- Final Fantasy VII
- Resident Evil
- Metal Gear Solid
Blasphemous is brilliant. Between its slick combat mechanics, its finely crafted world, and the showdowns with its ferocious monstrosities of bosses, there really is a lot to love here. There’s a level of finesse to just about everything you do in the game, and it’s that need for precision and strategy that helps Blasphemous stand above similar titles in the genre. It does have its imperfections and I have no doubts that it won’t be for everyone, but those who enjoy themselves a challenging metroidvania-style 2D adventure that wears its inspirations like a badge of honour will NOT want to miss out on Blasphemous.
Remedy are undoubtedly masters of their craft, and Control is another fantastic title to add to their repertoire of fine releases that focus on bold action and deep dives into the unknown. It kept me captivated from start to end with its mysterious yet rich narrative, its solid combat mechanics that blend together satisfying gunplay with fun telekinetic abilities, and its peculiar allure and sense that just about ANYTHING could be around the corner of The Oldest House’s mysterious hallways. Control’s weird yet wonderful approach may not be for everyone and some of the performance issues could be disappointing. Overall though, they are minor hitches in what is otherwise an amazing experience; Control is simply a must-own title for action fans or those who appreciate games that aren’t afraid to be a little different.
With its blend of satisfyingly designed enigmas and its slick Bond-like presentation, Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise will tick plenty of boxes for puzzle-solving sleuths. It does have a few flaws thanks to its emphasis on repeatedly traveling across the environment, whilst the controls can be a little sketchy when playing outside of the Switch’s handheld mode too. However, neither of these issues prevent Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise from being a tantalising little puzzler that will totally grip players in during its five-hour runtime.
Heave Ho is an utter delight to play, with its co-operative and outright zany take on being a trapeze artist making (kind of?) for a uniquely fun escapade. It’s a bit tough to recommend as a single player experience as it loses a lot of its charm when playing solo, so it’s definitely a case of ‘the more, the merrier’. If you can get some friends to join you though, you’re in for heck of a good time (and maybe the occasional argument if one of you gets slippery fingers…)
Whipseey and the Lost Atlas is a decent platformer that has some genuinely fun moments, but the lack of variety in its gameplay mechanics and a quick runtime see it fall short when compared to similar titles in the genre. It’s not that anything it does is ever bad per se, but rather that it doesn’t do enough to really capture the imagination. With its low price-point it might be worth checking out if you’re a platforming fan, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting more from this pink hero’s little adventure.
Oninaki is more proof that the team at Tokyo RPG Factory are more than capable of putting together an enjoyable RPG, though the transition to a more action-focused battle system has seen it falter a little when compared to their more traditional (and better) previous releases. That’s not to say that Oninaki is a bad game when compared to I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear though; in fact, I had a good time battling with the use of various Daemons, whilst the deep upgrade system and the twists and turns of the narrative kept me engaged throughout. With an excessive use of padding throughout the final third of the experience and some underwhelming gameplay mechanics though, Oninaki can be a little guilty of outstaying its welcome as you reach its drawn-out conclusion.
Never Give Up offers a platforming experience that’s both fun and challenging, but it lacks that SOMETHING to help make it stand out as an essential release. It’s not that it does anything bad (although some of those repeated levels may frustrate some gamers), but rather that it doesn’t do anything that you wouldn’t have seen before. Still, if you’re itching for a fix of trial and error-based masochistic platforming action, it serves that up in abundance. It might not stand out in the crowd, but Never Give Up certainly gets the essentials right.
Chroma Squad offers a satisfying tactical experience that blends together the fun of the Power Rangers with some enjoyable management aspects – it’s a combination that sounds slightly peculiar, but actually makes for a fun time. It can be guilty of being a little bit repetitive in places and it’s lacking the depth seen in similar titles in the genre, but fortunately there’s enough excitement to be found throughout Chroma Squad that you’ll easily find yourself hooked in until you reach the final season’s big finale.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood offers an enjoyable co-operative take on the famed Nazi-killing series that introduces some clever new ideas to go along with the traditional (and satisfying) first-person shooting set pieces. Admittedly, some of those ideas do miss the mark a bit, especially when they leave some weapons feeling unsatisfying to use on occasions – there’s a little bit too much of a focus on having to upgrade weapons, which can slow down your progress during the game’s trickier sections. However, with the typically brilliant gunplay, intuitive levelling up mechanics, and fun co-op gameplay, there’s a hell of a lot more good than bad in MachineGames’ latest release and it’s an essential purchase for fans of the first-person shooting series.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order offers a thoroughly enjoyable romp featuring all of your favourite Marvel heroes, with the fun narrative and the action-packed showdowns with iconic villains providing plenty of thrills throughout. It’s just a shame that some repetitive gameplay mechanics and a poor camera let it down in places, especially since everything else is of a high standard. Still, Marvel fans will undoubtedly appreciate what Team Ninja have done with the wealth of characters at their disposal, especially when you’re marching them into battle together with a friend playing alongside you. It might be far from perfect, but there’s enough quality shown in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order for it to be an essential purchase for comic book fans.