Despite the pacing issues in its final chapters, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is still bigger and better than Final Fantasy 7 Remake. If the third game can keep everything that's great about these remake projects so far and trim the fat a bit, we will have a spectacular trilogy on our hands.
There is some hope that Bulletstorm VR will improve in time. People Can Fly and Incuvo have already indicated that updates are on the way, but the game will need some massive overhauls to even come close to being as good as the original. For now, anyone itching to replay Bulletstorm should stick with Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition.
The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered is a more fully-featured and overall superior version of an already-incredible game. No Return makes it worth the $10 upgrade by itself, and the game is an absolute must-buy for anyone who has never played the PS4 original. The Lost Levels are a bit of a letdown and the graphics haven't gotten as much of an upgrade as some may have hoped, but this is still the definitive way to experience Naughty Dog's masterpiece.
Both those new to the genre and hardcore Metroidvania fans are going to fall in love with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. It's too early to say if it will be remembered with the same fondness as Super Metroid or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, but Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a fantastic Metroidvania and one of the best games in the entire Prince of Persia franchise.
Arizona Sunshine 2 has its flaws, but it's still a competent VR shooter game that gives players a great deal of freedom when it comes to interacting with the game world. Killing zombies is perfectly functional, and the combat can be fun, though it's best experienced in short bursts. That being said, it's head and shoulders above the first Arizona Sunshine game, and an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a new VR shooter to play despite its shortcomings.
That's really the story for Modern Warfare 3 across the board. The campaign is made up of Warzone content, the multiplayer is comprised of maps that are 14 years old, and the Zombies mode uses a map that will be recycled for the battle royale. $70 is a high asking price for what's here, but those that do decide to take the plunge will find the best Call of Duty multiplayer experience in years and an intriguing open world Zombies mode that, while not quite as fun as the classic round-based Zombies maps, can still dish out memorable moments with friends.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 offers a genuinely fun multiplayer experience, so it's a shame that its single-player features are so weak. We were unable to test the game's online functionality, but if the online multiplayer is reliable and as fun as its local offerings, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 will be a solid option for Smash fans who are hungry for something fresh. The game isn't going to blow anyone away, but it mostly accomplishes what it has set out to do and delivers a platform fighting game experience that outdoes the original.
The Jackbox Party Pack 10 has three excellent party games in Hypnotorious, Time Jinx, and Dodo Re Mi, with Tee K.O. 2's only drawbacks being its familiarity and the occasional technical issue. Mileage with Fixytext will vary, but it will likely be the least-played out of the new batch of party games. This puts Jackbox Party Pack 10 on par with the other games in the series, which means it's a great party game experience that will become a fan favorite at game nights.
Hardcore Hot Wheels fans will get the most out of Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged, but even casual racing game fans will have a lot of fun with the game. Not everything clicks, and the game could have benefited greatly by having more variety with its track environments, but Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged is an exciting racer with a great set of creation tools that should keep fans busy for quite some time.
Nitpicks aside, Separate Ways is a mostly tremendous addition to the Resident Evil 4 remake and, along with The Mercenaries mode updates that were released for free, goes a long way in making the RE4 remake experience truly complete. Some may still not be happy that Separate Ways is a $9.99 DLC instead of being packed-in with the game like it was in the post-GameCube versions of the original Resident Evil 4, but this version of Separate Ways is a fundamentally different experience and one that surpasses its predecessor in every possible way.
Not only can fans expect future Payday 3 updates to add more unlockables to the game, but more substantial content like new heists are in the pipeline as well. Future updates will likely iron out Payday 3's matchmaking problems and immersion-breaking graphical mishaps, resulting in a smoother and more consistently entertaining experience. With future updates, Payday 3 may even be a game that surpasses its predecessor, but it has a seriously long way to go. Those still curious should consider checking out Payday 3 through Xbox Game Pass instead of buying the game at full price.
People who enjoy Gang Beasts and other physics-based multiplayer games will have a blast with Party Animals as it's easily the most polished and fully-featured game of its kind. However, it's unlikely to convert any newcomers, and it remains to be seen how its monetization will play out. The game's budget price and its availability on Xbox Game Pass make it an easy recommendation for those needing a new mindless multiplayer game for their rotation, but don't go in expecting anything groundbreaking.
Co-op support like in other Soulslike games would have put Lies of P over the top, but even without it, the game will still greatly appeal to Soulslike fans. It has a lot going for it, and from a technical standpoint, it's basically perfect. It runs smooth as butter, looks fantastic, and has no glitches that we discovered. And while the writing can be clunky at times, the ending is legitimately wild and worth suffering through the worst bosses to reach. It's true that Lies of P gives in to some of the worst Soulslike instincts at times, but it can be extremely fun when the combat clicks. Just expect a significant time investment and a lot of frustration before that happens.
At launch, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is one of the better-looking, more-polished asymmetrical multiplayer games on the market. It does a fantastic job of capturing the grotesque vibes of the 1974 horror film and translates its themes brilliantly into a gaming experience. Playing as the victims with a group of friends is a great deal of fun, though playing as the killers is not nearly as exciting. Only having three maps at launch is also not ideal and the game's lack of offline options is disappointing, but hopefully future updates will make The Texas Chain Saw Massacre an even better horror game than it is now.
Viewfinder is fun while it lasts and has more than one moment that will leave players with a smile on their faces. It doesn't live up to its full potential, but it's still a solid game and one that will hopefully inspire others to explore similar concepts. It's easy to see how Viewfinder's picture-to-reality idea could be huge for something like a horror game or even a first-person shooter. Applying the brilliant idea at its core to something with a better story and more content would be the makings of an instant classic. What's here is still certainly worth the price of admission, however.
Those that give Crash Team Rumble a chance will find fun, fast-paced platforming gameplay that rewards coordinated teamwork but is still perfectly entertaining with randoms. Toys for Bob has proven that the Crash Bandicoot-style of platforming is right at home in the online multiplayer space, but the game's longevity is a legitimate concern. Anyone interested in the game should jump in now while the community is most active, but those that don't want to risk spending $30 on a game that may fall off in a few months may be better served waiting to see if Crash Team Rumble gets a free-to-play re-release down the road.
The 2023 Layers of Fear is definitely the best way to experience the Layers of Fear games, but they were never particularly good to begin with. While Layers of Fear is what put Bloober Team on the map, the studio has put out significantly better games since then, like sci-fi horror game Observer, the Blair Witch game, and the Silent Hill-inspired The Medium. Horror fans should consider checking those out before taking a chance with Layers of Fear.