Swords of Gargantua is one of those games that feels like a missed opportunity. There is some solid potential to have an interesting story, but the narrative bits never really develop. I am a pretty easy sell on the idea of a VR melee combat game, and to its credit Swords of Gargantua handles pretty well the majority of the time, but there just is not much reason to continue playing after awhile. Progression is shallow and the gameplay really never develops in a meaningful way. Swords of Gargantua is a perfectly adequate game without a lot of incentive to keep coming back for more. It's a perfectly average VR experience, but I had hoped for a bit more.
Space Invaders Forever is a cool collection of games based on the classic alien blasting classic. They all serve a slightly different function from single player, to multiplayer to an almost puzzle-y mashup with Arkanoid. None of these titles has a ton of depth to them, but at the same time they all manage to scratch that addictive arcade shooter itch that Space Invaders is so well known for.
Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is an excellent strategy / RPG hybrid that recalls some of my favorite old school games of the genre, but benefits from some modern updates and solid storytelling. The presentation didn’t wow me, but the progression is rewarding and the combat meaty enough that I stayed engaged for dozens of hours. This was the perfect holiday gift for me (if not my spare time, which Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia soaked up a lot of).
Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition is a relaxing, atmospheric adventure title that benefits from a gorgeous visual style and musical score. In terms of content and gameplay, it doesn’t offer up a lot of depth, but what is here provides a worthwhile distraction for those looking for a slightly slower paced adventure game.
The gameplay loop here is going to be hit or miss, based on your fondness of the roguelike genre. I enjoyed the combat enough that I kept coming back to Star Renegades over and over again, but the repetition might not be for everyone. Unlocking new characters and improving my team incrementally was just enough of a dangling carrot that I never felt crushed by watching my dimension lose time and time again. It helps that the RPG/Strategy hybrid genre is one of my favorites, and Star Renegades is a fine addition to it.
Chronos: Before the Ashes will draw comparisons to the Souls series, but its unique aging concept Is one area where it stands out. Unfortunately there are other areas such as combat, where the comparison is less favorable. It doesn’t quite measure up to its successor, Remnant: Before the Ashes – but the connected plot points were certainly welcome.
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends: The Baron is Back is a great addition to a classic arcade style game that challenges your thinking and your reflexes at the same time. It has that bite-sized, addictive “one more stage” quality with a sizeable amount of content to boot. It certainly works better as a multiplayer game than a single and can provide lots of chaotic good times with the right group playing it. The core concept is relatively simple, but it is a challenge to master.
Observer: System Redux is a welcome update. At first I questioned why we were getting it so soon after the initial game’s release only a few years ago, but those concerns abated rather quickly. Small quality of life improvements to the gameplay make the experience less frustrating this time around, the additional missions are well-done and welcome additions and enough cannot be said about how much better the visuals look this time around. As someone who enjoyed the game when it first released, I did not regret my second time with it here. If you missed Observer three years ago and dig cyberpunk themes, you really do need to check this title out.
New Review: NBA 2K21 – PS5 Review https://chalgyr.com/2020/11/review-ps5-nba2k21.html November 20, 2020 NBA 2K21 is generally a great way to usher in the new generation of consoles. The visuals and The City are a big step in the right direction. Some lessons were learned from the earlier release of NBA 2K21 on the last-gen consoles, and that made this a much smoother release experience. That being said, I still can’t shake the feeling I got during my initial review of this title on Xbox One a couple of months ago, that the development team was spread thin between prepping this title for two platforms and the release issues that I’ve encountered only reinforce that issue. Basketball fans will find lots to like here, even though there are some rough patches to be worked out. ---- Original Review: NBA 2K21 – XB1 Review https://chalgyr.com/2020/09/review-xb1-nba-2k21.html September 11, 2020 In all, NBA 2k21 is still the best sports experience on the market. That being said, this feels like a strange year for the series, given the pandemic, altered real life NBA season and split attention between two generations of console. There were few significant changes made, but almost all of those updates were for the better – except arguably the most important one. To change such a core mechanic as shooting so fundamentally is going to be polarizing and while I have been growing used to how it works, I think more tweaks need to be made to finetune the experience. It’s been a strange year and NBA 2k21 reflects that in a lot of ways. All things considered however, NBA 2K20 was easily my most played video game over the last year and I suspect that will be the case for my upcoming year and NBA 2K21.
Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues is a pretty average overall all beat-‘em-up game with lackluster presentation that gets an assist from varied characters, a split narrative that encourages replay and a solid sense of RPG-lite progression kept me going longer than I probably would have otherwise. There’s a decent brawler here that fans of the Karate Kid property will probably enjoy, but I do hope a future patch can smooth out some of those rough edges in the core combat.