Monster Hunter Rise is a great adventure, providing fascinating new tools like the Wirebug and walking a fine line between arcade and fast-paced HD gameplay. The Rampages are a neat new addition when used sparingly, but a reliance on online hunts to finish Rise's story is a puzzling step.
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.
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.
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.