I’ve absolutely loved playing through Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and I’m happy to say that Square Enix once again delivered with this release. It’s a fantastic follow-up to Remake that expands the world of Final Fantasy VII even more, and it’s a sequel that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re a hardcore Final Fantasy VII fan, or someone that came on board via the Remake, you won’t be disappointed.
At $50 this is a solid collection of three really good portable games, rezzed up to modern HD screens and dimensions, with slight tweaks to account for former touchscreen controls and menus, making all three games feel right at home on the Nintendo Switch. Whether you’ve played the original releases or you’re jumping in for the first time, you really can’t go wrong with checking this collection out. It’s great to have the entire main series collected on the Switch, and hopefully this will help open the door for more Ace Attorney games in the near future.
So far, with just 5 tables available, this initial outing of Pinball M actually feels pretty great to play, and the new table designs are really well done, with some well thought out mechanics that help make up some of the best themed tables Zen has produced across any pinball platform thus far.
In a stellar year of top-tier releases, sequels, and new IPs, I didn’t expect Alan Wake II to rank as highly on my personal top game list as it does now, and while we’ve still got a couple months to go, I’m fairly confident that Alan Wake II is going to be my personal game of the year.
If you’re like me, and were initially a little lukewarm on Cyberpunk 2077, then definitely give Phantom Liberty and the new 2.0 patch a shot. It makes for a much better experience overall, and the Phantom Liberty storyline is a blast to playthrough. This gives me a lot of hope for what the next entry in this series will end up being, and has reignited my interest in a possible follow-up in a way that I didn’t think was possible.
Cocoon might be one of the most inventive puzzle games I’ve ever played. The concept of diving into worlds, solving various puzzles, and then diving into and out of other worlds is one of those things that’s kind of hard to explain, but absolutely fantastic to see and try out for yourself. It’s not a game that is easily comparable to any other, and it’s hands down one of the best experiences I’ve had all year.
This is very much a racing game focused on competition, both online and off, that drops any and all fluff or extraneous content in favor of doubling down on lots of car options, some really stellar track redesigns, and just the general thrill of competitive track racing. It’s not going to be a racing game for everyone, falling very much into the category of sim racer, but there are enough accessibility options and difficulty sliders that even the most inexperienced racing player will manage to eke out some enjoyment here.
I’ve found The Expanse: A Telltale Series to be a solid attempt to re-establish Telltale as the king of adventure games once again. They were able to consistently hit their release deadlines for each episode, and with all now available, it’s the perfect time to check this one out. If you’ve ever had any affinity for the show, or Telltale’s prior efforts, you’ll likely find something to enjoy here.
As someone who is a fan of Forza Horizon and didn’t care a great deal for The Crew 2, this latest entry in The Crew certainly works for me. I’ve had a lot of fun driving around the island of Oahu, and the Hawaii setting is a great backdrop for all the racing this game contains. While maybe not the most original racer on the market, this approach for The Crew Motorfest makes for a better experience overall, and helps fill the void for AAA arcade racers this year.
The story is weird and interesting enough to also keep you entertained, which certainly helps make Gunbrella feel fresh despite there being a number of retro-themed action-platformers on the market today. I’d highly recommend checking out Gunbrella when you get a chance, you won’t be disappointed.
Starfield is, overall, a very good RPG from a studio known for making very good RPGs. Not the most surprising news I’m sure, but it’s nice to see that they’re able to break away from the Elder Scrolls and Fallout settings successfully, and I do feel like their take on space exploration is a breath of fresh air for this type of RPG experience. It’s a huge game overall, so if you’re the person that believes time played = value, you’ll be pretty happy with this one for sure, but at the same time if you’re worried about overall quality, I think you’ll still enjoy your time with Starfield.
It can be daunting to take on another RPG in a year that’s already seen a hefty number of popular releases, but Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg might be the perfect palate cleanser if you’re burned out on 40+ hour adventures at this point. It’s not the longest RPG in the world, nor the most complex, but it does offer a charming adventure that also serves as a new starting point for the long-running series from developer Gust.
It’s been a pleasant trip down memory lane with both Pikmin 1 and 2, and if you’ve never had a chance to experience either game, I’d say they are both highly recommended and stand the test of time quite well. Neither game is particularly long, and while 2 can be challenging at times, both are pretty friendly to new players and work as a solid primer for the upcoming release of Pikmin 4. Definitely check them out when you get a chance, you won’t be disappointed.
Essentially, what I’m telling you is that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is indeed a bad video game. It’s not fun when it works, it’s even less so when it doesn’t, and the overall concept of the game is one that ultimately makes it feel unnecessary altogether.
All in all, these are solid additions to what was already an impressive overhaul of these 8-bit and 16-bit classics, and help solidify the ideal that the Pixel Remasters could now be considered the definitive versions of classic Final Fantasy.