- Final Fantasy VII
- Resident Evil
- Metal Gear Solid
After loving ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ so much, I’d been eagerly anticipating Injustice 2. There was just this little part of me that was worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. You know what though? It exceeded all of my expectations, in turn providing one of the best fighting experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing in my lifetime of gaming. I’m often guilty of riding high on a video game after I’ve enjoyed it, but everything about Injustice 2 is simply fine-tuned to perfection. The slick and accessible fighting mechanics, the fantastic roster made up of DC super heroes and villains, the addictive customisation options, the multiple game modes that offer something new every day, and the jaw dropping visuals – they all come together to create one of the finest fighting games that has ever been released.
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.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is simply fantastic. It improves upon the original game in so many ways, with the charming narrative, the intricate building mechanics, and the sense of adventure that comes with exploring each island coming together perfectly to make for a truly remarkable experience. I really enjoyed the first game and in many ways its gameplay mechanics don’t change up all that much in Dragon Quest Builders 2, but the things it does do differently and the new quality of life improvements it introduces really help make it stand out as another brilliant addition to Square Enix’s much-loved RPG series.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a must-own package for Switch owners, with each of the games included offering fantastic platforming experiences that players simply won’t want to miss out on. I absolutely adored playing through Super Mario 3D World, whilst Bowser’s Fury brings something unique to the fray that sees Mario face a whole new type of challenge… a Kaiju-like (and very, very angry) Bowser. There’s a ton of variety to be found across both games too, whilst the brilliant multiplayer of Super Mario 3D World will always keep players coming back for more even after they’ve found every collectible. It’s THAT good. There are some imperfections here and there, especially with the performance of Bowser’s Fury when playing handheld, but they don’t stop Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury from being another stand-out release in the Nintendo Switch library.
If you’re a fan of the classic games you’re going to be in platforming heaven with Sonic Mania. On the flipside, if you’ve been living under a rock for the last twenty five years and haven’t played a single Sonic the Hedgehog game, Sonic Mania is an absolutely fantastic place to start. You might not appreciate the nostalgic elements as much as a long-time fan, but you’ll certainly appreciate the incredibly fun gameplay that’s on offer from start to end.
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.
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.
I have to be honest, I was a little surprised at just how good Nex Machina is. I felt like I’d seen everything twin-stick shooters had to offer, and whilst the game doesn’t really invigorate the genre nor does it do anything you wouldn’t have seen before, it just feels so damn good to play. I’ve spent hours with it already and find myself constantly coming back for more. If you’re a fan of twin-stick shooters you really need to give Nex Machina a purchase. If you’re a fan of classic arcade experiences that push your skills to the limit you need to give it a purchase. Hell, if you’re a fan of gaming, just buy Nex Machina – you’re not going to regret it.
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.
Much like its predecessor, Resident Evil 3 offers a remake that’s both revolutionary and brilliant in design. It is shorter and more condensed than last year’s Resident Evil 2 remake, but it comes with a bigger focus on action-orientated set pieces and, of course, the epic showdowns with Nemesis. Add to that the all-new ideas that the game implements as well as the inclusion of a multiplayer mode (which admittedly we haven’t got to play a whole lot of yet), and you’ll quickly find that Capcom have something special here. The shorter length and some frustrating moments here and there do see Resident Evil 3 feeling a little inferior when compared to the Resident Evil 2 remake, but only just – it still just so happens to be a brilliant survival horror experience that fans of the series are sure to love.
Tekken 7 shows why Tekken is one of the most beloved franchises around, with its fast-paced yet calculated combat, impressive visuals, strong cast of customisable characters, and zany nature coming together to offer one of this generation’s finest fighting games. It offers something a little different to the popular 2D-plane fighters that are in abundance right now, with a fun focus on utilising the space around you to unleash massive combos on your opponent. It doesn’t only look great in-game, but is a hell of a lot of fun to pull off. It isn’t quite perfect thanks to the slightly lacking story mode not really offering enough from a gameplay perspective, but it doesn’t stop Tekken 7 being a must own title for fighting fans. The King of the Iron Fist Tournament is back, and it’s better than ever…
SUPERHOT VR is one of those virtual reality titles that manages to nail everything perfectly, with the action-packed gameplay and incredibly stylish vibe of the game gelling together incredibly well within the confines of the Playstation VR headset. Being able to dodge bullets all whilst throwing shurikens, bottles, knives, or just shooting at enemies was incredibly satisfying, whilst the clever time-bending mechanics ensure that the game offers you an experience like no other on virtual reality headsets right now. It might be short in length, but much like its predecessor, SUPERHOT VR is simply a must own title.
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.
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…
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.
Arizona Sunshine brings a whole new shooting experience to Playstation VR’s ever-growing catalogue that not only gives players a full-fledged zombie-killing campaign to blast through, but also just so happens to be a hell of a lot of fun to play. I thought we might be waiting a while for our next shooting adventure that utilises the Aim controller meaningfully after Farpoint, but Arizona Sunshine’s arrival has shown that it’s just as much fun to pop zombie’s skulls as it is to kill aliens in Playstation VR. Add to that the fact that the game has expansive multiplayer options as well as multiple ways to play and it’s easy to see why it’s already proven so successful on other VR headsets. Whilst I’ll admit that it is at its best when played with an Aim controller, I more than recommend giving Arizona Sunshine a purchase regardless of whether you own one or not – it’s easily one of the meatiest and most enjoyable experiences available on Playstation VR so far.
Stories Untold brings back a classic genre with a bang, breaking the conventional mould of simply using words in a text-adventure by offering you a fully interactive setting that alters as you progress through each episode. It’s incredibly clever and also incredibly atmospheric, bringing an experience that manages to not only constantly impress but also creep you out at the same time. Not only is the gameplay tense, but the ‘untold’ stories are great too. I really got absorbed into the experience and my only disappointment was when the whole thing was over. I’ve got a lot of love for Stories Untold and hope this is just the start of something special.
Danganronpa 1•2 Reload offers something entirely unique for Playstation 4 gamers, with an experience that mixes up a gripping visual novel narrative with a series of deadly murder investigations. The fact that it’s incredibly well written, features some fantastic artwork, and has a great cast of colourful characters only strengthens its appeal, ensuring that you’ll be entertained throughout all of the forty plus hours the package offers. There’s no doubting that it won’t be for everyone – I’m sure some gamers won’t enjoy all of the reading involved with a visual novel – but those who give it a chance will fall in love with the nefarious escapades of Monokuma and his poor students.
Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age takes everything that was great about the game when it originally released and improves upon it tenfold, with the expanded Licence Boards, improved visuals and audio, enhanced gameplay, and host of extra additions coming together to make for a fantastically produced package. It doesn’t only give players a chance to play through a classic RPG once more, but also gives those who weren’t so keen on the divisive title the first time around the chance to give it one more try. There are still a few issues that simply can’t be changed, but as a whole I thoroughly recommend Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age. It’s one of the best remastered releases I’ve played so far and I’m glad to finally have been able to finish the game in its freshly enhanced state.
I absolutely love Statik. The puzzles are incredibly well designed and satisfying to solve, the premise is eerie and will keep you intrigued throughout, whilst the whole concept of the game utilises both virtual reality and the Dualshock controller in a unique and intuitive way. It really ticks all of the boxes in proving an engagingly entertaining puzzle experience. It loses a few points for the lacking finale and short running time, but the package as a whole is fantastic and one I can’t recommend enough. Statik is simply one of Playstation VR’s must-own titles.