As an interesting intellectual exploration of the role that word-of-mouth plays in storytelling, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine plays like a proof of concept that never graduated beyond an initial prototyping stage. Sure, it has plenty of narratives to uncover, but ultimately the repetitive, shallow mechanics prevent the experience from meeting its full potential. Despite the best efforts of the excellent visual presentation and voice acting, the net product is a hollow shell of what it could've been.
While there were many compelling reasons to take a chance on Golem, there were far too many technical issues marring the overall experience. When consumed in bits-and-pieces, the component parts could all stand on their own with little problem. It's only when these individual parts coalesced that the seams begin to show a bit more prominently. Fortunately for everyone involved, it seems like the team over at Highwire Games are dedicated to fixing these foundational blunders. However, until these overhauls have been completed, I'd recommend taking a cue from Twine and sitting this one out.
The argument could be made that if GRID had been an early-generation PS4 title, it would've been a bit more praised than it will be this late in the console's life cycle. As that may be true, the title's genuinely compelling AI mechanics and multi-faceted livery of vehicles help it stand on its own as the proper reboot that this franchise deserves. It may not feature all of the bells and whistles that we've grown accustomed to in 2019, but it's certainly a solid foundation to rebuild a brand around.
Despite some of its difficulties, Tropico 6 is a perfectly adequate port of an impressively layered and comically disarming PC experience. It isn't going to be lighting the world on fire, as far as innovation is concerned, but I wouldn't be surprised to see El Presidente try it on the forts of his opposition. If you've been hankering for the next chance to embrace your inner fascist, this should be a fantastic way to satiate the bloodlust.
As I've attempted to pound home several times at this point, none of these enhancements should really be classified as true game-changers. If you made the plunge last year and you're looking for NHL 20's one marquee feature that makes this a must-buy, there really isn't an overarching reason to upgrade. Pure and simple. That said, this year's outing has plenty of incremental improvements that deliver a superior experience to what you would've played twelve months ago. Allow your level of fandom to dictate if this purchase is right for you. Ultimately, regardless of where you land, you won't be disappointed.
At the risk of sounding overly infatuated, I cannot begin to understand how the hell Torchlight II has aged so well. The art style, combat mechanics, and even loot drop loop are so finely tuned that it feels like the game fits in as well now as it did, seven years ago. With the obvious exception of the big boys over at Blizzard, the argument could be made that this is the best dungeon crawler on current generation consoles. Factor in the price tag of a mere $20, and this becomes an instant must buy. Just do yourself a favor and download this game. You can thank me later. …Don't worry. I'll wait.