- Bionic Commando
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind don’t exactly have a lot of true “gameplay” to them and there are no consequences for wrong decisions, but the story that plays out as you figure out what to do next and apply logic and reasoning to investigations is a thrilling romp. If you want a high-quality visual novel, a good mystery story to follow, and a time capsule of game design all in one, the Famicom Detective Club remakes feel like a solid call.
Cozy Grove is a very different kind of life sim. It’s so cheerful on the surface, but underneath the bark is a process of patience and of letting go the things holding one back or keeping them tethered in a difficult spot. I think for as fast-paced, hectic, and chaotic as our lives often get, there’s something a lot of players could take away from Cozy Grove, and the daily journey with this game makes it more than worthwhile if you’ve got the time and resolve to keep coming back.
For its weird flaws, bugs, always online issues, obnoxious use of cutscenes, and b-movie attitude, Outriders is still mostly what I wanted it to be in execution and I think it's built for a wealth of future content and improvements that mean it's just going to get better from here. Whether I jump into the game on my solo character or team up with my friends, I know I’m in for a good, visceral, and rewarding time.
Genesis Noir is a very curious game, and mostly in a good way. The cosmic nature of its narrative is tied down interestingly in its humanized elements and the animation and music do a good job of giving every moment life and charm, even if it can sometimes get confusing. It’s not a long game, and some of its stretches are a bit too simplistic for their own good, but Genesis Noir also features a lot of creativity in prominent portions of its puzzles and progression. If you enjoy a good point-and-click adventure and don’t mind a game that just wants a moment to share its bombastic narrative of cosmic creation and love, Genesis Noir might very well be narrative worth your time and interest.
The finished state of Balan Wonderworld is disappointing to say the least. For all of its style, I was really interested to see how they would expand upon the preview. The aesthetic and characters are there, the music is captivating, the level design made me want to explore and experiment where I could, and the abilities mostly gave me options to do so. However, these things are held down by a lot of contrivances and outright holes in either functionality or context. The final release of Balan Wonderworld felt like a rush job where good ideas, visuals, and sounds were forced to dance among either unfinished or unfun nonsense.
Monster Hunter Rise was beyond anything I expected. The tried and true grind of Monster Hunter's giant beast battles is alive and performing exceedingly well for the Switch’s hardware. Its formula is also thoughtfully augmented with Palamutes, Wirebugs, and Wyvern Riding, all of which I’d love to see stay in the series after this game.
Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrected is an absolute monster of a game, but both a thoughtful redesign and a fully intact foundation make it one that feels glorious to tame at whatever level you play it, as well as a refreshing and colorful adventure all along the way.
As far as gameshow/sporting event-style games go, Destruction AllStars is maybe some of the most fun I’ve had in a while. I love the pageantry when a match starts and my character does their intro before kicking things off. The visuals are smooth and pristine throughout the fast-paced action and the gameplay in different modes is absolutely delightful. I would like the foot game to be boosted a bit, and it desperately needs some better cosmetics and an easy-access Mute All function, but there’s an absolutely enthralling foundation here in Destruction AllStars. I want to see more characters, more arenas, events… I want to see where Destruction AllStars goes in the long run and I’ll be happy to keep playing as we work our way there.