The boss battles help to alleviate the repetition and there are some secret ones that can be unlocked if you meet particular criteria that serve as the primary reason to replay levels. Admittedly, some of these were pretty cool and gave me a nice sense of satisfaction when they occurred, but at the end of the day Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is little more than a visually stylized button masher with little of the heart that has made the Turtles so enduring over the years. I love most of the titles that PlatinumGames produces, but TMNT is a rare miss for the developer.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII is a niche game to be certain, with the kind of learning curve that could easily scare away casual strategy fans. Despite its emphasis on characters, this is not a tactics game akin to Fire Emblem, but something with a much different layer of city management and simulation layered onto it. It is a shame that the graphics engine - which looks very nice the majority of the time - seems to struggle a bit with the PlayStation 4 hardware, and no matter how well you design a user interface, a game like this is probably always going to be a smoother experience with a mouse as opposed to a controller. Those two concerns aside, Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII offers a uniquely deep experience that will no doubt have me coming back for more for a good long while. It also has me hopeful that we might see even more strategy titles coming out of Koei Tecmo in the future.
Human: Fall Flat is a quirky game with a few hiccups here and there, but the core experience is unique and the development team has embraced this uniqueness and made something more memorable and entertaining than I honestly thought it would be. A good game that challenges you to think outside of the box, Human: Fall Flat is a very short game, but one worth playing all the same.
I am no stranger to episodic games that rely heavily on story and setting to pull a person in. Life is Strange has a lot of similarities to titles from Telltale Games or the King's Quest chapters, but it does enough interesting things of its own to stand out as a unique and generally enjoyable experience.
Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 1: Realm of Shadows allayed any concerns I had about how a character usually shown in video games as an action-packed superhero would be handled in a more story-driven format. I am happy to report that it was handled quite well overall, due in large part to a solid presentation (the visuals fit the comic book source material far better than they do The Walking Dead) and excellent voice acting (led by veterans Troy Baker and Laura Bailey), some new gameplay mechanics and a story that I am invested in.
It was hard not to immediately draw comparisons to Limbo when I started off in control of a young boy named Hue, who lived in a monochromatic world who basically starts off the game with the ability to jump around with little context as to who he is or why he is there. The Limbo comparison one is meant with only the best intentions, as that was a game I absolutely loved when I first played it.
Alone With You does a really nice job with its narrative, but the actual gameplay mechanics start to wear a little thin by the time the game wraps up. It is a callback to older style adventure games, which I have always had a soft spot for, and Alone With You is no different. It is a good entry into the genre and shows an impressive understanding of what it takes to weave a compelling narrative despite a handful of shortcomings.
The Huntsman: Winter's Curse has some interesting ideas, and I can appreciate that it blends RPG elements with a unique card battling system that compliment the visual novel-like story. None of these elements are particularly deep, but they are enjoyable enough to want to see the game through, even when a handful of smaller bugs do make it harder to complete the game properly.
Solar Shifter EX is a solid shooting game more often than not with excellent visuals but a camera system that does the title no favors in the end. The experience is a decent one for fans of the shmup genre, but Solar Shifter EX is nowhere close to being one of the best shooters have to offer.
It would be easy to look at Obliteracers and dismiss it as a Mario Kart clone, but you would be doing the game and yourself a disservice if you enjoy combat karting games. Obliteracers brings enough new to the table to stand on its own merits. Admittedly some aspects of the game work better than others, but the online modes are a riot and the game has an addictive quality that is impossible to ignore.