If you’re currently an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, then you have no choice at all – download Microsoft Flight Simulator right at this moment and experience this amazing accomplishment in gaming. Yes, this game is a simulator, but it’s a simulator that does so many things right.
It’s difficult to know who Ayo the Clown was made for. The game’s visuals and story were clearly made with a younger audience in mind. Yet, the gameplay can get so frustratingly difficult, especially during boss fights, that I can’t imagine any kids wanting to play it. My oldest played a couple of levels but got bored. My middle child played a couple of levels and got frustrated because he couldn’t get the jump ability. I played the first half of the game on medium, but the boss fights were just so poorly designed, I ended up turning the difficulty down to easy to finish the game. If you’re desperate for a platformer, you might find some redeeming qualities here. Overall, the game took me under 5 hours to beat, but completionists might need an extra few hours. This game could have been something exceptional, and hopefully, the devs take this criticism as an opportunity to add more polish to the game with future updates.
Maneater is an absolutely brilliant game. In fact, it was one of my favourite games of 2020. The action-rpg style of gameplay combined with the shark mechanics creates such a unique and fresh experience, it’s hard not to recommend it to any gamer. Keep in mind though, this is about a shark that will eat damn near everything, including people, so if you have some younger shark fans in the house, you might want to reconsider exposing them to it. Though truth be told, my little guys tried it and got a kick out of it. It’s worth noting that the issues we noted in our original review are still present in this version, including the sometimes awkward controls, repetitive gameplay, and occasional wonky camera.
I Saw Black Clouds is awful. The story is stupid and confusing. Halfway through the game, you’ll be treated with this bizarre twist completely negating the first half of the story, and then the final half is a rushed mess that ruins anything the first half of the story had built up. The filming is brutally amateurish. I can’t help but think this mess could have been saved by a director who had a better understanding of camera angles, movement and so on. The only redeeming quality is that when you replay the game, you can skip any scenes you’ve previously watched – this will allow you to experience alternative scenes faster. Ultimately, there really is nothing here worth recommending. I Saw Black Clouds so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.
Lust From Beyond is a difficult title to review. On one hand, there are a variety of technical issues and design limitations, likely due to budget constraints, that make the game look dated. However, there is a nice variety of content and areas throughout the game and the story is deep and robust. The game is linear, but there are moments when it doesn’t feel linear – and there are some choices you can make that do impact certain outcomes. It’s rare that a game can create an adventure, filled with sex and nudity, without it feeling like it’s just about the sex and nudity.
I’m sure the biggest question on Crazy Taxi fan’s minds is how well does Taxi Chaos scratch that very specific itch. I can happily report that it scratches it very, very well. The Arcade and Pro modes will give you the same rush you got out of Crazy Taxi, and the new Free roam mode will have you spending hours scouring the city for hidden collectibles. Of course, if you’re not a fan of hunting down collectibles, Taxi Chaos might lose it’s steam pretty quick. The visuals do the trick, with only a few minor hiccups. There are some occasional glitches here and there – this one time I hit a weird jump and ended up flying in the air as high as the tallest buildings – but they’re few and far between. The voicework gets repetitive real quick, but eventually I just learned to zone it out. I do wish they had some licensed tracks here, but I get music licensing can be pricey. While I’ve easily logged in a dozen or so hours into Taxi Chaos, I’m still itching to get back into Free roam to find every last collectible. I truly hope the team at Team6 Game Studios are hard at work at some DLC, because I would love more content.
When I finished Call of the Sea, I couldn’t help but smile. It was such an incredible journey with an intriguing story and a well-thought-out ending. From start to finish, with the exception of a couple of frustrating puzzles, I truly enjoyed this game. Considering it’s is launching on Xbox Game Pass, there is absolutely no reason for Xbox Series X/S or Xbox One gamers to not give this gem a try. The sheer amount of love and care that went into crafting this world should be the new standard that all devs strive to achieve. I can’t wait to see what Out of the Blue have in store for us next, and I truly hope we’ll return to the world of Call of the Sea in a future title.
Bright Memory is a very, very short game. I played through it twice, each time the total game time was between 30-40 minutes in length. There isn’t a lot of reason to replay the short campaign either, save for earning Achievements – they even included an Achievement for finishing the game three times. You can dress Shelia up in four different costumes, including the ever-popular school girl outfit, but you really only see them during cutscenes. The game hits a lot of high notes visually, but some design choices, like the bizarre water drop issue and the screen tearing issues, detract from the overall presentation.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe offers the most complete version of Pikmin 3 that fans could hope for. If you’ve previously enjoyed Pikmin 3 on the Wii U, there isn’t a ton of reasons to come back, except for a handful of new bonus missions, added difficulty options, achievements, and the ability to play the entire game via local co-op. Make no mistake, Pikmin 3 Deluxe is an absolutely brilliant game, and everyone who owns a Switch owes it to themselves to experience it first hand. Pikmin games are a truly unique and pleasurable experience unlike any other real-time strategy on the market. Still not convinced? Nintendo has a Pikmin 3 Deluxe demo available on the eShop and your progress will carry over to the full version. However, it is worth reiterating that I really wish Nintendo took the extra step to include both Pikmin 1 and 2 in this package. The entire series should be available for everyone to enjoy. With that said, don’t sleep on Pikmin 3 Deluxe, it’s a plucking good time and just enough to tide us over as we continue the long wait for Pikmin 4.