Scott Ellison II
Operencia: The Stolen Sun is full of charm, depth, and secrets that represents the best of the genre. There’s a lot of satisfaction in completing its puzzles, and overcoming enemies in combat. If you’re not a fan of backtracking or the way the saves work, you might not enjoy yourself as others in the genre. However, I think it’s an obstacle that you can easily overcome. The combat and puzzles are the majority, and the highlight. Operencia: The Stolen Sun shines bright in these dark times.
Remedy takes a step back with the odd happenings in the Bureau, and while the place is in dire straights, it doesn’t overwhelm you with that feeling because Jesse is so powerful now. Over the course of four hours, The Foundation solves its own mysteries in a satisfying way, while leaving the door open for what’s to come in Expansion 2. It also never spends too long on any one thing, and it feels like you’re repairing something over time. CONTROL – The Foundation maintains momentum from the main story without ever slowing down.
HyperParasite is “another one of those”, but it does it well. The fact that you can control one of your enemies for as long as you can last extends the lifetime of not only the game, but each run. A lot of it still comes down to randomness or RNG, but your skills get put to the test that help offset it. When the game becomes a shmup, it’s such a visual and aural treat. This the definition of a Steam Early Access success. HyperParasite excites and delights every time you play it.
Over the course of fifteen or so hours to see the game to completion, Iron Danger offers a good challenge, even on the default normal difficulty. The ability to infinitely bend time to your will to fine-tune encounters to perfection can be really satisfying. Its biggest detriment is how clunky and unpolished it all feels. That said, Iron Danger is really fun, and completely distinct from every other tactical combat game you’ve played. And for that, it should be on your radar.
Exit the Gungeon isn’t a sequel, nor does it pretend to be. I still find 2016’s Enter the Gungeon to be a fuller experience, with more depth and variety. Exit the Gungeon is not a game you should ignore. This Gungeon may have lost a little bit of itself along the way, but enough of its humor and sensibilities are very much intact for enjoying Dodge Roll’s twist on the Gungeon formula for the price point. Exit the Gungeon is a delightful spin-off, a blast to play, and the changes to the gameplay compliment the new perspective wonderfully.
BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION offers a weird, and wonderful future of Earth to explore where you can make your mark. The journey is just as exciting and fantastic as the destination. There’s a unique world and game here that’s never been seen before, and THE BROTHERHOOD made sure of that. There’s nothing quite like BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION; it’s an experience you won’t soon forget, and is one of the finest adventure games I’ve ever played.
Table Manners gets the experience of dating half-right, capturing the nervousness and awkward conversation in totality. The in-game app meant to cultivate your relationship(s) often leads to disappointment or confusion. Unless you’re out to sabotage everything in the name of a good time, there’s not much room for fun or risk losing the relationship. When trying to do your best, the simulation and physics often get in the way. It’s certainly enjoyable for hours on end, but it doesn’t quite come together like it should.
Dead Cells remains great, replete with free updates and free DLC. Now there’s paid DLC in The Bad Seed, it’s a must-buy. The team at Motion Twin and Evil Empire have earned your trust, and treated you well in Early Access and post-release, so I don’t feel bad returning the favor. If you’ve been gone a while, now’s the perfect time to return. If you’ve been playing a while, this is the perfect DLC to be interwoven into the game seamlessly. The Bad Seed is DLC done right, guilt-free and without burden.
KUNAI is absolutely kinetic. Momentum, traversal, and combat are the key pillars. They all work in tandem to produce a game that moves at a frenetic pace, and one you’ve not known in a Metroidvania-style of game. TurtleBlaze have something special here, and it’s in your best interest not to miss it. KUNAI is a refreshing take on the genre, and an exciting one at that.
It’s clear with Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3, it is driven by passion and authenticity for the sport. It’s the best in the series, even if it has a few rough edges. The UI takes a few unnecessary extra steps to navigate, but when that’s your largest issue, there’s little to worry about. The bevy of modes, inclusivity of riders, and wonderful simulation of supercross is unmatched. Now go try it with the first-person camera.