While it comes in the form of a no-frills port, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate exists as the most thorough exploration of Monster Hunter to date. If you can get over its 3DS-era visuals, you're in for a seemingly endless experience you can easily devote a lifetime to—and one worth devoting a lifetime to. Whether you're new to the series, someone who started with Monster Hunter World, or just a fan of the previous 3DS games, you're bound to get addicted once MHGU gets its hooks into you. Just don't be afraid to ask for help.
Monster Hunter has been in need of a big change for years, and this reboot-of-sorts could have easily gone wrong. Instead, Capcom took a careful look at Monster Hunter's design and cut all the fat while leaving the series trademark dense gameplay completely intact. All the changes, from the broad, sweeping ones to the granular alterations, only serve to improve an already winning formula. The next generation of Monster Hunter has finally begun, and, with Monster Hunter World, it's off to an incredibly good start.
While the brilliance of its director's past games occasionally surface in Cold Case Investigations, this thoughtlessly designed and incredibly brief adventure will do nothing but disappoint fans of the defunct developer Cing.
You can't come up with a more intriguing VR premise than "Batman simulator," and developer Rocksteady has done their best to make it work. But despite how cool it is to simply exist in Gotham, the limited interactions and dumbed-down puzzles make the experience feel much less confident than it should be.
PlayStation VR Worlds does a great job of showing off Sony's tech, but the experiences contained in this collection are far too slight to be anything more than sideshow attractions. If you're looking to make the most of PSVR, you're better off buying full games than a modest collection of tech demos.
Yo-kai Watch has a great degree of potential, so it's tragic to see Level-5 squander it over fears of upsetting their massive cash cow. (In Japan, anyway.) This sequel carries the same sense of spooky whimsy as the first game, but unfortunately doesn't lose the underlying tedium. If you're looking for an alternative to Pokemon, you might want to see if the next game fixes Yo-kai Watch's woes—if it gets localized, that is.
While Ace Attorney has had its ups and downs since the original trilogy came to a close, Spirit of Justice amounts to the fresh start Phoenix Wright needed to break away from his past. A great setting, fantastic mysteries, memorable characters, and a consistent, thoughtful theme make this a must-play for anyone interested in Ace Attorney's anime-infused take on Law & Order.
After three wonderful Episodes of Hitman, IO Interactive drops the ball by delivering a chunk of content that's not nearly as thoughtful as what came before. But even if this installment comes off as a little disappointing, you should still get some enjoyment out of it if you enjoyed Agent 47's previous 2016 adventures.
Keeping with the tradition of Monster Hunter sequels, Generations doesn't rock the boat. Instead, it doubles down on the core formula, while tweaking several existing features to make them much friendlier. Overall, it's an experience designed for Monster Hunter veterans—but one that also extends a helping hand to newcomers.
While Star Ocean started as an innovative series full of fun, bold ideas, its current form amounts to the most middle-of-the-road RPG experience you could possibly have. It's not particularly awful, but in a reality full of RPGs, so many better options exist.
While Rhythm Heaven veterans might find themselves wishing for more new content, Megamix still manages to work its gleeful charms in the series' heartwarmingly absurdist fashion. And if you've never tried the series before, Megamix amounts to the most refined and approachable entry to date.
While Catalyst keeps up the great first-person parkour action of the first game, the awkward smashing of its parts into the ubiquitous, open-world model hasn't done Mirror's Edge any favors. The overall aesthetic and sense of momentum still have their charms, but it's disappointing to see EA Dice take such a safe, predictable approach with what once felt like a boldly unique property.
The Platinum spark exists in Mutants in Manhattan, which is why it's tragic the developers couldn't spend the same resources they would on original IP like Bayonetta. As licensed games go, you could do much worse, but this TMNT outing feels like a collection of good ideas in need of a second pass.
With Neverending Nightmares, Infinitap does a stellar job of simulating the more common elements of nightmares, but shows enough self-control to prevent the experience from being absolutely wearying. Though the subject matter might be disturbing to some, this short, effective experience makes for one of the more memorable horror games in recent memory.
From Software's amazing streak continues with Dark Souls III, which amounts to the finest game in the series. Returning players will find everything they've grown to love in a much better form, while newbies will be treated to the most accessible Souls to date.