Away: Journey to the Unexpected begins as a fun and lighthearted romp with a few very unique wrinkles to its gameplay. Unfortunately, this quickly unravels and is severely hampered by poor design choices that sour what was first an enjoyable experience.
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is a lacklustre effort after last year's promising start. It attempts to address some of the issues but these end up being unforced turnovers that makes the game actively worse. When you couple this with only one of the major gameplay problems being addressed, you find yourself with a disappointing sequel. This is a series that definitely does not need to be on a yearly cycle, and most people who bought the original last year will find they have already had their fill.
WWE 2K19 hasn't changed much at its core, but the smaller alterations to the overall package make it a vastly more enjoyable experience to previous instalments. Introducing a proper story to MyCareer gives players an actual reason to play it this year and it's a genuinely engaging experience. The increased depth of the player creation suite means each superstar feels different from the next, while quality of life improvements in Universe will be music to the ears of diehard fans. All of this adds up to make WWE 2K19 the best entry of this long-running series.
NBA Live 19 is an admirable attempt at snatching the NBA video game throne, but ultimately it fumbles. While there are a number of quality of life improvements in the career mode, it drops the ball in too many areas. Even diehard fans will be hard pressed to find many improvements to the series' gameplay compared to entries from a decade ago.
NBA 2K19 is once again the best simulation of basketball. When it comes to gameplay, presentation, and polish 2K's latest entry is undoubtedly unmatched. However, basic cosmetic options being held hostage behind microtransactions and an obtrusive story during MyCareer are huge unforced turnovers and prevent NBA 2K19 from cementing itself as the Greatest Of All Time.
Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is an enjoyable sail along the high seas that is ultimately hampered by being rough around the edges. The battle system and story are an enjoyable experience, but absurdly long load times, frame rate stuttering, a clunky menu system, and a poorly developed upgrade system hamper the experience. It's still an entertaining experience, and fans of the show will likely love it, but those looking for an incredible RPG experience here might be left a little disappointed in its squandered potential.
Despite a couple of flaws, Super Bomberman R is a strong entry into a long-running franchise. It doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, but offers enough variation to the gameplay to keep veterans of the series on their toes, while also helping newcomers ease into the format. It's a shame that online battles seem to be such a mess at the moment, because with that up and running to its full potential this would easily be the definitive Bomberman game.
There is an extremely interesting world on display in Impact Winter and there are traces of greatness scattered throughout. Unfortunately, there are far too many examples of cumbersome, clumsy, and frustrating execution that end up melting away the game's frosty facade. With such a heavy emphasis on multiple playthroughs, most players would be lucky to stomach their first 30 days of survival.
Way of the Passive Fist starts out strong with an interesting concept, but that interest soon wears off thanks to poor execution. Once you've played the first chapter you've pretty much played all 10 as there is never any variation on offer. Combine this with the fundamental flaws of basing the gameplay purely around blocking and dodging and you have a recipe for a promising and unique but ultimately disappointing game.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory is an impressive take on the monster collecting Japanese RPG format. Collecting and levelling up the digimon may seem a little too simple for die hard genre enthusiasts, but the typing, elements, and memory limit all help to add extra layers of depth to the gameplay. The DigiFarm and the interactions with your monsters also help create a bond, making them more than just tools at your disposal - something that other similar games miss. Hacker's Memory is an enjoyable romp overall for both Digimon fans and non-fans alike.