Crossover games are nothing new to Bandai Namco or Shonen Jump, so it surprises and disappoints me to see that none of the good aspects or successful mechanics of these previous games made their way into Jump Force at all. Jump Force is a visual mess, It lacks the fun and charm that a wild crossover like this should embrace, and It's just a technical mess from top to bottom. Jump Force is a huge celebration of some of the most iconic manga in history, but it fails to do any of them justice.
My favorite gaming experiences are the ones that elicit a pure and physical response from me. Whether it's a horror game making me clench my cheeks or a story-driven game dropping my jaw and pulling a tear from my eye, those kinds of experiences are the ones that stick with me the most. With Pikuniku, I was smiling and laughing throughout the entire thing, and too few games get that kind of response out of me. Pikuniku is a treasure of a game, and I can't wait to see more from this team.
Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal is a breath of fresh air after the fumbles of the last few games in the series. I got on board with this franchise for the unique characters and addictive combat, and this game has both of those things in spades. It's a treat to see the origins of the cast redone on home console, but if you've never played a single game in the series before, Burst Re:Newal is the best this franchise has to offer for you.
London Detective Mysteria does a few things new within the genre of otome dating sims, but at the end of the day, it isn't anything revolutionary. If you've played an otome game before, then this one will be more of the same, for better or worse. The silly cast of characters and attempts at dramatic detective plotlines are interesting, but not executed entirely well. Fans of the genre will be able to happily add this one to your pile, but if you need convincing to try out a game like this, London Detective Mysteria isn't the one for you.
While Atelier Meruru is my favorite of the trilogy, each of the games in this pack is cute and fun enough to warrant a purchase, especially if you’re an established fan of the franchise who hasn’t gotten a chance to try the Arland trilogy out yet.
It’s tough to have to pick between sharp visuals or consistent performance, but when it comes to this kind of game, performance is key, and they nailed it with this port.
Rival Megagun isn't a perfect package, but it offers a unique gameplay experience that nobody else is trying to create right now. Shoot 'em ups are blood-pumping adrenaline adventures, and adapting that into a competitive game is a feat that Rival Megagun does impressively well. While some gameplay balance issues and a bland story mode tarnish the final product, Rival Megagun is still an engaging title worth checking out if you and a loved one need a new way to settle your arguments.
Whenever there's a conversation about video games and if they can be considered art, Katamari Damacy needs to be involved. 15 years ago, it arrived on PlayStation 2 touting an absolutely unheard of style of gameplay, art and music. 15 years later on the Nintendo Switch, and it remains one of a kind. Katamari Damacy is a wholly unique video game, and it is an unabashed love letter to the copy-and-paste pop aesthetic of Japanese 1990s pop culture. It's bright, weird, silly and cute, and is a must play for anyone, anywhere.
The Haunted Island is the perfect way to close out 2018. Playing this game made me happy and giggly in a way so few video games make me, and it's the kind of video game experience I wish I had more of. In an industry that only grows larger and more expansive every year, this latest release from Grace Bruxner is a standout treat that goes against the tide of video games and delivers a silly, adorable adventure that everyone deserves to experience.
Gensokyo Defenders, like so many Touhou spinoff games before it, is a low budget affair that fails to capture the same level of satisfying gameplay and unique artistry present in the original games. While the gameplay is functional and sometimes entertaining, every other part of the package serves to bring that enjoyment to a screeching halt.
I love fighting games a lot, and I understand that many other people do. I think the dedication and effort it takes to craft a capable fighting game worth forming a community around is daunting. Unfortunately, Omen of Sorrow feels like it's taken a “quantity over quality” approach that results in a flaccid, broken experience. From the characters and art to the core act of fighting, nothing in Omen of Sorrow quite sticks the landing. There are a lot of incredible fighting games to check out this year, but Omen of Sorrow is not one of them.
With the jump to the Nintendo Switch, this latest version of World of Final Fantasy Maxima brings the adorable console experience into the palm of your hands once more. Unfortunately, it sacrifices some of that visual charm along the way.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun is, in all honestly, a near-perfect rhythm game. Every piece of the puzzle that makes up this game is meticulously chosen to create a wonderful experience for newbies and pros alike. Beginners will be instantly engaged by the simple two-button gameplay, while advanced players will be able to test their strength on the insane speed of higher difficulty tracks. No matter which side you fall on, there's enough content here to keep you engaged for a long time.