I couldn’t have been happier with my time with Matthias Linda and Deck13’s Chained Echos. It does everything right. Taking retro inspired designs and making it an RPG worthy of today’s standards, the characters, the environments, the music, the gameplay, essentially the works, you have it here. Thank you for this early holiday present!
Overall, Fatshark’s latest four person co-op, first person shooter, and hack and slash Darktide is a blast. The modifications to the core gameplay design from Vermintide and Vermintide 2, as well as the support to fix unforeseen issues, continue to show Fatshark’s stride for creating great gameplay experiences.
So overall, SHADE Inc. and D3Publisher’s Samurai Maiden was a fun title to go through. While the gameplay visuals may have been a bit bland over time as you’ll only ever see the same color palette swapped enemies, there’s a ton of dialog and story to make up for it as Tsumugi travels with Iyo, Hagane and Komimi to defeat the Demon Lord.
So overall, Zeboyd Games’ This Way Madness Lies is a great bite sized RPG. Between the great dialog of the Stratford-Upon-Avon High Drama Society, the well designed combat system and the awesome music to wrap it all together, saving the worlds from invading nightmares was a lot of fun.
Overall, Broken Pieces by Elseware Experience, Benoit Dereau, Mael Vignaux and Freedom Games was a journey that I’ll remember for some time. Well paced and not overly complicated in its puzzles, this adventure felt well balanced as it tells its mysterious tale.
Overall, Epic Llama Games’ Unusual Findings delivers a fantastic 80s based Point and Click nostalgic adventure. Between the crazy plot, the well written and even better voiced characters and a well designed interactive gameplay, whether you were there for the 80s or not, you should be there for this!
Acme Gamestudio and tinyBuild’s Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is a solid adventure. Not simply following the standard Soulslike formula, they’ve gone and made it their own and have given us both the mysteries of the past as well as a solid journey in the present.
ClockStone STUDIO and Thunderful Publishing’s LEGO: Bricktales was a delight to sit down to and enjoy. With a relaxing exploration system that leads into a more complex and hands-on simulation where you get to actually build LEGO as you see fit for the challenge at hand, there’s more than enough here for builders of any caliber to enjoy.
Grasshopper Manufacture, XSEED Games and Marvelous’s No More Heroes 3 was awesome. From the epic voice acting, the craziness of, well everything, into the gameplay and presentation, Travis’ adventure was solid all around. Lasting anywhere between a dozen or so hours depending on how invested you are in the side content, there’s a NG+ just ready and waiting for you to go back for more!
Overall though, while it may be a bit harder to recommend Circus Electrique to those that do not like a challenge, especially a tougher challenge, for those that do? There’s plenty of challenges to be found. Add in a great visual presentation of a Victorian Steampunk’d London and Zen Studios have created something memorable that I’m going to remember for quite some time.
Nihon Falcom’s The Legend of Heroes: Trails From Zero was worth the wait and I’m happy that NIS America Inc. have localized both it, and the upcoming Trails to Azure in 2023 for us. Well paced and well written storytelling is only ever elevated by the characters that you’ll get to adventure with as they establish what the Special Support Section is all about as they trek through and around the city of Crossbell solving problems big and small.
Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 3 As a whole for Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 3: La Pucelle: Ragnarok / Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure package, both of these old school Nippon Ichi Software and NIS America Inc. titles are worth it. Whether as a revisit for those that got to experience them at the time, or as a first time adventure for those that didn’t, the package is solid and it’s an easy recommendation alongside the other two volumes.
Overall, if you are a fan of turn-based tactics or roguelikes? I can’t recommend Mercury Game Studio and Freedom Games Tyrant’s Blessing enough. With plenty of replayability, achievements that make sense to unlock more replayablity, and just an overall fun experience? Tyrant’s Blessing fits any lifestyle whether it’s five minutes for one quick stage or several hours to go through the adventure once or twice, win or lose.
Sword and Fairy: Together Forever was a pleasure to experience. From the richly detailed environments and musical accompaniments to the solid storyline, great characters, exploration and combat design, it was hard to believe at times that this was a sequel to Sword and Fairy 6. This latest entry to the series has made a massive jump forwards and I’m looking forward to what comes next.
So while there are some good ideas behind Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards, I found that the console port may need a bit more work in order to better shine. With a comic book storytelling approach and a decent skill system for character customization, there’s plenty here that works well, but unfortunately the current visual presentation elements hold it back.
Overall though, Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX is a fun little rogue-like / lite that can easily net you half a dozen hours to complete the main story before sticking around for more. With easy to pick up controls, especially with the PS5’s locking shoulders which makes shooting water that much more precise, if you’ve been looking for a bit of a challenge but not one that will cause you to rage quit, this could be the one for you.
As a fan of Roguelikes and still a beginner in the realms of VR, I thought that Terrible Poster Games’ Mothergunship: Forge was a solid experience. Solid visuals, scary bosses when they come up to your face, loads, and I mean LOADS, of weapons and weapon combinations to choose from, there’s more than enough to keep anyone going for hours at a time all from the… safety of your living space. Hard to be safe when you’re technically in another world!
So while the current status of Matchpoint: Tennis Championships could use some smoothing out and a few extra features, such as character customizations and an ability to call for review, it’s still a decent Tennis game and I enjoyed my time with it.