The foundation for an incredible online card game is very much present in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel. There's all the tools here for the next online TCG sensation, and its free-to-play friendly beginnings coupled with smooth UI make it quite watchable from a viewership perspective. If Konami sinks more content into ranked play and maintains a steady schedule of single-player releases and game modes over the next year or two, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel could become the top-tier online representation of tabletop card game experiences - something that would've been absurd to suggest after lengthy head starts by Magic Arena, Hearthstone, and others.
While Voice of Cards does stumble in spots, it shines as a brilliantly told story that successfully replicates the feeling of the best tabletop gaming sessions, with a game master whose engaging voice carries much of the emotion and tension required to make the setup work. While it certainly won't be for everyone, Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is a beautiful title well worth a look from any roleplaying fan, and an example of how excellent design can breathe life into any game with enough to say about its world and its heroes.
For those who haven't picked up a FIFA title in a few years, however, this is certainly the best time to jump back into the franchise, with a skew towards offensive soccer minds that will no doubt result in quicker pacing, attractive games, and a strong pick-up-and-play appeal for those just looking to play some soccer here and there.
Lost Judgment is nothing short of stunning. It's tightly-packed narrative never fails to enthrall, while its gameplay systems make navigating to each of its engrossing narrative beats an exciting experience in its own right. While Judgment felt a bit more like a proof of concept for how a Yakuza spin-off could be done, its sequel is evidence there needs to be more. Lost Judgment is a defining release from Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, one of 2021's best games, and the rare sequel that preserves its series' identity while improving on nearly every element of its predecessor.
Ultimately, Iki Island is a solid eight-to-ten hour campaign completing most of its extras, and the upgrades on PlayStation 5 are tangible enough that it feels like the release of Director's Cut was more than justified. Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut is the best iteration of an already amazing title, and should be a must-own for any PS5 user who hasn't played through the game once before. For anyone who has already done so, it's a bit of a tougher sell, though the upgrades and expanded narrative of the DLC do offer enough to make it a strong consideration for another go on PlayStation 5.
Hades remains one of the best roguelikes in recent memory regardless of what machine is housing it. As always, the advice ultimately remains the same for those on the fence about the Supergiant Games spin on mythology: go play Hades. Now there's even more ways to do so.
Sumire is the type of game that anyone who loves story-telling and visually stunning environments will be drawn in by. It doesn't reinvent any of its inspirations - and in some places, like its puzzles and its replayability, it's noticeably less impressive than some of its peers - but the experience as a whole exceeds these individual qualities. GameTomo delivers on the promise of its premise, and Sumire is an easy recommendation for those who enjoy visual novels or memorable narratives.
Ultimately, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is a surprisingly accessible entry into a franchise known for its complexity and tactical prowess. It achieves this accessibility without sacrificing its depth, too, which is a major boon for veterans of the series. In spite of this, an overall lack of innovation in the user-controlled battles and some dated graphics and dialogue make for an uneven, though at times great, experience. Even with its more inviting approach to newcomers, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny will likely be most enjoyed by those who already love the franchise, and anyone who has a low tolerance for anime tropes or standard tactical fare will likely want to give this one a pass.
Ultimately, though, FF7 Remake Episode INTERmission doesn't shy away from its nature as a side story, and as a result it spends most of its time embracing the new characters and their experiences rather than trying to shoehorn them into the main narrative. While that might make the FF7 Remake DLC feel less important as a result, it also results in a tight, fun experience that doesn't take long to complete and firmly establishes another engrossing character in a FF7 Remake universe that has shown time and again it's capable of creating stars. FF7 Remake Episode INTERmission, then, is DLC that slots nicely into the gap between the first game and FF7 Remake Part 2 - it's skippable for those who aren't interested, but excellent for those who want more of the game's world before it progresses onward.
Errors aside, though, Roguebook is still an exceptionally fun experience. It's a very good deckbuilding game hiding within an innovative take on roguelike play, and the charm of its characters and the accessibility of its difficulty will go a long way in compelling people to give it a try. A deeper story, more variety in levels and characters, and some crucial bug fixes would go a long way in giving Roguebook long-lasting appeal, but it's still well-worth checking out for fans of either roguelikes or deckbuilders - as long as they can stomach a few crashes and don't mind a bit of an easier experience than they may be used to.
Ultimately, it's not surprising to see Trials of Fire emerge out of Early Access as a strong deckbuilding contender. That time spent listening to player feedback was used wisely, and balancing, tone, and innovation have all been tweaked with a deft hand. While some of its elements shine more brightly than others, and the more involved nature of the game means it's a tougher sell for players looking to rapid-fire their way through its learning curve and combinations, Trials of Fire leaves Early Access as yet another strong, captivating deckbuilding game that borrows from tabletop roleplaying games and roguelites to carve out a name for itself.
Ultimately, however, Judgment on PS5 is the best version of a great game, with no hiccups in the transition to current-gen consoles and a few exceptional benefits for players to enjoy. Judgment remains, like a crucial discovery in Yagami's case, strong evidence that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio knows its way around compelling crime narratives in a way few other developers can aspire towards. Like its setting, it's not perfect in any sense, but also like Kamurocho, the flaws are another reason to get drawn in, and Judgment on PS5 is a must-play for anyone who enjoys a good detective story.
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... isn't just a comprehensive remake that makes some startling updates - it's also a proof of concept for the series moving forward. The story holds up, the refined combat is engaging, and its charm and melancholy both resonate with a player long after they've put the controller down. In revisiting NieR's past, it becomes clear just how bright its future is. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... is something worth playing in 2021 and beyond, and a one-of-a-kind JRPG that continues to challenge convention even a decade after it first began to do so.