Hollow Knight set the bar in terms of visual fidelity and craftsmanship in what an indie game can achieve with the proper allocation of time and attention to detail. With playtime taking anywhere between 20 to 40 hours to complete and dozens of more hours to attain 100% completion on top of an added difficulty mode, Hollow Knight is an absolutely breathtaking feat and Team Cherry has earned my dearest devotion.
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus is definitely an improvement from the last entry, in terms of streamlining the way you play as characters and visually. It looks absolutely gorgeous at the highest settings and running at a locked 60 frames per second. The story doesn’t take itself too seriously for the most part, but they aren’t afraid to tackle some darker tones like death and coping with it.
If you’ve been hankering for a platforming collectathon like I have, you’re more than likely going to have a good time with Yooka-Laylee. This is the game I’ve been waiting for since I beat Banjo-Tooie all those years ago. Playtonic Games has done a fantastic job capturing what made their work at Rare so great, while also building upon that formula.
Detention brings something unique and new to the table, offering a very surreal tale of life and loss through the eyes of someone living in a very real time period. With a beautiful visual style and fantastic sound design, it's quickly become one of my most memorable experiences in the last few years.
Rosenkreuzstilette is an ode to the Blue Bomber. With an anime aesthetic and girls instead of robots, it offers its own unique take on action platforming. While the controls could have been handled better, I have almost nothing negative to say about my experience with the game and wholeheartedly recommend it. Go listen to the OST while you're at it!
Building upon the original release, Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force includes new characters, combat and endings. While there are some typical anime tropes and cliches, you'll find a great cast of characters who offer witty banter on a lighthearted journey.
She Remembered Caterpillars is a beautifully hand-drawn puzzle game with surreal art, a mesmerizing soundtrack and an interesting story. While there isn't much variation from the core gameplay, it still offers a rewarding and introspective experience.
Birthdays the Beginning stumbles on some aspects, but overall delivers an enjoyable "god sim" experience that I've been craving. While I did hope the PC port would have been better, the overall experience is enjoyable and recommendable to those with an interest in sandbox simulators.
Valkyria Revolution is a mixed bag of feelings for fans of the series, but may be a great entry point into the franchise for newcomers. Regardless, it's plagued with some glaring issues like bad voice syncing and an abundance of loading screens.
Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak: Special Gigs is a mouthful to say, but it's a solid visual novel ghost hunting experience that's mainly held back by a shoddy PC port and unexplained mechanics.
Rise & Shine aspires to be like the NES classics it's inspired by, but ultimately falls flat with a short campaign and uneccessary difficulty padding. While the visuals are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, it doesn't make up for the overall lackluster package.