Far Cry never felt like just a shooter or just another open world game to me, but rather, a combination of many genres that offered balance between the cozier, more relaxing parts of the game and the high stakes, overstimulating pace of the main storyline. I guess maybe that's why, as I approached this review in the wake of Far Cry 5, I oddly felt the need to pin it to a single identity. I'm disappointed to see the series scale back at the expense of other features but New Dawn does a fine job of reinforcing that creative decision and offers some small hope that the writing may continue to improve. If outposts are your favorite part of the series, then you'll likely enjoy Far Cry New Dawn.
That being said, Life is Strange 2 boldly covers subject matter that so often is tiptoed around or completely ignored in entertainment, and it's refreshing to see the studio address topics like racism and police brutality head-on. While I'd like to see some technical aspects polished up (the facial animations still lack a decent range of expression, for example), Episode 1 is a solid start on this new saga in the series. I look forward to seeing what becomes of the Diaz brothers as they continue to head towards Mexico over the course of the next four episodes.
Give me a female lead who wakes up, pisses out her diaphragm and does a shot of Jager while she's still on the toilet. Give me someone who is messy, who makes mistakes not out of a misguided and entitled sense of right and wrong, but because human beings are flawed and have complicated motivations. It's a tall order in an atmosphere where AAA games are designed just as much by their investors as they are their writers, but in the case of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I still wish they'd actually get their hands dirty.
As a first-party Nintendo game, it's entirely possible my expectations were a little too high going into the game. That said, it didn't feel worth the storage space it took up on my SD card, even though I got it for free. The game aims for surreal and surprising, but just feels shallow. Desperate to find something nice to say about WarioWare Gold, I even tried the "kid test" and ran it by my young niece.
These days, with all the focus on online multiplayer, it's not as easy to find a satisfying couch co-op game, especially one that can be enjoyable across several age groups. Playing such a good one reminds me of how much more spirited a game feels when you can feed off the other players' energy in person. Overcooked 2 should be cherished, even if it's exhausting and threatens to tear your family apart.
Things do pick up once the matches get serious. The variations in each level are a great change of pace, and cycling through the power moves and special shots can be really satisfying once you built up the dexterity and reflexes to pull them off. It's just such a shame that you have to skip through so much of the game just to play it. When I actually get to play Mario Tennis Aces, I really enjoy it. But it lacks the luster of that high quality Nintendo shine.
And until then, the game is still solid enough to be worth a playthrough, especially at its price point and if you're a fan of VR. While I'm still not sure splitting the games into chapters was necessary, it works to provide a bit of a break between lengthy sections spent meandering through airspace, which helps ensure the game's main gimmick doesn't become too stale. Downward Spiral: Horus Station is drifting in the right direction, even if it sometimes loses its grip.
The story, mechanics, lore and aesthetic are all fantastic, but some simple tweaks, like improvements to the mission notes, would balance the crafting and survival aspects enough to make them less of an impediment to completion. That being said, whatever effort you put in to finish Smoke and Sacrifice will be worth it. It's flawed, but it's a step in the right direction for survival crafting games, and I hope to see others in its genre take the same initiative towards aesthetic and narrative in the future.
Monster Prom is ridiculously fun and laugh out loud funny; I've been cackling like Edna Crabapple with almost every panel. I plan to play it a lot more even though I'm done with my review, which is basically the biggest compliment I can give a game these days. Whether you're a fan of dating stimula—er, simulators—or not, I highly recommend it.
It's very effective at reinforcing the material and committing the facts to memory. The game is a bit too short (the big reveal is never given a chance to really build to its full effect), and I feel it ended a bit abruptly, but after the credits as the events came to a close, I was intrigued by the hint at a later installment. In A Case of Distrust, the verdict is in: guilty of being an enjoyable game.
This is both the fighting game and Dragon Ball spin-off I never realized I always wanted. The production values are better, and the narrative tension is vastly improved. Given how Dragon Ball FighterZ amps up the drama on existing Dragon Ball storylines, increases engagement by allowing the player to take dialogue sequences at their own pace, and puts a polished, beautiful spin on the old cartoon, this isn't just my favorite Dragon Ball game. It's my favorite Dragon Ball anything.
Fittingly, a game that is about getting cake is really more of a snack than a meal; you won't find a robust narrative in the Story Mode of Kirby Battle Royale. Like a pastry, the game is mostly empty calories and air. But it's still satisfying, even if it isn't filling, and makes for a happy addition to my 3DS library.
Jokes aside, Battle Chef Brigade is pure fun, which as this horrific year wraps up and I throw myself into epic holiday preparations, is just what I needed. With its anime sensibilities and a play style that even my mom likes and appreciates, I suspect it will have strong generational appeal and make for a great family game. I can't recommend it enough.