Dreams is fantastically experimentative, and it's obvious that the near-limitless creation tools provide a platform on which the community can build far into the future, but to judge this package as whole right now, it's not the wider product that leaves a lasting impression.
Journey to the Savage Planet puts you in a brilliantly colorful world, and tasks you with exploring to your heart's content. The moment-to-moment exploration is enjoyable, but the act of combat offers very little in the way of a challenge. The score and insane FMV adverts give Journey to the Savage Planet a lot of personality, but the tiresome parody nature of the writing really lets it down.
Night School Studios have made hell intriguing and complex, with punchy dialog and relatable characters, be it human or demonic. The humor and writing is where Afterparty shines the most, breathing life into every character it touches—be it short and sarcastic, or emotional and reverent. Like the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right (To Party)," what seems like dumb entertainment can evolve into something a lot more meaningful if you're willing to look beneath the surface.
Concrete Genie is certainly easy on the eyes and ears, with brilliant colors popping out of the screen and a light, airy score to coaxe life out of your paintings. It even successfully switches around the perspective of a strained parent-child relationship compared to what we've seen in other games. Unfortunately the monotonous nature of everything in between creating Genies, from dodging bullies to dousing Denska with Super Paint, drags it down.
Observation has no trouble grabbing you from the go, with gripping central mysteries and questions that demand answers. Painstaking progress through even the simplest commands and instructions counteract any sense of progress in Observation, and ultimately dilutes and cheapens the experience.
There's no denying that breaking down an arrogant witness, and ultimately winning a case in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney feel fantastic. Fitting in the right pieces of evidence to find contradictions is extremely satisfying, I just wish there was more depth, and a little more nuance, to both the witnesses you're breaking down, and the game at large.
Metro Exodus is a solid conclusion for a cult series that made its name in rough charm. The open world and stealth systems of the conclusion to the trilogy are largely missteps, but it's when Metro Exodus returns to its horrific roots, with a bunch of caring comrades, that the game fires on all cylinders.
A week or so removed from playing Gris, I don't know what I'll remember it for, if at all. Gris feels like it almost belongs in a museum, with crowds marvelling at its art and sound for a few minutes, before moving on to something else. There's moments of beautiful brilliance in Gris, all of which is dragged down by a decidedly average platforming game.
As heartfelt and emotionally painful as Episode Two of The Walking Dead: The Final Season may be, I can't help but feel like we've seen this all before. The groundwork has been laid for a brutal war, and everything from now until then seems to be dwarfed in comparison. Friendships are still the beating heart of this Final Season though, and it's the moment to moment interactions between characters, and the writing, where this second episode excels.
If this is a return to form for Telltale's The Walking Dead, it's ironically come at the beginning of the end. Combat is still a drag in this game, even with the improved freedom of movement. We've got precious little time left with both Clementine and A.J., but this opening episode of the final season of The Walking Dead neatly gives our characters hope, motivation, and some true friends, all in merely a few hours.