LEGO The Incredibles isn’t a bad game by any means and there’s certainly fun to be had playing through TT Games’ representation of the Pixar heroes’ adventures, but when compared to the most recent releases in the LEGO franchise I can’t help but to find it a little underwhelming. I just felt like there wasn’t anything here that I hadn’t seen done before, which is something that the LEGO games have been guilty of over the last few years but somehow feels more predominant here than ever before. Like I said though, there’s enjoyment to be had with LEGO The Incredibles and I’m sure youngsters in particular will enjoy zipping around levels as Dash, smashing through walls with Mr Incredible, stretching through stages as Elastigirl, and smashing things apart with Violet’s energy blasts. It’s just a shame that the game doesn’t quite live up to its ‘incredible’ name, and instead just feels a little bit ordinary.
Bomberman has always been a series that I’ve held close to my heart, and whilst it might have got off to a rocky start on the Nintendo Switch, the commitment Konami has shown in releasing free updates has been commendable. Everything has been packaged together nicely in Super Bomberman R: Shiny Edition, and it’s helped make it a genuinely worthwhile title in the series that’s an absolute blast to play (both figuratively and literally). Whilst Super Bomberman R’s original release on the Nintendo Switch might have left gamers feeling a bit short-changed, the new ‘shiny’ edition is simply jam-packed with enough content to keep you bombing your friends and online foes for a long time.
The team at Coldwood Interactive have took what was already a delightful platforming experience and improved it ten-fold thanks to the addition of a second character. Swinging your way through Unravel Two’s impressive levels with a friend is just a blast, whilst the improved level design and tighter controls just add to the experience. Unravel Two was a really pleasant surprise when it was revealed at E3 2018, and after playing it through to its conclusion, it’s actually exceeded my already high expectations. Whether playing on your own or with a trusty co-op partner, Unravel Two is simply a stunning adventure that you don’t want to miss out on.
Following the success of the first game and the sheer hype that’s built ever since the initial reveal, my expectations were exceedingly high going into Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. Thankfully, it’s managed to absolutely smash them, with the game’s perfect amalgamation of clever gameplay mechanics and it’s charming story coming together to make for what is one of the most entertaining RPGs I’ve ever played. You could be building your own little Kingdom, taking part in strategic showdowns between armies, battling an onslaught of colourful monsters in the wild, or simply taking in the beautiful sights of the finely crafted world – whatever you’re doing, you’ll be having a blast and will simply be left in awe of how perfectly everything manages to come together. Bravo to Level-5 and Bandai Namco. With Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, they’ve embraced everything about the RPG genre that’s made it so loved by gamers worldwide and managed to take it to the absolute pinnacle. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is simply an unmissable game.
At the start of this review I questioned whether UFC 3 was the best entry in the series so far, and without a shadow of a doubt I can say the answer is yes. Not only does the game feel more authentic than ever with its improved visuals and striking, but it also features a career mode that’s genuinely exciting and a whole host of brand new features that improve the game ten-fold. It still has its flaws here and there, with the ground and grappling game a little underwhelming and some aspects of the Ultimate Team mode a little uninspired (for me anyway), but this really is the best MMA game that EA have ever released and one that embraces the excitement of the sport both in and out of the octagon. Whether you’re a casual fan, a hardcore mixed martial arts enthusiast, or even if you just love Conor McGregor – you won’t regret giving UFC 3 a purchase.
There really is a lot to like about Ambition of the Slimes, but the harsh difficulty and over dependence on grinding prevent it from standing out as a little tactical-RPG gem. There were too many times during the game where I felt like I came to a complete halt because of some brutal level, whilst the time spent replaying previous levels to improve myself felt like it could’ve been spent doing something a bit better. Still, there’s no denying Ambition of the Slimes has a lot of charm and there’s certainly fun to be had. It’s not the sort of game you can sit and put hours upon hours into in one go, but if you pick it up every now and then you’ll have a good time working out the best way to conquer each level. Add to that the low £4.99 price point and I’m sure that tactical-RPG fans will enjoy this quirky little title.
