Beat by beat, you've seen elements of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim's plot elsewhere before, but you've probably never played anything quite like it. How 13 Sentinels strings its complex narrative together is nothing short of astonishing. It operates like a great melodramatic sci-fi TV show, only reworked and shuffled into an interactive format, and it takes full advantage of it. And for that, even with weak RTS battles complementing it all, it's an easy recommendation.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is the perfect remake. It doesn't just recapture what made the series so beloved, but helps us fall in love with mastering combos and finding secret areas all over again. The one major downfall of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a relatively slight one: its multiplayer options are slim at launch. Even being a grinding, rolling advertisement for the sorts of brands you'd find at Zumiez, all the brands's non-stop presence is something undeniably Tony Hawk-and hell, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a cart waiting to check out at Zumiez now. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is an excellent remake with a rare power: the power to make skaters of us all.
Prolific server issues and slim bonus settings are holding Fall Guys back for now, but for the time being, the wobbly obstacle course battle royale forges its own path. It's easy to envision the game only getting bigger from here on out—especially considering this launch era has been declared as Season 1, battle pass and all. As a foundation, Fall Guys is an endlessly engaging one. I'll be chuckling as I fumble to finish lines for quite some time.
A distinct, cel-shaded and anime-inspired style isn't the only thing remarkable about Necrobarista. From its main story to the entertaining text adventures that paint between the lines of its more stylishly presented narrative, Necrobarista is an engaging visual novel from start to finish. Some minor complaints in how it executes unlocking additional text adventures does little to hold back the death-concerned coffee shop adventure.
Ninjala at launch is thin on content, but still enjoyable. Despite a frankly skippable paid Story Package, it's the sheer variety in its weapon lineup that makes its colorful free-to-play melee action stand out. Whether you're a Splatoon fan hungry for any new content, or just curious about a game where you can swing a giant ear of corn as a bat and enwrap your foes in bubblegum, Ninjala is worth checking out.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the best sort of remaster: its improvements may seem minimal, but it overhauls most of the tedium that once plagued the Wii RPG classic. While some things it can't fix with polish—the too-big environments, the boring side quests, its messy battle system—for fans or curious new players, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is easily the best Xenoblade Chronicles out there, even with its annoyances.
Project Diva Mega Mix is a welcome return to Nintendo's portable platform for the rhythm game series. While it doesn't scale well to portable and its Joy-Con motion control mode is a dud, the main mode remains as brutally satisfying as ever. Whether a diehard Miku fan or just a rhythm game enthusiast, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix is yet another great entry in the series.
There is a shell of a good game in Predator: Hunting Grounds, but severe balancing issues, poor console performance, and general clunkiness hold it back from standing shoulder to shoulder with other solid 4v1 multiplayer games—even the one its developer has made before. While its Predator callbacks are solid, for fans looking for another good Predator game, there's not one to be found here. At least not yet.
Resident Evil 3 finally repositions its place as not just a true sequel to Resident Evil 2, but as a bridge to Resident Evil 4, both in action and plot. While it streamlines the formula of Resident Evil 2 into something more linear, it's still the best way to dodge through Raccoon City with Jill and Carlos, even with Nemesis always on your tail and the occasional clunkiness here and there. With a breezy runtime, Resident Evil 3 is well worth revisiting. Just maybe not Resident Evil Resistance.
Some significant technical issues manage to do little to hold back the charm and wit of Wattam. It's a game that's great fun for both kids and adults, with slapstick humor and a sweet message of understanding people, despite your differences, at its center. It's made with today's toxic climate in mind, boiling the world's issues into something that doesn't feel cloying, but instead feels positive and welcoming. That, to me, is an achievement.
Life Is Strange 2 has a better core relationship at the heart of its game, but it fails them with the episodic adventure's at times boring, formulaic episode structure; something its predecessor did not suffer from. Some of the story beats are preachy and unearned. Where Life Is Strange 2 hits its stride is more a technical feat: in how its core relationship between brothers Sean and Daniel becomes a game mechanic in itself, and how all the choices you make shape Daniel as he grows up.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare steps it up in the pure game-feel department; its guns, its movement, its action: it all feels the best it's ever been. Even with thrilling new modes like Gunfight and the Counter-Strike-like Cyber Attack, the maps and Spec Ops end up disappointing. The campaign itself remains a return to form for the staple Call of Duty campaign, for better or worse. Modern Warfare as a whole ends up feeling like it has the foundation for something better than it is right now, and in the months to come, it very well might be. But for now, it's just merely almost there.
Aside from its cute art direction, there's not much joy to be found in Game Freak's Little Town Hero. Its battle system has a glimmer of potential, but finds itself muddled in system after system, making what should be its standout boss battles a tedious affair. Even for a budget price, this is a town you probably won't want to visit for more than a day.
Untitled Goose Game is a game about being a bully, but an adorable one. As a pesky goose, you honk, waddle, and drive human beings nuts—I assume as real-life geese do. The occasional frustrating task barely holds back Untitled Goose Game when it's at its best: where you're setting up elaborate (or not) situations to annoy people and ruin their day.
Zachtronics make a detour from its puzzle game destiny with the visual novel Eliza. It's slick in its design, though shy on the big choices you might expect from most visual novels. Still, packed with a stellar solitaire minigame, impressive voice acting, and one of the most prescient narratives I've seen in games, if you're a fan at all of interactive stories that'll have you gripped from start to finish, Eliza is it.