Tank Troopers is, at most times, everything you want in a downloadable title. It fires you right into the action, quickly introducing you to its simple tank-based mechanics then forcing you to test your mettle in increasingly difficult challenges that never take more than a few minutes to conquer. But for longer, more social gameplay sessions, the game also sports multiplayer modes that are accessible for both competitive mode newcomers and strategy-minded gamers alike, albeit a challenge to round up the people to play it.
Steep is a triumph at merging gameplay and presentation to deliver players a sense of place in its beautiful open world. Controlling each sport feels simple yet laser precise, and the diversity in sports and challenges encouraged me to stay in the game even when challenges became too frustrating or uninteresting. Add to this a solid layer of social functionality, albeit shallow when playing with strangers, and you have a game that reaches the great heights it endeavors to recreate.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is a hell of a mess. At moments, the complex and fun combat and progression systems break through the game’s ick presentation and sexist character designs, but what little fun exists gradually fades before you’re even halfway through the campaign. If you’re a fan of the series, there’s plenty to love here, but Apocalypse is unforgiving for any new players.
Jotun: Valhalla Edition is a beautiful, but sometimes shallow, crash course in Norse mythology that shines in its boss fights’ designs and overall presentation. And while Valhalla Mode isn’t much of an incentive to jump back in for returning players, it adds tremendous challenge to the already difficult core experience.