Byleth may be lacking complexity, but the easy-to-pick-up nature of their moves is still worth checking out.
The Joker Challenger Pack is a great addition both for Persona fans and those looking to add another unique fighter to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's already diverse roster.
We Happy Few's focus on story over survival is a good choice, and at its best when dropping bombshells of truth that the drugged people of Wellington Wells have tried so hard to ignore. In its Early Access, I felt like wandering between procedurally-generated islands to stay alive wasted the intriguing setting and premise of its opening act. Now, exploring segments designed to reveal We Happy Few's secrets are both fun and rewarding. Although survival and crafting are fairly manageable, running through randomly generated towns, streets, or abandoned fields unfortunately shows that We Happy Few can't hide from the ghost of its own past, no matter how much Joy you take.
Octo Expansion throws plenty of both fun and serious challenges at you, between its expansive amount of levels and a multi-tiered finale that doesn't disappoint. These trials provide worthy so many challenges for those who wish to hone their mechanical skills for upcoming multiplayer matches, that I wish this had been Splatoon 2's base campaign all along.
Baranor's new toys and helpful mercenaries give Middle-earth: Shadow of War - The Desolation of Mordor a fresh take that does its best to shine despite the lack of a complete Nemesis system. Without a gripping story or interesting protagonist, it settles on being a fun but short challenge mode.
The name Kirby Star Allies isn't just for show. Whether you're adventuring through Dream Land with up to three friends or playing with competent AI teammates, Kirby's ever-rotating group of uniquely powered pals are the real stars of the show here. The creative ways you can combine abilities never gets old, which means there's great potential for replayability especially with friends. I just wish the final boss battle hadn't come just as the puzzles were starting to give me a challenge.
It's no easy task, but Ever Oasis has managed to make me care as much about preserving my town as I do about saving the world. Despite the few odd design choices, there's a wonderful blend of adventure and town-building where every task you tackle finds multiple ways to reward you.
Arms' clever take on boxing provides a simple premise with a startling amount of depth for those who would seek to master the stretching appendages. Its rapidly evolving lobby system had me sticking around for “just one more match.” There may not be a lot worth unlocking right now, but planned free updates may just give Arms some additional legs.
The Painted World of Ariandel presents a land that’s both enticing and dangerous, and there’s plenty of challenges to face even if you won’t have to face them too many times. However, unless you really love dueling in PvP arenas and can find sustained interest there, this adventure may serve as more of an appetizer than a full course meal.
Kirby: Planet Robobot may not be the most challenging platformer around, but its clever use of robotic destruction combined with gorgeous environmental puzzles and unique bosses make for an entertaining ride. I only wish Kirby’s monstrous mech suit could make proper use of the huge amount of collectibles.
Volume may suffer from a few issues of poorly designed AI and easily exploited level design, but I still found a great number of challenging rooms with an intriguing story to match, and plenty of room to master. The added bonus of being able to show how to complete a room by livestreaming a game about streaming how to complete a room… is just icing on the meta cake.