Playing Lost Sphear was like re-visiting the classic RPGs of yesteryear that hooked me in with their enjoyable combat mechanics, impressive world design, and incredibly evil (though somewhat predictable) villains. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and whilst I’ll certainly admit that it had a few flaws, I was completely absorbed by it throughout the entirety of my twenty hour-plus adventure. Believe me, if you’re an RPG fan you need to buy it. It acts as the perfect reminder that RPGs don’t need to have super fancy visuals, overly intricate combat mechanics, or a convoluted plotline to grip players in – they’ve just got to have heart, and that’s something Lost Sphear has in abundance. Here’s to the next fascinating adventure that Tokyo RPG Factory send us on…
After loving Life is Strange when it originally released, I’d been intrigued to see where they would go with Before the Storm. Prequels haven’t always been successful after all, so I didn’t know if it’d still manage to offer the same emotionally-driven experience that I’d loved so much back in 2015. Thankfully, Deck Nine have managed to deliver something that might not have as grand a stage set, but somehow manages to feel a lot more human and, at times, more enjoyable than its predecessor in the process. There’s no huge looming disaster in Life is Strange: Before the Storm; instead, it’s a tale of two girls, their blossoming relationship, and the believable trials and tribulations they face as part of growing up. Whilst anyone who has played the first game knows that it can all end tragically, you don’t have to think about any of that here and it makes for a truly poignant experience. The choices you make, the situations you find yourself in, the ways you interact with the world – everything comes together perfectly to make Life is Strange: Before the Storm a very enjoyable and worthy prequel to the original game.
Crawl hooked me in from the get-go thanks to its unique take on dungeon-crawling, with the constant shift between playing the hero and the enemy proving incredibly entertaining – especially when playing with three other friends. It’s certainly a whole lot different to the norm as far as the genre is concerned and it makes for something that never seems to stop being fun to play. The single player isn’t as fun as playing with friends and there could be a few balance issues here and there, but in all Crawl stands out as a must-own title for Nintendo Switch owners who love a unique take on competitive (and at times co-operative) local multiplayer action.
Not A Hero offers an enjoyable encounter with Lucas Baker and gives an action-packed reminder of just how good Resident Evil 7 is. Don’t get me wrong, outside of the boss battle it doesn’t really do anything that improves upon the main game, but it didn’t need to – it was fun enough from start to end without having to change the formula too much. Whilst I’ll admit that playing as Chris Redfield didn’t offer too much extra to the overall narrative, seeing what went on behind the scenes of the main plotline was interesting. Still, I was a little disappointed that Chris just came in to tie up loose ends and didn’t have some shocking revelation that linked him in ready for future releases. It’s a great little freebie though and it’s certainly worth getting Resident Evil 7 back in your console to see it through. It might not offer a startling conclusion to the game’s narrative, but the return to horror is still a very enjoyable one.
I thoroughly enjoyed my twenty-hour adventure through South Park: The Fractured but Whole, with the game offering plenty of the things I loved about The Stick of Truth but also evolving upon the formula with its new premise and its surprisingly deep combat mechanics. Don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to be partaking in some epic in-depth RPG action with complicated systems in place, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the game actually had more than enough unique ideas of its own and never just relied upon the brand to do the hard work. There are so many zany and outright disturbing things I could talk about in this review, but the absurdity of South Park: The Fractured but Whole is best appreciated when witnessed yourself. It really is something special and those who love the show (or have a very juvenile sense of humour) will have a smile on their face from the start up until the very end. There are a few flaws in place, both technical and from a gameplay perspective, but in all South Park: The Fractured but Whole offers an entertaining adventure that’ll keep both fans of the show and gamers alike enthralled until the end credits. Just stay away if you’re easily offended…
Despite the series setting some serious high standards in previous games, Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony manages to exceed them in almost all facets of design. The story is exciting and full of twists, the Class Trials are spiced up with some all-new features, whilst it also happens to be the best looking game in the series so far – seriously, it’s just brilliant. Whilst I’m not sure it’ll be the case for everyone, for me Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony has earned its place as my favourite entry in the series. Its brilliant combination of bizarre murder mysteries mixed with a great variety of different gameplay elements made for a fascinating experience that I simply loved being a part of.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider delivers more of what players expect from the Dishonored series: a fantastic amalgamation of tense stealth segments, all-out action-packed combat, and some incredibly well designed environments to explore. It manages to introduce some clever ideas of its own too, ensuring that series veterans will find themselves tested by the trials that Billie faces on her journey. That being said, there isn’t as much flexibility in how much you can expand on Billie’s powers as there has been in previous games, though it doesn’t really hinder the experience in any shape or form – there’s still almost endless possibilities in how you decide to play the game. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider offers another stunning adventure that not only lives up to the high standards of the series, but also does it at a cut-price. It’s a must play title that fans of action-packed stealth adventures simply need to check out – just try to make sure you finish Dishonored 2 first…
Whilst there have been plenty of these interactive narrative titles released on VR platforms, none have captured my attention or have felt as thought-provoking Manifest 99 – the fact that I still think about it days after completing it shows how much of a one of a kind experience it really is. Admittedly, there’s not a whole lot there to bring you back for repeated playthroughs, but seeing everything play out just the once will be enough to leave its mark on you. Add to that the fact that it’s available for such a low price point and it’s easy to recommend Manifest 99’s emotional journey to just about anyone.
