- Persona 4: Golden
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles
I thoroughly enjoyed The Lost Crown. It took me a little under 18 hours to finish the game with quite a bit of exploring off the beaten track along the way – and the next day all I wanted to do was pick the game back up get to more exploring. It's got compelling exploration, great feeling movement, engaging combat and satisfying puzzles. Genuine innovation in the genre and smartly integrated accessibility features make The Lost Crown a game I heartily recommend.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 is great fun in short bursts. The chaotic energy, ridiculous car designs, new abilities and commitment to the miniature racing aesthetic make for a bombastic racing experience, for a while. The campaign storyline left me cold, and the freedom to screw up might be fun in a silly multiplayer session but becomes annoying solo. The sheer amount of track and car customisation options should at least add longevity to the online multiplayer experience.
Detective Pikachu Returns is a decently fun little detective story. Don't expect any intense logical deductions or unpredictable twists – but it's fun enough to follow along with even so. The relationship between Tim and Pikachu is a highlight as are the Pokémon who help you along the way. Uninspired human character designs marr an otherwise decent presentation full of cool Pokémon and fun music.
It's unfortunate that pervasive online requirements and microtransactions sully what is otherwise a chilled out, holiday vibe in The Crew Motorfest, but I had a good time regardless. Hanging out on O'ahu, learning about various car cultures and driving some awesome-feeling vehicles over varied terrain and event types is just damned good fun.
The Switch port of Red Dead Redemption is a faithful way to get into the world of Red Dead. It looks good as long as you adjust expectations and consider the game's age, and performs consistently well in both handheld and docked modes. While many aspects will feel dated, I still had a fun time exploring the old west with John during the last gasps of the American frontier.
I suspect that people with fondness for the original Pac-Man World, or even just this specific era of platforming games will be the ones who get the most from RePac. It's a style of game that has been out of fashion for a while, but it's simplicity could still hold some appeal. When you can get lovingly re-created versions of the standard-setting Crash Bandicoot series for the price of this though, the value proposition for a remaster of one fairly short and unremarkable game is hard to swallow. One for the fans.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is another great entry in the long-running series. Combat is complex, but well enough explained to readily understand and feels fantastic to play with. It has interesting characters, an intriguing world and an engrossing storyline that had me always wondering what was going to happen next. Whether you're new to the series or a veteran, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is stylish, intriguing, super fun, and well worth checking out for RPG fans.
I’ve had a great time levelling and fighting with my Necromancer so far, and am super excited to be able to play the game with friends when the game is released for everyone very soon. As long as the monetisation strategy doesn’t get in the way of the game being fun to play, I think this could be a game I get hooked on for a while.
Gran Turismo 7 is a car-lover's dream. Whether you love cars already or have just started your journey into being a car person, GT7 wants to welcome you to the community with open arms, get you up to speed and give you everything it can to help you enjoy cars in whatever ways it's able. It has a wealth of car history to share, incredible feeling driving and some of the best visuals I've seen in a driving game. There are some cars I wish were included (Mount Panorama and no Aussie V8 Supercars? Come on, mate!) and the always online requirement might be a deal breaker for some, but even with all that Gran Turismo 7 is the friendliest, most approachable driving simulation I've played with all the depth of options you'd expect for seasoned car enthusiasts.
I came away from Tales of Arise with a new appreciation for the Tales series. I loved my time with the endearing cast of characters and the exciting, fast-paced story alongside the energetic and action-packed battles. Tales of Arise is an excellent action RPG, and a fantastic entry point into the series.
After bouncing so hard off Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I really hoped that the Definitive Edition of this first game in the series might show me why the franchise has such a dedicated fan base. While it took a while to warm up to, by the end of the story I was absolutely invested in the ridiculous story of Shulk and his friends as they fight for the future of their world.
As it stands, Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight are fantastic ways to explore their respective soundtracks from a new perspective. However, they lack the glue that a story mode brought to the previous game in the series that could have made it feel like a cohesive whole rather than a broad but disparate list of songs and customisations.
The appeal of Hacker's Memory will hinge greatly on your acceptance of the grind and your appreciation for Digimon as a franchise. It's fun collecting and fighting with the huge range of Digimon available, and it's wrapped up in a story that, while a little slow off the mark, does develop into an interesting exploration of themes. Being squarely aimed at players of the original Cyber Sleuth, it's unfortunate that so much of the world is straight-up re-used from that game.