Scarlet Nexus could have easily become a new IP used to test a few systems as the studio focuses on larger projects. However, there’s an awesome battle system here that evolves throughout the entire campaign. Each fight has a brilliant rhythm to it as you take advantage of enemy weaknesses and use the environments to your advantage. The team introduces a large cast of characters but still manages to provide insight into their goals to make it worth seeing through to the end. Sadly, not everything works, but you might forget about floaty controls and convoluted narrative as you ride atop a bus into the battlefield.
Legend of Mana is all about the memories you make from the moment you start playing to the credits. Every new area created is a new adventure waiting, and every character met provides a unique perspective on storytelling. Its non-linearity allows it to stand out in the series, but it comes at the expense of a few confusing quest lines. The remastered backgrounds, improved loading and attack animations, and additional options make it such a charming RPG to play over and over.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart ushers in a new generation of adventure games headed by this charming heroic duo. Sadly, Rivet is a strong setpiece in the narrative but doesn’t differentiate enough in combat. Still, this doesn’t affect the sheer amount of fun you’ll be having during every moment of gameplay. There is so much packed in this adventure complemented by competent level design, amazing weapons, and strong platforming. This is Ratchet & Clank for the new generation, and I hope it’s not too long before we see them again.
Edge of Eternity is a beautiful game that is held back by the ambition of the developers. There are just too many moving parts here, and nothing seems to be fully executed. It’s by no means a waste of time, though, and provides hours of fantasy adventures in a new world, but it lacks focus and implementation due to the numerous features and broken narrative.
Void Terrarium++ is a fun dungeon crawler RPG that doesn’t need to be exclusive to PS5, but it is. Fans of last-gen versions shouldn’t feel required to upgrade because this is the same adventure with a few added diseases to cure and emotes to obtain. Still, it’s a low-tension and overly charming title and one that I feel is worth it for new players. The game loop is addictive, and the reward of making Toriko safe and happy is enough to push on to the next dungeon floor.
Sunblaze will push your platforming skills to the limit. Still, as the challenge rises, so does the knowledge that everything in this game can be overcome with a few well-timed jumps and dashes. The charming design is contrasted by the bloody obstacles that await each level, creating a fun challenge that won’t leave you with too many broken controllers.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is an unexpected masterpiece of retro designs blended so delicately with modern roguelite elements. Death doesn’t punish the player as much as it sets them up with improved ways to approach situations. There’s a sense of discovery in every area, but this does limit direction causing some confusion when trying to figure out where to go. Further, bosses can be underwhelming compared to normal enemies, which creates an awkward balance of challenge. Regardless, this is the must-play game of the summer.
World’s End Club is a product of some of the greatest minds in adventure storytelling. The story of the Go-Getters Club will emotionally move you in many ways through the narrative, only to be held back by unresponsive and limited platforming gameplay segments. It acts as a way for this team to step outside of their comfort zone while still being influenced by their strengths to create an unforgettable story of friendship and hope. Sadly, it requires players to look past quite a bit to fully enjoy.
If you’re going to play Days Gone, do yourself a favor and play it on PC. There’s a decent level of options here for PC players to fine-tune their experience and even quality-of-life features missing from other PC-only titles. The story can be messy, but the more you progress, the clearer the intent of this staggered narrative becomes. The level of immersion is high in some areas, but Days Gone knows when to be a game and when to challenge the player’s patience with mundane systems. This game is a must for survival action fans.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids is an excellent extension of what the base game offers fans. Its focus on uncovering a mystery is embedded in the campaign and missions. Roaming around Ireland provides a new playground for fans to explore but at the cost of a few empty areas. Still, there’s so much to discover here that just being able to spend more time in this world is reason enough to return.