- Bionic Commando
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Grime does a great deal of things in metroidvania and soulsborne gameplay quite well. It’s got an engaging combat system full of customization and fun weapons. Additionally, the ability to absorb enemies for unique abilities is a really great way to individualize your playstyle. It’s also got some incredible environments to explore chockfull of unique enemies and platforming to overcome. I really wish it had a better handle on fast-travel because of how tough and frustrating it can be. That aside, Grime is an invigorating, fun, and challenging journey with a rather outlandish story and a great handle on action-RPG platforming and combat.
With its strong cast of characters, complicated and compelling cases, and a good combination of new and classic elements in a good, lengthy prequel story, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is courtroom drama I couldn’t put down till I saw a mystery through to the end.
I lament that personal character movesets have fallen by the wayside in favor of weapon category movesets and if you get quickly bored with these games I don’t think this one will blow you away. That said, Samurai Warriors 5 is a gorgeous game telling a classic story full of awesome characters and it doesn’t require much more investment than that. If that’s all you need, this is one of the best the Musou franchise has to offer.
Hellbound & Undressed has elements fans will enjoy, and if you dig, you can find quirky and interesting things here, but if it catches you having too much fun, be prepared to have that stripped from you like a finely quaffed set of Shadow Soul clothes. This game is a constant chore to enjoy and should be reserved for the folks that really want to see where the series began.
Where the Heart Leads does well for what it seemingly aims to do. It’s the surreal narrative journey of a family through years of happiness and sadness with the connective tissue of a disastrous event tying it down to the present. Putting the puzzle pieces of memory, decision, and consequence together as you go takes this game in a number of directions. Not every direction is riveting and there are some definite lulls, but there are also deeply difficult moments to choose between with consequences for the choices made and the paths untaken. If you’re looking for a chill and often lackadaisical journey you'll steer in meaningful ways, Where the Heart Leads is a narrative-heavy series of roads you may be inclined to explore again and again.
I often hear folks talk about their "comfort food game" – that game in which they can turn their mind off and just go at it for pure good feels and satisfaction. I feel like Chivalry 2 is that game for me. If it was even just that it’s a game in which I can pulp a folk or two with a big honkin’ sword, axe, or whatever I can get my mitts on to often hilarious effect, I would be satisfied. That said, Torn Banner and Tripwire Interactive have poured no shortage of love into this game’s environments, objectives, classes, and player customization. It’s that dedicated level of support that will keep me coming back to the game and crossing swords for a long time to come.
It’s not the full-fledged EDF camp and scope you might find in one of the mainline games, but it is a fantastically accessible shooter with a ton of levels to play whether you’re going it alone or with some buds, online or off. If you want to just not think and shoot the big bugs into little square bits and pieces with a library of characters and weapons from across the franchise, EDF: World Bros. might be just the comfort food you need.
It’s been such an incredibly long road for Guilty Gear. I actually cried in joy when Guilty Gear Xrd was first announced, bringing proper 2D fighting back under the reins Arc System Works. With Strive, my heart still fluttered, but for more than just getting a new fighting game in this franchise I so love. I marvel at what it means for fighting games as a whole. Guilty Gear Strive is a whole new level of beast. It represents the most visually gorgeous, the most full-featured, and the most technically sound that modern 2D fighting games have to offer, and anything that hopes to compete with it has quite the work cut out for it.
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.