It's clear that Crisis on the Planet of the Apes has a lot of ambition and it does get a lot right in this regard, but at the end of the day, all we have here is a VR tech demo. Climbing around here was the most immersive VR moment I've had to date, but the controls could sometimes took me right back out of it. As a showcase for what VR could do in the future, it's another great example of things to come.
Octahedron is a great platforming experience with a unique identity, style, and gameplay. Its dozens upon dozens of levels are a tiny bit on the short side, but mastering those challenges is what kept me coming back for more. It's one of the more distinct offerings as part of the Square Enix Collective and is something of a hidden gem.
Detective Pikachu is a deceptively small game with simple cases and not a heck of a lot else. As someone whose detective itch is usually scratched by the Phoenix Wright games, this felt like solving the really easy introduction cases in each, rather than challenging logic and reason. It certainly has the presentation chops, but the people who'll get the most out of Detective Pikachu are diehard Pokémon fans and younger gamers.
Far Cry 5 is a rollercoaster of emotions; from the sheer adrenaline of the gameplay, to the psychological trauma resulted from the most disturbing underlings in the series' history. Much like a pilgrimage, the initial trials and tribulations are very difficult, but as things progress it becomes significantly less so. A hugely enjoyable experience, even if it's certainly got a few pacing and open-world teething issues to address.
Castle of Heart is a generic, infuriating, and ultimately underwhelming experience. It doesn't even come close to emulating what made the old Castlevania games classics, as it just crams enemies and traps into levels and hope it works, rather than having coherent level design. If anything, all that Castle of Heart has done is reminded me of how good the old Castlevania games were and that this doesn't fill that void that has been left behind.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom may be vastly different, but it's ruddy marvellous! Its many systems sure are intimidating at first, but things click into place very quickly, and there's a lot to do in this gorgeous and well-crafted game. They say that it's difficult to recapture the magic, but this is one more Level-5 game that has become essential. They may have moved on from Studio Ghibli's tutelage, but the lessons learned have resulted in a phenomenally good JRPG.
Kirby Star Allies feels like a greatest hits collection rather than its own unique experience. It takes inspiration from the majority of classic Kirby games and while it doesn't have quite the level of scope that Kirby Super Star had back in the day, there's a great amount of fun to be had. It's certainly more fun with friends and is well made, having plenty of nostalgia for the pink puffball's fans, but it's certainly the easiest Kirby game in years.
While I appreciated the insight into the folklore of the Taramuhara people, Mulaka as a game is about as average as an action adventure title gets. It's got some great ideas lurking within, but the overall structure is incredibly dated and only really saved thanks to the subject matter. As a game, it's not really doing much that hasn't been done better before, but as a cultural insight, it has a lot to offer those interested.
I'll be honest; Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is a bit of a hard sell at this stage. At this point in time, it's just Age of Empires: Gold Edition with fresh makeup; it's almost exactly as you'd remember it though, warts and all. Yet there's always that potential for it to get plenty of all-new expansion content. So while it doesn't really deserve the “definitive” moniker now, it will in time.