It's obvious that whoever oversaw production of Far Cry 6 x Stranger Things - The Vanishing DLC is intimately familiar with the show. It's a great template for expanding the Stranger Things universe without retreading events that we've already seen. I'd love to see a full Stranger Things game developed from this mold.
In the end, Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection nails the visual update but stumbles when it comes to gameplay. Hardcore fans of the franchise can look past the rough edges and find the fun buried underneath, but if you don't feel like putting forth the effort, you'll probably be happier playing the original arcade game via Capcom Arcade Stadium.
Ultimately, Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline is a bit of a mixed bag. There's fun to be had here, but the story driving the expansion could have spent more time in the oven. Being able to play as Aiden and Wrench is a nice addition, with each offering a distinct style of play.
Straddling the line between art piece and puzzle game, LEGO Builder's Journey is an experience that focuses on the creativity of play above all else. Kids or adults, Builder's Journey is something that anyone can play. Everyone who does play will take away a slightly different experience.
Huntdown may not appeal to everyone, but if you have a soft spot for 16-bit retro shooters and '80s action movies (or if you happen to be a nostalgic gamer of a certain age), it's pretty much guaranteed to please. It's just as punishing and satisfying as you'd expect, and that's a very good thing.
Crafting a dungeon-crawler in the world of Immortals Fenyx Rising is a great idea, but the dev team behind The Lost Gods DLC didn't meet that goal. They nailed the look but completely missed on the gameplay. As a result, The Lost Gods feels like a mishmash of ideas without mastering any of them.
In the end, Myths of the Eastern Realm feels like an abbreviated version of the core Immortals Fenyx Rising experience. The main character and the gods have been swapped out, but little has changed in the overall feel. It's not a bad expansion by any means, and if you enjoyed the original, this is a good excuse to fire up the game again to explore a new region. The superficial treatment of the underlying content feels like a real missed opportunity. Given the care that Ubisoft typically puts into research for its games, Myths of the Eastern Realm comes across as more akin to Cliffs Notes than a novel.
When all is said and done, Microsoft Flight Simulator in its current state reminds me a lot of Sea of Thieves shortly after launch. The game has a lot of promise and a lot of potential, but it is marred by a number of issues that keep it from really shining. Once the issues have been worked out in six months or a year from now, I fully expect Microsoft Flight Simulator to be a must-have title. Right now, unless you are a hardcore flight sim fanatic, I would pass on buying the premium version and just stick to playing the basic version that's included with GamePass.
There is a lot of potential in Minecraft Dungeons (and there is already DLC being advertised for it), but in its current state, it feels like a first draft. If you already have a Game Pass subscription, check it out for some easy achievements, but if you're looking to scratch that dungeon crawler itch, there are better options out there right now.
The Contra Anniversary Collection isn't perfect — the omission of Contra 4 and Contra ReBirth is a disappointment, and more save states per game would have been nice — but it is a solid collection of quality games at an attractive $20 price point to boot.
As a multiplayer experience, Gears 5 offers up a wide variety of options, and something is sure to please almost every type of player. There are some rough edges, especially with the way character upgrades are handled, but the core gameplay is solid and satisfying. Combined with the campaign, Microsoft and the Coalition have given players an amazing value, especially if you are getting the title via Game Pass. It may not be perfect, but it'll provide hours of fun, and that's what matters.
Playing through the games on offer in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection is somewhat like opening a time capsule. Those old enough to remember the original releases of these titles will enjoy going through them again, while players who grew up on PlayStation and Xbox get to enjoy these classics as they were meant to be played. Either way, there is plenty of value here for your gaming dollar.
As a whole package, The Fate of Atlantis is a nicely sized DLC package that could stand alone as a spin-off. Individually, Judgment of Atlantis is the strongest part of that package, so it goes out on a high note.
As the first part of the second major story DLC for Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Fields of Elysium is both impressive and disappointing. It is impressive in how it adds to the already vast world of Assassin's Creed Odyssey and disappointing in how the gameplay loop, while tweaked, doesn't really change from what was found in the main game. There's a lot of potential here, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Ubisoft delivers in episode 2.
Because this is literally just a collection and not a remaster or update, there is little reason to upgrade for LEGO fans who already own the three games. If you're new to the series or if you've only managed to play one of the three titles, the LEGO Marvel Collection is an easy win. Yeah, it can be a tad repetitive at some points when the games are played back-to-back, but this collection packs hours of fun for all ages into a budget-friendly package. It's also a great way to get your Marvel fix while you wait for "Avengers: Endgame" to hit Blu-ray.
Recommending the Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection is a bit of a mixed bag. If you're a fan of the Gradius games or a shmup fan, the collection is a solid, if basic, way to get these classic games on console. The lack of features and the wireless controller bug make it difficult to recommend for anyone who is merely curious about Konami's history. The emulation may be solid, but the package around it has some pretty rough edges.
Not only is The Division 2 a solid gaming experience, but it's one that Ubisoft plans to continually support over time. We've already seen the beginning of that support, and there is no indication that it'll let up. Whether you are a solo player or someone ready to jump in with a squad of friends, The Division 2 is a game you don't want to miss.