At its core, VA-11 Hall-A is the rare cyberpunk story that has heart, and even goes so far as to give its female characters agency in their own lives. It’s a story where we, the player, take the backseat, and soak it all in. Just like a good book.
The game’s graceless combat was once tolerable. But as the game progressed, that fact faded into a distant memory. It became a common occurrence to find myself frantically flinging arrows at the speedier robots sprinting my way, while praying that the slower, stronger ones didn’t reach me in time for more tedious hack-and-slashing
Horizon Zero Dawn is disappointing. It has a story that I struggled to care about (complete with massive expository dumps—yay), a bland protagonist, and overtly repetitive and constraining missions that worked against its open world sensibilities. When Horizon Zero Dawn hit its rare strides—from its gloomy Cauldrons to traveling across its sprawling vistas—it only made me wish the rest of the game were as worthwhile.
We don't get games like Nier: Automata too often. And by that I mean games that simultaneously weave a deeply harrowing existentialist narrative, in addition to playing with our expectations on how we play games. There's nothing else around like Nier: Automata (except for maybe its predecessor). And in an industry that sometimes leans too heavily on sameness, it's wholly refreshing.
With the most bewitching tale the series has ever told and an incredibly likable cast that rises above their typical archetypes, Persona 5 sings a song of rebellion. Not just against the norm of JRPGs, but of society's oppressive grasp, inspiring its players to rise up as the Phantom Thieves would. In the end, in spite of its minor missteps, Persona 5 has the power to steal the hearts of longterm fans of the series and newcomers alike.
Full Throttle has a great cast of characters and atmosphere, but with its remaining irritating action and timed sequences, bland puzzles, and an unnecessary fresh paint job, the game carries its old flaws to a new generation, and ushers some new ones in as well. Luckily, with the seamless swap to its already-fantastic original pixel art (whose immense detail is commendable, even in 2017), clicking through Full Throttle's charming love letter to wheels is still pleasant.