Boasting some of the most compelling mechanics in a Grasshopper game to date and a terrific sense of style, 'Let it Die' is often a great time, and easily one of my favorite F2P games on consoles. The game is held back somewhat by occasionally wonky difficulty that feels particularly punishing given the game's death system, and it often feels padded with systems that drag things down in the name of length, but overall, I've been having a wonderful time with 'Let it Die', and I look forward to diving into it for weeks to come.
While the game is light on extra content right now, the promise of free DLC that will expand the game dramatically could easily lead to this being the biggest 'Shantae' yet. It might not be the half-genie's best adventure to date, but it's an upbeat, extremely fun game that's well worth checking out for anyone who likes platformers.
While it occasionally buckles under its own ambition and the game falters somewhat as the plot ramps up, overall 'Final Fantasy XV' is a beautiful, exciting game that I dearly loved. It may not be the best game I've played this year, but it is almost certainly my favorite, and Square Enix has built an incredible, extremely unique open-world. While I'm not sure I want 'FFXVI' to follow suit and be an open-world like this one, I'd absolutely love to see them expand upon some of the ideas presented here in future. A remarkable return to form for a franchise that many felt had lost its way.
While it's a shame it's lacking the exclusive bonus chapter from the recently released PC version, this is otherwise the most content rich edition of a great horror game. The new content here is definitely nice, but it's the kind of side content that doesn't necessarily justify double dipping for those who own any of the other releases, but absolutely makes it a great entry point for anyone who hasn't yet delved into the horrors 'Corpse Party' has on offer. With a clear understanding of how to do a lot with very little, and just how to keep things scary, 'Corpse Party' still feels just as terrifying as it did five years ago, and is well worth checking out for any horror fan.
Marrying the best ideas from 'Minecraft' with the structure and charm of 'Dragon Quest', 'Builders' had its work cut out for it from the start. The team behind it, however, have gone the extra mile in developing a game that feels wholly unique and endlessly endearing. It's by no means perfect, and has ideas that could stand to be improved upon when the game eventually gets a sequel, but what could've ended up as a cynical cash in has instead wound up as one of 2016's most interesting games.
Far from being a bad game, 'MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death' doesn't really try to be much more than simply competent. Its systems and ideas are all strong, but they're tackled fairly gracelessly and just end up feeling rote after a while. I didn't have a bad time with the game, but it's hard to not just recommend playing something like 'Demon Gaze' or even Idea Factory's own 'Trillion' instead for those looking for a great Dungeon Crawler or JRPG on Vita.
One of the best games on the 3DS has been bested with 'Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse ', and the result is an exciting, smart, and amazingly complex RPG. I can't think of a game I've enjoyed this much in 2016, and I'm already looking forward to diving back into this again in the near future. While it's worth playing its predecessor before diving into this, Atlus has done a good job of ensuring that the game stands on its own perfectly, making it accessible even to series newcomers. For those who like JRPGs in the slightest, 'SMTIVA' is absolutely worth playing.
A collection of good ideas held back by subpar execution, 'Ray Gigant' feels too easy and dull for its own good. I desperately wanted to love it, but outside of the soundtrack, there's little I can say I ultimately enjoyed here. For those looking to get into the genre, the developer's own 'Demon Gaze' does a tremendous job of welcoming newcomers and working as a terrific dungeon crawler in its own right. 'Ray Gigant', however, just feels hollow.
Despite some minor issues, 'Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X' is a lovingly produced, beautiful, and extremely fun rhythm game that stands as possibly the best on both PS4 and Vita so far. For those who haven't experienced the series before, there's no better time to jump in, and for those who have, this is one of the most refined takes on the formula to date.
'Attack on Titan' focuses on a single idea and nails it absolutely perfectly. The game runs the risk of feeling repetitive at times, but it smartly mitigates that by injecting enough variety into each mission and playable character. While the game isn't without its flaws, at its best, it's an extremely exciting action game with some of the greatest movement mechanics I've ever seen. 'Attack on Titan' is both perfect for series' fans and a terrific game in its own right, and absolutely shouldn't be ignored.
While it's a bit of a comedown in some respects, 'Hitman' remains an excellent game in its fourth episode, and I have no qualms with recommending the overall package at this point. Bangkok really shines on replay though, so the first run through ends up feeling like more of a warmup than anything else. The hotel does feel a bit too similar to the first mission in some respects, but IO still crams the episode with enough charm and fun that it ends up feeling worthwhile in spite of its faults.
For as much as 'A.W. : Phoenix Festa' fails to capitalize on the potential of its strong ideas, there is something oddly compelling about the whole game that had me start up a second playthrough pretty much immediately after my first ending. I can't really recommend this to anyone but diehard fans of the series, but even then, it comes with the caveat that it's a flawed, rushed game. It's nice to see more titles like this brought over, but this is one that can safely be skipped.
A good way to experience the basics of the terrific 'Extreme VS' games, but it absolutely falters compared to the rest of the series due to the lack of any sort of online play and a far smaller roster than it deserves. There's a long, content-rich campaign mode that ends up being far more fun than I'd ever expected. I sincerely hope later entries have a similar mode, but then also have online multiplayer.
While it's complexities edge a tad too close to convolution at times, 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII' was a great time once I wrapped my head around it all. The steps towards accessibility, while far from perfect, definitely make this the most user-friendly entry in the series, and the amount of options available to players is hugely appreciated. I don't think it reaches the same highs that 'Nobunaga's Ambition' did, and that game was a tad more efficient at introducing its concepts, but it's still a unique, interesting strategy game that genre fans really shouldn't overlook.
A lovely little low-key JRPG that feels like the work of a small, passionate indie developer that just wants to pay homage to the classics it looks up to. 'I Am Setsuna' isn't a revolutionary game or a rebirth of the genre, as the marketing seems to imply. What 'I Am Setsuna' ultimately ends up being is a remarkably well-made, charming game that's endlessly endearing and entirely devoid of cynicism.
An absolutely terrific love letter to 'JoJo' that’s marred by being an extremely mediocre game. For fans of the franchise, there's enough love and care poured into this that it at least warrants a look, but for everyone else, the basic gameplay just isn't enough to make this a worthwhile package. The potential for a terrific 'JoJo' game certainly exists, and if CC2 ever steps back to the franchise, I'll definitely check out what they do next, but right now, this just feels like a bit of a misfire, a game designed with love for its parent franchise above playability.
From a studio I’d never heard of and who, in turn, I expected nothing special from, 'Furi' makes me feel like a fool for ever judging it so harshly. Very possibly the best action game this generation so far, this is a rare example of every facet of a game's design working perfectly to create an amazing whole. This is an outstanding effort from a studio I’m going to follow wholeheartedly from here on out.
Even better than the terrific first episode, the Sapienza mission might be a series high point. While there are still some technical issues, and the lengthy load times hamper things in a game where reloading to give things another shot is such a big part of it, the overall experience has been incredible so far. I can't wait to see what comes next.
It's unwelcoming and occasionally too difficult for its own good, but overall, 'Stranger of Sword City' is an accomplished dungeon crawler made by a team who clearly understands what makes the genre special. It's both a terrific JRPG and an excellent showcase in building a genuinely scary atmosphere with limited resources. While their earlier effort 'Demon Gaze' is definitely an easier game to recommend, there's plenty here that makes this special, and I can't wait to see what comes next from this developer.