your desire is to play repetitious stages filled with interchangeable hazards, then why not save some money and just buy the cheaper and superior original?
With a bit of refinement to how songs are turned into stages, and with a bit of touching up to the layout problems that conflict with subconscious expectations, Melody's Escape could genuinely be one of those phenomenal indie games that take the world by storm. Although it functions exceedingly well and is a great joy to play, a few flaws seriously hinder the experience. Either it quickly becomes apparent that the stages consist of mashing random keys to the beat of player-provided songs, or frustration results from the many misses that occur because of conflicting information.
There's nothing here that stands out as good or bad, and it's more or less exactly what would be expected form the phrase "fast-paced tower defense." Obviously, this means that strategy and tactics will play a smaller role, and that's disappointing, because tactics are a big part of the appeal with such games. The graphics and music are done well, but the limited options and single-minded commitment to haste hurt this title by forcing it to be shallow. It's certainly fun and enjoyable, but it also feels like "arcade" is thrown in here as a way of saying "don't expect any depth."
Even if the experience is schizophrenic, The Elder Scrolls Online earned its award as the Best MMO of 2015: it's fun, engaging, and unique. It breaks free of so many conventional standards of the genre that orienting oneself anew is quite a challenge. It's well worth it to do so, though, because the plethora of quests, adventures, and journeys to be had - like with this new DLC, Thieves Guild - make its single-player cousin look almost quaint. This influx of new content, new abilities, and new areas are meant to revitalise, not reinvent, and they fit pretty well with what most people would expect of a typical MMO's content patches.
Although Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness was really the definitive version of the original game, Disgaea PC still holds up very well, particularly in a genre that isn't overflowing with competition. The graphics have aged reasonably well, and the improvements to the maps look great, even if they do make the character models look a bit flat and dull in comparison. Expecting players to rely on muscle memory for the controls is an issue, but these minor gripes aren't problems for long.
With such monotonous gameplay, there's very little to recommend with Devils & Demons, especially since so many other better games are out there. This is little more than a cynical mobile game ported over to PC with a respectively heavy price fixed to it, but it probably worked out decently on mobile, where it was free (albeit burdened by ads). Subpar graphics, irritating sound effects, dull and uninspired gameplay, a bland and clichéd story, and an unfriendly UI make it clear that it really isn't as simple as converting touch controls into mouse controls.
AIPD is in need of more substance, but what is on offer is a solid and fun experience, even if it does take a while to figure out what is going on (Hint: weapons overheat, which is strangely easy to overlook and may leave players wondering why their ship is bouncing all over the arena). It's pretty, has great music, and is fun to play; it's just that the amount of content on offer isn't staggering and can quickly lead to boredom. The boredom won't last, because players will feel an inexorable pull to play again, but small doses is the name of the game.
Like its predecessor, Rise of the Tomb Raider is fun, but many of the flaws have been ironed out. A few new shortcomings were introduced, but not nearly enough to really hinder the gameplay experience. There's certainly plenty to like, and not a whole lot to dislike, but having Lara pushed to the back after such a strong performance in the initial title may leave players feeling underwhelmed and dissatisfied. It's definitely worth picking up… once it's part of a Complete Edition at a reasonable price and with all the content.
Final Fantasy VI is still good, but its primary purpose is to kick gamers in the pants about bringing emulation discussions to the forefront. In an age where classic games are easily playable on modern systems, a rerelease should really amaze with its changes and new features, but because emulation is tainted by tangentially related conversations about piracy, it's taboo to point out that a better version is widely available with very little effort. If this release is stacked against the emulation scene, it's an absolute joke that people are expected to pay money for this, but the overall sentiment from AAA publishers is that emulation doesn't exist. There are plenty of legitimate ways to enjoy this game without the long list of flaws that characterise this port, and it is advised to explore other avenues; Square Enix shouldn't be rewarded for releasing shoddy ports.
Darksiders II was not the blockbuster hit that many people - THQ included - expected it to be, and the primary reason is that something is just… off. As a result, its Deathinitive Edition had to work very hard to do better, but any chance for it succeeding was undermined by an inexcusable lack of stability in the final product.
The different gameplay elements that comprise Tomb Raider are very well done, and they are a lot of fun. During the TPS parts, Tomb Raider is competent. During the survival horror parts, Tomb Raider is competent. During the survival crafting parts, Tomb Raider is competent. This doesn't leave the whole package as competent, though. Even if someone used the best noodles possible, the best chocolate syrup, a lavish Lamborghini steering wheel, and a $900 pair of shoes, a lasagne made out of these ingredients wouldn't be very good—even if all the different parts are high quality. Tomb Raider needed someone to stand up and tell the marketing department that disparate gameplay elements weren't going to be shoehorned in simply to increase sales by 0.025%. Lara Croft does a wonderful job of redeeming Tomb Raider, and is the only reason it's playable, but it's only marginally more fleshed out than the myriad of mini-game collections found for the Kinect and Move.
Even though the difficulty is extremely high, Super Meat Boy is worth the perseverance and dedication that it takes to become skilled. Completing a stage or collecting a bandage after dozens of attempts is tremendously rewarding. It is easily one of the best platformers to come out in recent years, and the effort and care of Team Meat shows in the final product; it's fantastic. Not very many games can nail that line, but Super Meat Boy is the magnum opus of "easy to learn, difficult to master."
In regard to story and gameplay, Final Fantasy V is as great as it has ever been, but dealing with a supremely suboptimal port in order to enjoy the game requires extreme dedication to the series or a lack of a smartphone or tablet. Players who can't even borrow a mobile device for long enough to play Final Fantasy V are certainly encouraged to give this port a look, because it's not that Final Fantasy V is a bad game. This is a bad version of the game. Severe flaws resulting from a gross lack of optimisation severely hinder the experience; almost nothing was modified for the PC port. Although the mobile version is marginally more expensive, players are advised to play Final Fantasy V on the system for which it was optimised, rather than the system for which it was bastardised.
While there's no reason to choose Mega Man Legacy Collection over Mega Man Anniversary Collection, there is plenty of content here for anyone who can't easily enjoy the latter again, and the games themselves are as fantastic as they've ever been. The extraneous Challenges are nice additions, but they aren't appealing enough to carry Mega Man Legacy Collection.