Earth Defense Force: World Brothers took a big risk giving a whole new look and feel to the EDF series, but it’s a gamble that pays off well. The more cutesy stylings and arcadey gameplay will turn off some, but many others will find it to be a fresh twist on the EDF formula. With a gigantic cast of international characters to play as, there’s plenty of chaotic joy to be had.
Evil Genius 2 is a surprisingly addictive (evil) management sim. Despite there being a bit of repetitive busywork to do, there’s plenty of global domination wickedness for even the most power-hungry megalomaniac to sink their avaricious teeth into.
The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante is a remarkable storytelling achievement. Ironically, though the game is rendered in an artful monochrome, none of its frequent moral decisions are completely black and white. Every choice had my mouse wavering over the screen, considering the consequences of my actions. It’s one of those rare gaming narratives that’s equally tragic, challenging and exhilarating. The message I felt came across is: don’t weep for the paths not taken or the limited change one person can make, but choose the life you want to live and live it to the fullest. As painful and filled with sorrow as Sir Brante’s life is, it’s one that’s well worth living through yourself.
In the opening title screen, Richard LaRuina is portrayed wearing Jedi-like robes akin to Star Wars, and this is apt because Super Seducer 3 is definitely the Return of the Jedi to Super Seducer 2’s Empire Strikes Back. Though this third entry loses some of the racism and sexism from its predecessor, it also loses much of the grandiose spectacle and the sobering balance of a female perspective on the hornball protagonist. Unless you’re willing to wade through plenty of creepiness and tedious attempts at dating advice to laugh at Richard’s oddball antics, I wouldn’t recommend a purchase here. Richard LaRuina sees himself as a master of the art of pick up, but Super Seducer 3 is a game you’ll probably want to put down.
Amnesia: Rebirth is a worthy addition to a classic series. It buries the player deep in an oppressive atmosphere of fear like a gravedigger spading dirt onto a coffin. If the state of the world today isn’t terrifying enough for you, picking up Amnesia: Rebirth will certainly sate your lust for scares.
Overall, the experience of Port Royale 4 ends up feeling stretched a little thin. Though there are riches to be made, treasures to be found, and pirates to defeat, the whole experience lacks the tension of being in constant competition with an equally powerful rival. Since you’re not in symmetrical opposition to anyone, it’s not a great grand strategy, and it’s not a particularly in-depth turn-based combat strategy either. Instead of feeling like a cunning pirate king or merchant tycoon, you often end up feeling like you’re in a rather aimless sandbox with a list of fiddly errands to do.
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars does have some pleasingly involved battles, but as a grand strategy game, it is a tad simplistic and limited in scope compared to the titles it draws inspiration from. Still, the campaign provides for an entertaining romp, and it’s well worth delving into these dark realms if you’re a fan of the strategy-RPG genre.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition is a classic fantasy RPG of truly epic scope hobbled only by niggling technical issues on this console release. As much fun as I was having romping across the land slaying monsters, righting wrongs, and making pleasant conversation with the well-written characters, I couldn’t help but feel I wasn’t enjoying the experience on the ideal platform or on a stable build. Still, if you’re a stalwart devotee of swords and sorcery, and these trying times have left you without access to a decent gaming PC, then Pathfinder: Kingmaker is well worth a choice plot in the barony of your PS4 games library.
Summer in Mara is a nice chillout game you can take totally at your own pace, even if the lack of challenge and excitement will surely frustrate many players. It’s very much an ideal game for children or those who want to take a break from the stresses, fears, and pressures of modern life, which right now is very much understandable! Though I certainly didn’t feel thrilled or captivated playing it, I do anticipate returning periodically returning to the sweet, summery world of Mara from time to time when the cold cruel world is grinding me down under its relentless wheel!
Those Who Remain is a Frankenstein of cool concepts lifted from other horror games and shoddily reconstituted into a mishmash of mediocrity. It’s got some of the ingredients of a good horror game, but they mesh together like pizza and ice cream. Though the game doesn’t deserve to be cast into hell for eternity, it definitely has some mistakes that are hard to forgive.