All of this puts me in a difficult spot with Assetto Corsa Competizione. On the one hand, it’s my favourite racing experience, hands down. It just handles beautifully. On the other hand, from features to gameplay modes and with regards to almost everything that doesn’t specifically involve racing, Competizione is substantially behind its peers, making this a racing experience that only the most hardcore of hardcore racing fans will get much out of.
This is the kind of game that's so easy to overlook. Lacking things such as overwhelming charm of a Chocobo Mystery Dungeon, the exquisite fan service of an Omega Labyrinth, or the sheer depth of a Siralim, One Way Heroics Plus lacks an X-factor that allows it to stand out. If you are a roguelike fan and give it a chance, however, it has its merits. Those merits are buried deep under poor optimisation for the Nintendo Switch, sure, but they're there, and for the persistent and patient, this is an enjoyable, rich, challenging example of the classical roguelike.
Having not played the original Brigandine, I don't know if this new one does justice to the legacy of the original. I do know that original is well-respected (and quite rare, therefore expensive), but I'm comfortable saying this: developer Matrix Software has done something special with Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia, and this effort deserves to have a legacy all of its own. The Switch is by no means short on great tactics experiences, but Brigandine might just be the best of all of them.
There's plenty of merit to Demon's Rise as the developers have delivered a game that is nicely balanced and blends a rich tapestry of gameplay elements together in a surprisingly nuanced manner. Purely on the basis of how this game is presented you just would not expect that going in. The total lack of effort in the writing kills it, though. How am I meant to enjoy a fantasy game if there is nothing to draw me into the fantasy?
It's got all the right ideas in there, but it's so timid in exploring any of them that it comes across as altogether too safe to be good horror. Reframing it as a creepy adventure game would have helped, but there too, there are the likes of Tokyo Dark that show just how far things can be pushed, and The Coma 2 would struggle in that framing too.
Building on Mimimi Games' success with Shadow Tactics, Desperados III is mature, confident gameplay design, and while it might not look like an AAA-blockbuster, it certainly has the level of refinement and quality that is a rare thing indeed. It could have been a little more in places, but it's a solid, intelligent depiction of a beloved part of America's narrative heritage and aesthetic, with some excellent and creative tactical puzzles to sort through along the way.
The lack of creative innovation from one Kairosoft title to another becomes exhausting if you play more than a few of them, and Magazine Mogul is an incredibly shallow experience. It's a pick-up-and-play delight, and it has an appealing theme, but where Game Dev Story is so well regarded because it established Kairosoft, Magazine Mogul is really starting to wear out the welcome. It's frustrating because all Kairosoft would need to do is throw caution to the wind and make just one serious simulation game with this set of production values and the company would completely reinvent itself for the better, I feel. The focus on unrelentingly casual experiences is nothing more than a game of rapidly diminishing returns for the company, and I just can't see even the most hardened Kairosoft fan caring about these new releases any longer.