Scott Ellison II
I enjoyed what Tate Multimedia did with Steel Rats in a motorcycle platformer, but the Urban Trials series has really landed for me in Urban Trial Tricky Deluxe Edition. From pursuing every challenge, to the high score hunting, and besting every time, there’s something for everyone and a means to achieve it. Whether you’ve got fifteen minutes or a couple of hours, the game fits in either direction to satisfy and make progress. Urban Trial Tricky Deluxe Edition is great for any age, and a casual experience to get started with expert nuance in the later levels that really defines the experience.
For an annual release, Codemasters manages to top themselves year over year, and this time is no different. After being bought by EA, I can only see positives by this relationship, and shows a promising future for the F1 series. The story of Braking Point is an absolute highlight, the return of fan-favorite Two Player Career mode is a delight, career mode is as fun as ever, and makes for a wonderful package. With raytracing, DLSS, and other next-generation features, F1 2021 feels truly fresh and exciting, like it hasn’t been before.
Boomerang X is wonderfully executed and offers a great ramp up with each successive level, it’s a shame then that it’s over all too soon. New Game + acts like a totally optional but rewarding victory lap, adding another layer of difficulty which helps satisfy the desire to play more of it. The combat offers a very specific toolset to dispatch your foes with, and the movement demands you to always be on the move, in the air or on the ground in order avoid early deaths. This is a game about split-second decisions involving tactics just as much as skill. Boomerang X is a ballet of bustle as you slay the ancient beasts, sending them into oblivion.
When you swing with that weapon with purpose, and it connects, it’s a joy so few games can give. Every fight is a nail biter and you’re having so much fun that you don’t care whether you win or lose. Not only do those on console get to enjoy what Chivalry 2 is all about this time, but there’s crossplay so that everyone on PC and console can play together. Everything about the game is cinematic and grand, and never disappoints. Chivalry 2 is a sequel that exceeds expectations and has been worth the wait.
While I lauded the original Contracts for its promise and revitalization for the series, turned out to be short-lived. This is a good game, marred by outdated stealth design, a continued lack of manual saving, and frustrations solved by other games many times over. This is a game that’s meant to be replayed, and should despite some drawbacks and flaws CI Games has yet to address. It’s true that Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is a better game than its predecessor in every way, still providing thrills through a deep and rewarding sniping system enhanced by some impressive gore and ranges only real snipers have experienced, until now.
Now that it's free from the shackles of Stadia exclusivity, Wave Break can now be enjoyed by those on Switch and PC. The game has its foibles, and it's not as smooth as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, but it's a good time. Funktronic Labs needs to add a 'quick restart' feature, pronto. The combination of guns and skateboating amid the bright aesthetics makes for great fun. There's good reason why I can't stop playing and trying to perfect each level. If you can't beat the heat this Summer, then soak up the sun in Wave Break.
I hesitate to call Open Country a bad game, but it has many limitations baked into its core, and it shows. From the lack of graphics options, abundance of typos, terrible voice acting, and questionable mission objectives; it falls short of so many other games that simply do it better. Even for a $15 game, it’s not competitive in the survival genre. Open Country has some great ideas that end up being overly ambitious and woefully underdeveloped.
If not for the loss of the original source code, I think we might’ve seen all variants of the NINJA GAIDEN games in here. Not only for comparing and contrasting them, but to celebrate Team Ninja’s ability to take feedback and impart that in their re-releases, while also including everyone’s favorite included. Having all three of Team Ninja’s games together on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S for the first time is such a delight. NINJA GAIDEN: Master Collection is a wonderful collection of the finest action adventure games, while still being difficult and provide the level of challenge you want, feeling just like the day it came out.
There are times where Siege Survival: Gloria Victis is clunky with its interface or systems, though it’s not enough to be a deterrent. It’s a game that lacks some polish, and could be cleaned up in patches. A lot of this game draws comparisons to This War of Mine, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just lacks the heart that game had. Siege Survival: Gloria Victis is lean on content and low on replayability, and without more scenarios available, makes it hard to recommend fully.
BIOMUTANT is an adventure like none other. With its character creation and morality decisions, this is one that has near-infinitesimal replayability. At times the game’s ambition gets the best of it by feeling like it’s doing too much at any one time, but it just manages to pull it off. It’s wild, beautiful, and an amalgamation of the games it is so clearly inspired by. Offering the best of modern games, with enough originality to distinguish itself from the rest. BIOMUTANT is an accessible, exciting RPG that I can’t get enough of.