Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is a marked improvement over its predecessors in spite being a spin-off by a different developer. Fans of the series will definitely appreciate the additions made to the game while still retaining what made the series so enjoyable. If further installments are able to improve on what Yuke's has done with the series while also fixing some of its issues to bring it up to speed of other modern shooters, it could expand the game's market well beyond its cult following.
One Piece: World Seeker could have been so much more that it is. While many of its elements were executed rather well and are still very enjoyable, many others feel uninspired and generic. Hopefully, Bandai Namco and Ganbarion learn from this first attempt at an open-world One Piece game and are able to improve on it in the future, as World Seeker has made it clear that One Piece would work very well as a large-scale open-world game.
The Season of the Forge and the Black Armory DLC does many things right and could do a number of them better. Understandably, an expansion like Forsaken is incredibly difficult to follow up and Black Armory doesn't necessarily do a bad job at it. Hopefully Bungie has learned a lot from the Season of the Forge and is able to improve how they release and implement the rest of Year 2's content.
In an era of excellent re-releases and remakes, Castlevania Requiem feels like a massively missed opportunity to bring two of the franchise's best games back into the limelight.
LEGO DC Super-Villains is definitely one of the best in the series, with many improvements that not only build on the strengths of the previous titles but also fixes some of the issues they faced. The massive change to player-created characters and the star-studded voice cast makes the game significantly more enjoyable and offers much more replayability than previous titles. LEGO DC Super-Villains may very well end up becoming the benchmark for future games in the franchise.
Destiny 2 Forsaken provides one of the best narratives the franchise has ever given us and the wealth of content available in both the Tangled Shore and the Dreaming City will undoubtedly be more than enough for players to enjoy for quite a long time. And with the promise of even more content coming out in Year Two, Destiny 2 is in the best place it can be right now and for the months to come.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is an excellent example of a holistic approach to producing a well-made remaster. Not only does it feature the usual remaster fare of significantly improved visuals up to their maximum capabilities but it also includes significant and positive improvements and additions to its audio and gameplay that take into consideration both its past strengths and weakness, the resources of the current times, and both its past and current potential audience. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is undoubtedly a remaster worth playing for both newcomers and fans of the original.
God Wars: Future Past takes classic SRPG gameplay mechanics and not only executes but also supplements them incredibly well. The game's story and cast of characters make for a fascinating and entertaining experience that is matched only by the game's enjoyable battles and deep character progression. The experience is then enhanced even further by the game's beautiful 2D visuals and fully animated cutscenes. In spite its few flaws, SRPG fans will surely enjoy this latest outing by Kadokawa Games and newcomers who are able to take the genre's traditionally slower pace may find themselves hooked.
While the concept of Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator is undoubtedly novel, it is disappointingly lacking in its execution. Its charm, which in itself is already given to subjectivity due to differing tastes in comedy, wears off pretty fast and the game soon degrades into a repetitive and predictable slog. And while it's hard to argue against its $2.99 price tag, a higher price would have been easily welcomed if it meant more content. Simply put, while the game is genuinely fun at first, there's just not enough of it to go around as it currently stands.
Dark Rose Valkyrie is an unexpected experience and could be the best game from Compile Hearts yet. An undeniable mixed bag, the game provides deep and complex combat and character progression systems as well as a unique narrative and objective that's somewhat held down by its repetitive and tedious missions as well as its dated 3D graphics. Fans of JRPGs, especially those by Compile Heart, that are able to forgive some of the game's shortcomings will definitely appreciate and overly enjoy the game and the amount of depth and complexity it can provide.
Victor Vran takes the isometric action RPG genre and puts a different spin on it. The game's combination of gameplay mechanics set it apart and its execution, while simpler in some aspects than its constituents, is excellently accomplished, making it one of the more polished games in the genre. And while it does feature dark and serious themes, the game doesn't take itself too seriously, allowing for some elements of humor which add even further to its appeal and enjoyment. The Overkill Edition also comes with some excellent pieces of DLC that not only provide an additional element of replayability to the game but also combine to give players three significantly different yet enjoyable experiences in a single title.
Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception features an interesting story and great cast of characters coupled with excellent 2D visuals and voice acting, making it an easily entertaining experience in spite of its few shortcomings. While those looking for a complex and deep tactical RPG experience may find themselves disappointed, fans of the visual novel genre and the Utawarerumono series will definitely enjoy Mask of Deception and will end up looking forward to Mask of Truth.
Deck13 has built on the successes and mistakes of Lords of the Fallen and has created something that is able to not only stand toe-to-toe with the Souls franchise but is also capable of standing on its own with its unique identity. The new and different systems The Surge has introduced makes it an enjoyable and different experience for both newcomers to the genre and those who have already played Souls-like games previously. Deck13 has done a great job at combining the familiar and the new to create a unique vision that's both fun and challenging.
Ten years after its original release, LocoRoco is still an undeniably fun experience which has aged incredibly well, owing to its simple yet beautiful aesthetic as well as its unique and straightforward gameplay. While the remaster doesn't add much in terms of content, fans of the original might enjoy replaying one of the PSP's most delightful exclusives at a higher resolution and with the new motion controls. And those who weren't able to play it on the PSP will definitely enjoy the endearing yet brief experience of LocoRoco in its best form yet.
Little Nightmares is an entrancing yet brief journey that even those averse to the horror game genre can enjoy. Its implementation of horror hits deeper and lasts longer than other games in the genre while still making it both enjoyable and accessible. Its beautiful visuals and sound design make for an immersive and horrifying experience that is difficult to put down even at its most terrifying moments. And even after surviving through its myriad of possibly nightmare-inducing sequences, it's hard to shake the feeling of wanting to experience more.
The Sniper: Ghost Warrior series has definitely come a long way since the original was released over half a decade ago. In spite the criticisms the series has received in the past, it's been successful enough that CI Games was adequately confident to shift gears with Ghost Warrior 3 and take a huge risk. And while the developer was successful in improving some of the game's elements including its core gameplay and open world, many of its other aspects, including its visuals and technical performance, failed to hit the mark. At its core, Ghost Warrior 3 is easily enjoyable but its issues just as easily breaks the experience.
The Silver Case is definitely not for everyone. While it's visuals and presentation may prove interesting to some, the issues with its gameplay and some of its storytelling could turn off others. Those unfamiliar with Suda's style may find the themes and pacing of the game remarkably slow. But fans of Suda's work will definitely enjoy The Silver Case as it showcases his unique style incredibly well. Regardless of its setbacks, the PS4 release of The Silver Case is a unique and complex experience that could easily draw in those who are open to playing something undeniably strange and different.
ArmaGallant: Decks of Destiny is an interesting concept that falls a bit short in execution and presentation. While it does do a few things well, such as its control scheme and card mechanics, it is incredibly lacking in content and misses several key things that would've made it great and worth getting through the relatively steep barrier to entry. The game definitely has the potential to become one of the better RTS experiences on the PS4 but it will definitely need a few large content and feature updates if it wants to get there.
Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a pleasant and often challenging run through a fascinating world that ends much too soon. While the game doesn’t present anything innovative or bring anything new to the Metroidvania genre, it’s still quite an enjoyable albeit disappointingly short experience. From the updated visuals and animations to the platforming and combat, Reverie Under the Moonlight doesn’t fail to impress. And its interesting story and world only leads to wishing the game was a lot longer and more explored.