- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
- Metal Gear Solid 5
Hyperdimension Neptunia VII is an acceptable RPG, but may be a disappointment for series diehards looking for true change, or newcomers to the franchise. Any other way, the game fully realizes it's ambitions on top of it's other minute flaws, and cements a rich and non-exasperating formula for players who know what to expect.
In the words of Tegan and Sara, “Everything is Awesome”. This might be the case for the music catalog in Loud on Planet X, but it becomes pretty noticeable that the gameplay is on a far different tune. If you’re a casual indie music fan, I’d say wait for a major sale, but any junkies should definitely dive right in. (Just be wary of the flaws) You might find a new favorite song, just like I did. (PS4) LOUD on Planet X’s PC port is one of the stronger precedents I’ve seen this year of console games improving in a more hardcore setting. The game now manages to feel complex without leading to clumsiness, and it’s a great feeling. With a new sale, it would be hard not to pick this up. (PC)
The Sun and The Moon isn't a bad game, but it's far from spectacular. It's an example of how one design aspect can simply not carry a game to new heights, as imaginative or entertaining it might be. Other problems will always arise, and without a proper panacea, everything can quickly seem shortsighted.
After playing a handful of badly designed stages, VEV: Viva Ex Vevo is the type of game I’d expect at a cheapo tech show. Among the vaporware and broken reveals, it’s shown as a barely functioning tech demo. In fact, watching something as poor as that, would be far more lively than sitting through this interactive sludge.
For some hardcore stealth fans, Shadwen’s gameplay might be the kick they need to enjoy the genre’s true constraints once again. But to anyone else, it’s losses weigh more than the high points. There’s substance, but no flavor, scope, but no size. To everyone else, the game will likely feel like a case of lost ambition.
Despite it’s flaws, Crazy Strike EX Bowling is by far the best bowling game you can get on current generation consoles. Wii Sports may have the legacy, but if your garage sale/ swap meet made it long gone by now, this is a great way to relive those great moments. And don’t let the setting fool you, as getting a whole lot of strikes feels much more significant.
Anima: Gate of Memories is a somewhat memorable, competent action platformer. It’s best strengths are pulled down by some noticeable flaws, but it’s nothing to criminal to bring the whole game toppling down. So as it stands, when you got some money in your digital wallet and have bustled through every AAA role player with general fatigue, you can do a lot worse than Anima to alleviate these feelings.
Prison Architect is a game I would definitely recommend to any simulation diehards, but some looking for a more accessible pathway into the genre may want to take it easy. However, most of the major flaws have been ironed out from the Early Access experience, which is a sign of improvement others aren't as worthy of.
Raiden V is packed to the brim with content, but I couldn’t imagine finishing all of it, unless I was a true fan of the series. It’s still fun to play with an appreciative birds eye view, but the high asking price lessens the experience to something only a professional would ask for. In that scenario, it’s the head of it’s game.
Shadow Blade Reload is an example of how to properly pull a platformer off without the unnecessary clutter seen in more tropey and uninspired titles. It’s to the point which ties into it’s accessibility and overall entertaining value, and it’s a game I can easily see myself going back to after finishing once, or even twice.
Score Rush Extended is less of a great SHMUP and more of a lesson to others influenced by the genre on how to do it justice. It’s also a great example of how lackluster visuals doesn’t necessarily mean bad gameplay, a fact that still isn’t spread too often nowadays. By accomplishing both of these goals and being a great game overall, Score Rush Extended is a definite keeper.
Dead Island barely faded away from it’s initial reveal in 2011 with good marketing and a clear-cut emphasis on zombie killing, but all Definitive Edition does is stall the franchise from becoming infected into obscurity. It’s a game that’s partly pleasant with a companion, but not attentively tenacious alone, leading to a strong disconnect if you’re buddies are away. An added game Retro Revenge could have helped matters, but it’s just as half-baked and soulless as what’s come before it.
Art of Balance is probably the best puzzle primary game I’ve played all year. Although the premise seems like it would fit better during the tediousness of a Sunday night train ride, it’s a game I can now see myself playing in nearly any occasion. Other puzzle games fall short, and Art of Balance simply shows them how it’s done.
All in all, Stranger of Sword City is a far surpassing RPG in gameplay, but is brought down to lesser degrees by a majority of flaws found everywhere else. This does not discount the fun I did have with it though, and I would still recommend it to anyone willing to explore the more forgotten parts of JRPG lineage.
I would recommend getting There Came An Echo if you're looking for a different strategy game, with some light flaws. While it may not be as commending to other players unfamiliar with the genre, it's still a great title where it fits, and I'd like to see more potential from where it came from, in the form of a sequel, spin-off, or new IP.
Fenix Furia is an above acceptable platformer that should reside in the library of any modern console owner looking for a great indie treat. The content’s there, the action too, and it’s a great choice to play with a friend, family member, or significant other. It may not be the most innovative, but it’s another one that proves that doesn’t have to always be the case.
Hitman’s third episode would have been barely acceptable in non-episodic fashion, but the value both in replay-ability and price starts to diminish when placed elsewhere. I still appreciate the detail in all the locales, but it’s clear the game needs to mature beyond another point.
Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is an excellent JRPG, and is recommended for anyone wary of the niche after frequent missteps. There’s still a few problems here and there (which could be a bit embarrassing considering it’s the 17th game in the series) but the innovation isn’t overloaded and instead natural.
If you were eyeing Soul Axiom, I'd say buy Master Reboot or stay clearly away. Wales Interactive has done much greater things in the past, which makes this all the more jarring. Now, I just hope their critical and commercial pinnacle isn't faded away due to a failure like this.
Broken Bots is the next essential Playstation 4 competitive indie game, and I hope it finds an audience. It’s design elements are smart and rival what’s traditionally seen in it’s genre, and just enough content is there that replayability should last a good while. Overall, it’s a pleasant and greatly enjoyable experience.