Whilst Knack 2 might not necessarily offer anything that you wouldn’t have already seen before in the genre, it improves upon the prequel in almost every single way. The gameplay is more refined and enjoyable, combat has been expanded upon but still remains accessible, the game world is stunning and slicker than ever, whilst the introduction of co-op play offers a whole new way to play the game. Whilst I’ll admit that I don’t think Knack 2 does enough to really cement Knack’s status as Sony’s platforming mascot, it has certainly improved the reputation of the series and proven that there’s a place on the Playstation 4 for its fun, platforming action. If you were let down by the original game, don’t be put off giving Knack 2 a try – you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by the charming adventure on offer.
Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul offers an enjoyably eerie escapade through a haunted house, with the game certainly living up to the series’ reputation of providing genuine frights. There are plenty of scares to be had throughout your time exploring, whilst the fact that they’re randomly placed means you’ll never know when to expect them. It does have its flaws thanks to the plethora of locked doors, lack of consistent interactivity, and the focus on just finding objects, but they won’t stop the game from providing some real thrills. If you want a genuinely creepy horror experience on Playstation VR then Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul will definitely be for you.
Who would have thought that a crossover of Mario and the Rabbids would be so damn fun to play? I thoroughly enjoyed my time venturing across the Mushroom Kingdom and taking part in tactical battles, with the accessible nature of combat proving to be entertaining even for newbies to the strategy genre. Add to the that the stunning visuals, the constant introduction of new mechanics, and the challenging yet fair difficulty curve and it’s hard not find yourself totally absorbed in Ubisoft’s bizarrely brilliant concoction. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle offers a fresh and unique experience that stands out as one of the Nintendo Switch’s best titles.
There’s only one way to really describe Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Awake – it’s more of the same, for better or worse. If you were a fan of the original game then you’re going to really enjoy what’s on offer here, with the whole angsty yet touching vibe carrying over this time around too. There are a few differences, most notably with the time-bending powers replaced with Chloe’s Backchat, but in general it all feels the same. If you weren’t a fan of the original game though, nothing on offer here is going to change your mind. I was a massive fan of the original game though and in turn really enjoyed playing through Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Awake. It has set up a story that I want to see more of, and whilst I might already know the fate of both characters, I’m still intrigued to see how their relationship blossoms and what issues they face going forward. Life is Strange: Before the Storm has got off to a great start, so hopefully there’ll be more of the same in the next two episodes.
I absolutely love The Lost Bear; it’s just an utterly delightful experience that utilises virtual reality in a variety of clever ways, with the gameplay mechanics perfectly mixed together with a stunning and immersive world. It really is unique and unlike anything I’ve played in a VR headset so far. The only real downside is just how short the game it is. It has launched with a low price point which I feel is justified, but some players might be disappointed to see that they could easily beat the game in well under an hour with very little on offer to really justify a second playthrough. Still, I had a great time with The Lost Bear and it’s certainly something I can see myself adventuring through again when I want to have a pleasant little journey. It might not be very challenging and is over too soon, but don’t let that put you off giving it a try.
Madden 18 offers enough of the same from a gameplay perspective to ensure that returning gamers will have more of what they have loved over the years, but there have been plenty of refinements made to ensure the whole experience feels fresh too. Tackles are more believable, the AI of your opponent more intelligent, the offense play more tactical – there are just a lot of little tweaks that come together to make Madden 18 feel superior to its predecessors, both from a gameplay perspective but also in presentation too. Add to that the absolutely brilliant Longshot, the addition of extra game modes, and the stunning visuals brought with the change to the Frostbite Engine and it’s easy to see why Madden 18 is one of the finest entries the series has ever seen. Each year, Madden takes a step closer to the pinnacle of sporting greatness and this year it’s no different – Madden 18 is just all out, action-packed sporting fun and a must buy for any American Football fan.