Although its stealth systems can feel a little too forgiving and easy to work around, Serial Cleaners’ grungey story is still one well-worth going through thanks to its likeable cast, sense of style, varied levels, and satisfying core mechanics that manage to stay fresh throughout the adventure.
Whether you’re a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or not, the Cowabunga Collection is without a doubt the most impressive gaming compilation there’s ever been. Collecting 13 hard-to-find games with every possible bit of extra content is an incredible effort, and the fact that most of them are still a blast today is just the icing on the cake. The Cowabunga Collection is truly a shellebration of everything TMNT.
Pac-Man World may not be Pac-Man World 2 like I’d hoped, but it’s still a solid classic platformer with enough unique elements to help it stand out. Those who have played the original will no doubt appreciate the nostalgia, but those like me who missed it originally will still have a good time.
Even with the balancing issues and a clear rough start to its first season, MultiVersus’ incredibly solid and unique core mechanics, along with its clear love and respect for every character and series that it represents, let it stand close to the top of the genre. It still needs some fine-tuning, but I’m confident that in a year’s time, MultiVersus will be standing strong next to Smash.
I’m not quite sure when it was decided that 2022 was the year of rollerskating, but it’s clear that it already has a champion in Rollerdrome. Although it may be short, its masterful movement and shooting are a shotgun blast to the face - and I mean that in the best way possible.
Whether you’re a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or just someone who appreciates incredible music and satisfying side-scrolling gameplay, Shredder’s Revenge has something for pretty much everyone. The Turtles may have taken a bit of a break from gaming, but this is one shell of a comeback.
Kao the Kangaroo’s core mechanics are solid and some of the things it adds to the series, like the elemental gloves, help keep things interesting, but it’s nothing that the genre hasn’t seen before, and some of those changes end up actively taking away from the experience. There’s good to be found here, but it’s weighed down by so much jank and a lack of innovation that it doesn’t feel like the welcome back that Kao deserves.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodhunt manages the impossible and makes the battle royale genre feel fresh again, with smart changes to the formula and movement that completely change the game. Its fast-paced action isn’t for the faint of heart and Prague might get a bit old after hours of playing, but it’s well worth sinking your teeth into just to see what the heck a vampire battle royale even looks like.
Beyond the heavy grind, which is certainly purposeful, some gameplay features which feel a bit light, and a story that might as well not be there, Rogue Legacy 2 will quickly see itself enter the roguelite hall of fame as a shining example of why the genre works so well, and fittingly for a game about lineage, as a show of how far a sequel can improve upon its predecessor.
I ended up feeling the same way about Shredders in comparison to SSX as I do with Tony Hawk and Skate. I prefer the fast-paced arcade action of the former, but the latter is a great time as well. I’d love to see the core gameplay and vibe of Shredders with a little more budget put into it, as there’s something special hidden underneath all the snow.
Unless you’re aiming to find every Waddle Dee and complete every secret objective, Kirby and the Forgotten Land won’t challenge you, but it sure as hell will keep you smiling. Most of all, it proves that Kirby works remarkably well in 3D and cements itself as the next big thing for the pink puffball. I don’t want to see him limited to just moving left and right ever again.
I’m sure I won’t be thinking about Shadow Warrior 3 in five minutes’ time, but I’m okay with that. It doesn’t do anything to reinvent the wheel or the first-person shooter, but it moves away from the co-op looter-shooter nonsense the second game tried to pull and delivers a short, satisfying campaign that’s fast-paced and close enough to Doom to be considered good. It’s just a shame there’s no “shut the fuck up” filter.
For a lot of fighting game fans, The King of Fighters 15 is exactly what they’ve been looking for - a no frills fighter that focuses on its mechanics and doesn’t hold the player's hand. In a generation where most games in the genre have five-hour campaigns from day one, it’s an admirable stance to take. As much as I love how KoF 15 plays and looks, I can’t help but miss the bells and whistles that are expected. If you’re looking for a fighter that shrugs off that expectation, then the King of Fighters 15 is absolutely for you.
As someone who adores games like Spelunky for forcing the player to digest every bit of information, Sifu strikes that exact same spot with the force of a freight train, delivering a combat system that is truly unrivalled. As a game, it's one of the most engaging I've played in some time, it's just a shame that it won't appeal to all players thanks to its surprising difficulty and that it took some developmental liberties with representing Asian voices.
Although February has a whole host of excellent games that are all vying for your wallet, I can’t see any of them overtaking how heartfelt, charming, and satisfying to play OlliOlli World is. Sure, it might not have double-jumping horses or robot dinosaurs, but becoming a skate wizard should be your first priority this month.
Admittedly, I had a hard time putting Nobody Saves The World down to write up this review, and that speaks to how satisfying its rewarding challenge-based progression and surprisingly deep form-changing gameplay are. Prepare to see Nobody Saves The World in the dungeon-crawling hall of fame.
Although I’m sure completionists will find a lot to love here, I had the most fun with Demon Turf when I forgot about its myriad side quests, collectibles, and second visits to a level, and just ran through stages with my mastery of Beebz’s moves letting me fly through levels like I was Sonic and I’d finally learnt how to work in 3D. When Demon Turf is fast, it’s glorious, it’s just a shame it has some extra baggage stopping it from peeling out.
The difficulty without much progression and lack of any kind of guidance can make BPM feel a bit unwelcoming, which is a shame when its mechanics feel so great to learn. It's worth diving into for the core premise alone, but don't expect to have anyone hold your hand through hell.