While I appreciate the crushing difficulty later in the game, it’s unfortunate that Rhythm Fighter equates “harder” with “more damage and cheap attacks”. It got to the point where if I ended up getting the Chonki boss (a literal chonky statue of a cat) after my second stage, I ended up resetting my run due to the fact that the boss’s move patterns are unpredictable and there’s barely an opening to hit back.
Tanuki Justice is a throwback to the run and gun games of the 80s and 90s, for better or for worse. While it does sport some challenging difficulty and a distinct pixel art style, some of it goes into unfair territory and ends up being an exercise in frustration.
Perhaps the only real issue I have is the overall length of the game, which can be excused since it’s, well, free. The game lasts under about two hours on a casual playthrough, though there’s tons to explore (with a platinum trophy requiring a little more thought when replaying levels for collectibles), as well as special online time trials you can participate in for the best time. Do I want more of Astro’s Playroom? Definitely, and if we could get a full-fledged sequel that could utilize the DualSense controller like this one, it would be a masterpiece.
While Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise hosts a number of improvements that will complement your workout, there are a host of technical issues that make this a worse performing experience. If you can get past the underwhelming music and slight slowdown, however, you'll find a wonderful exercise program if you stick with it.
Coming out of seemingly nowhere, Touhou Spell Bubble is one of the best puzzle games I've played all year. The mix of rhythm gameplay and a reimagining of the Bust a Move formula is wrapped up in a Touhou presentation, and it's an addictively fun experience that diehard Touhou fans should definitely check out.
Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle is an interesting way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of everyone's favorite yellow muncher, but the asking price and lack of content might turn off some interested fans. However, with some added updates and patches, it has the potential to be one of the more engaging battle royale titles.
Fuser is a wonderful title that will appeal to anyone looking for a good time with great beats. Whether you're spectating a user-created set or making your own beats with the base soundtrack of 100 songs, there's no better time to spin the disc and get the house poppin'!
With a host of extras and the ability to play on a big screen, this is the definitive version of Part Time UFO. A lovely title with the cutest aesthetic in recent memory, you'll be humming the theme song and smiling as you pick up and play this awesome puzzle title.
Whether this is your first experience with the satirical duology or a revisit to the tale, Cthulhu Saves Christmas is a short and sweet RPG that will have you laughing until Santa decides to leave the North Pole for Christmas this year. (spoiler: that's a long time!) Its new and improved turn-based system will entertain even the most curmudgeonly jaded RPG fan.
Mad Rat Dead is a game that has a massive amount of heart, both literally and figuratively. The game's killer soundtrack and innovatively slick gameplay will dazzle rhythm game veterans, and it has a unique charming style that's unmatched by the competition. It's time to catch the beat and fall madly in love with Mad Rat Dead!
Super Bomberman R Online is THE reason to get a Stadia account. While the paid premium pack can deal some unfair advantages with the initial release, the innovative mixture of classic Bomberman gameplay and a Battle Royale twist make this the best exclusive, and perhaps game available on Stadia, so far.
Buried Stars will slip under the radar for most people; I implore you to check this wonderful visual novel out, as it's perhaps one of the best narrative experiences this year. With a relatable and fleshed out cast of characters mixed with simple yet engrossing mystery mechanics, this one deserves your time and attention.