As much as I didn't feel any profound level of resonance with the content of The Beginner's Guide, I will certainly defend its right to exist. I think that it makes a showing in a side of the industry that doesn't get a lot of attention, and that's a good thing. However, my personal opinion is that there are other games that do a far better job of making that showing, and this includes The Beginner's Guide's immediate predecessor.
All in all, Nitroplus Blasterz is profoundly underwhelming. The mechanics are there, but they're implemented poorly. The character sprites are well-designed, but not necessarily well-animated. The backgrounds are dull, the soundtrack is just there, and the game doesn't offer much to the player outside of frustration. There's no reason to pick this up unless you fit one of two criteria; one, you love Nitroplus visual novels and want to play the fighting game that features all their characters, or two, you're a fighting game player that will literally play anything handed to you. If you're that rare fusion of both, I'd say it's a must-buy. For everyone else who's not big on the source material or hardcore enough to play everything that the fighting genre has to offer, you'd be far better off dropping forty dollars on something else. Hell, Skullgirls is half the price, has just as much fanservice, and is a mechanically superior game by all measures. Go play that instead, because this...this just ain't it, although I will say that it isn't for a lack of trying.
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Remastered is quite literally like finding an old toy you loved as a child, having a nostalgic moment with it when you pick it up, and putting it back down soon after that moment has passed. You're older, you're wiser and you've seen and done more advanced things since the time where that toy meant something to you, so the resonance you feel with it is fleeting at best. Most cherished, hallowed classics of the medium — Megaman, Mario, etc. —are considered as such because they never feel too old, but that isn't the case here. That's where I am with Turok. It's fun for a few hours or so, and going through the levels – especially the speed-run begging tutorial – was like hopping on the old bike and popping wheelies like I was 14 again. It doesn't take long for that feeling to wear off, and due to this, I can only recommend Turok to those who loved the old game so much that they feel compelled to spend money on it again. It's not likely to be worth the twenty-dollar purchase, otherwise. That said, it's still a very fun game and the remastered package is done quite well, so I'm going to grade the game based on the quality of the remastered port, with however bored I became with it notwithstanding.
I wanted to like this game, but I just can't. And this is from Dimps, to boot — a company I stand behind as purveyors of some pretty fun stuff. They made all the Dragon Ball Z Budokai games on PS2, and they had a major hand in the development of Street Fighter IV, so I know that they're better than this. There's shades of a good game underneath all the trappings, but said trappings are not just holding this game back from being the best it can be, they're holding it back from being fun. And really, if your game isn't fun, what purpose does it serve?
As someone who's proud to have played most of the world's (in)famous shmups, I have to say that Super Galaxy Squadron EX fails just as often it succeeds. Its seemingly inconsistent hitbox detection, sloppy bullet patterns and random spikes in difficulty tempers the awesome aesthetics, massive choice of ships, and incredibly fantastic soundtrack. It's not the worst shmup I've ever played, by far. However, it all but namedrops its influences, then does a poor job at emulating what made them so much fun. I would only recommend this for people who can't get enough of the genre.
All in all, Paperbound is a fun game. It's got a lot of potential to be a staple for anyone who has friends that come over and play games on a regular basis. But if you're not willing or able to play the game as intended — four-player couch versus only — then you're going to be equal measures bored and frustrated, and painfully so, at that.
In order to keep this already long-winded review from balooning further, I'll simply sum it up at this: while Amplitude doesn't do much in the way of innovation, it does offer the strongest gameplay in the franchise thus far in terms of challenge. However, the weak track selection, questionable visual design choices and semi-botched implementation of the franchise's best gameplay methods add up to a very lackluster experience. I would be upset if I backed this on Kickstarter, not because I didn't get a good game out of the deal — which Amplitude certainly is, for sure — but rather, that the game doesn't seem as inspired as the labors of love that preceded it, which causes this particular pony to look like it's not even capable of doing its one trick nearly as well as it used to.
I like it, but I don't love it. I think its best is yet to come, but I know that its best is likely to come with an additional price tag attached to it, at least in some fashion. I think Street Fighter V has the potential to be the best Street Fighter ever. I just don't think it is right now, and I feel that this has a lot to do with the people behind SFV wanting it to be the headline event at EVO 2016 instead of EVO 2017. Nothing more.
All in all, I think that Chroma Squad is a lot — and I mean a LOT — of fun when it works right. And to its credit, it works right almost all of the time. I never ran into a game-breaking bug, for starters. That’s high praise considering that this is an indie production made with tender loving care and Kickstarter money. There’s multiple endings and story branches, and I’m most definitely going to give it another spin in the future to see how much juice I can get from this thing. But the only thing holding me back from diving right back in is the thing I should have had the most fun with. I’m hoping that can get fixed, possibly even expanded on. As it stands, I can’t recommend Chroma Squad to anyone but the most devoted of Sentai fans and those who already like Strategy RPGs. Even for as fun as the main bulk of the game is, the insular nature of the jokes / story and the sheer mind-numbing-ness of the mecha pieces keep me from telling everyone to buy it without reservation.
Offering deep gameplay with an approachable style, Sphere of Influence is rewarding for strategy fans while remaining forgiving for genre newcomers. Strategy vets will find all they want and then some, but newcomers will need to exercise patience in order to begin digging into the game's bountiful rewards.
Despite what you might think of the source material's other incarnations, the Ultimate Ninja Storm series is where the world of Naruto truly comes to life. The story mode alone justifies the game's purchase, and the versus mode is a hell of a lot of fun...provided you're not going online to play. It gets kind of dicey at that point.
Hyper Light Drifter is a great game, but it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. It's polished to a mirror shine, it's tuned to mechanical harmony, it's gorgeous for the eyes and ears alike, but has a plot that doesn't even try (or even seemingly care) to make sense. It can also be really, really tedious to play through, as it leans heavily on classical, trial-and-error mechanics. It's a rare and beautiful gem that only certain people will find the full, true value in.
Congratulations, Bethesda. After thirteen years of disliking your games, Fallout 4 has made a true believer out of me, and an ardent one at that. This is some damn fine work, guys. I have no idea how in the hell you're going to be able to follow this one up. Good luck with that.