My 40 hours in Yakuza: Like a Dragon were a great experience regardless if I was playing on my original Xbox One or seamlessly transitioning my save onto the Xbox Series X for improved resolution, frame rate, and loading times. I loved its characters, humor, and willingness to balance complete absurdity with utter sincerity. And even though the battle system would occasionally trip over its own feet, I still adored watching my crew beat the hell out of some weirdos, grow a little bit closer, and celebrate their victory with karaoke back at the pub.
While it’s sure to be overshadowed by the excellent pair of Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a wonderful platformer and a strong part of what makes the PS5’s launch lineup arguably the best in video game history. The aesthetic beauty, incredible use of music, and wealth of unlockables overshadow some of the finicky control issues. Whether you’re going it alone or partying up with some pals, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a great entry to one of Sony’s beloved franchises.
The true definition of a classic, the gameplay and story of Shadow of the Colossus are every bit as great and emotional today as they were in 2005. This outstanding remaster skillfully enhances those qualities with improved controls, performance, and sheer graphical beauty. It remains one of the best PlayStation games ever made, and it's wonderful that Sony has brought it back to the fore so a new generation of gamers can experience it without having to look past its aged facade.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy succeeds on the strength of its protagonists, writing, and phenomenal depiction of India's jungles and ruins. Being in the company of Chloe and Nadine keeps its overly familiar action sequences and disappointingly empty open-world area interesting, and it regains its footing in smart puzzles and thrilling cinematic moments.
Rime's superficial beauty and interesting mysteries provided enough enjoyment to make me willing to put up with its shallow and familiar elements under the hood. While nothing about Rime is necessarily bad, you can find more interesting versions of nearly every single element of it in other, better games.
Though it only took me just under two hours to complete, the second the credits stopped rolling I immediately restarted What Remains of Edith Finch. Each of the vignettes is so distinct and surprising that I didn't have enough time to absorb and dissect what I had just played before being whisked away to the next one. But after fully piecing together the threads of the family and sifting through the allegories of their final moments, I was left with a beautiful, heartbreaking mosaic that exudes life, even when mired in death.
Yooka-Laylee contains all the pieces needed for a fun, enjoyable throwback to the 3D collectathons of the 64-bit era. The characters are charming and funny, your set of abilities is vast and entertaining, and four out of five of the worlds are fun playgrounds to explore. While it lacks the heart and polish of some of its incredible predecessors, it’s a good reminder that this genre, once thought to be dead, still has some life left in it.
Despite the fact that this is a first-person VR adventure mostly devoid of the combat platforming that made the original Psychonauts so memorable, it still carries the same spirit. The wonderful writing and solid use of VR make it a fitting continuation to the series that left me pining for Psychonauts 2, especially when it ended after three hours and visiting just a handful of locations.