God Eater 3 doesn't particularly do anything new and amazing for the hack-and-slash RPG genre – but what it does, it does really well. Despite the drags of the narrative, and extreme gripes with button bindings (and sometimes forgetting which buttons to press), God Eater 3 manages to keep you wanting more through combat, weapon upgrades and different battle tactics.
Underneath the extremely rough and laggy exterior, Fallout 76 has the makings of a great and entertaining game. To some, the damage may have already been done and the appeal may have already worn off, but with Bethesda's level of support, the game has potential to grow into something much more than it currently is.
Taking off the nostalgia goggles for a moment, Toys For Bob have done a brilliant job in revamping a classic trilogy of games. In updating the visuals and tweaking the controls, they've stayed true to the source material and crafted an experience so involving that you'd be forgiven for thinking this was a brand new game. Initial viewings had me concerned that they might not be able to live up to the hype; but on playing the game, for the briefest moment I was eight years old again – and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Despite all this, Valkyria Chronicles offers something better than the standard fare in the tactical RPG space. Where it lacks in the storytelling department and capturing the emotion of the narrative, it makes up for in the depth of gameplay that it offers; it is sure to keep tactical RPG fans happy. The game is only let down by the lengthy discussion scenes and slightly frustrating chance-based combat – a small price to pay for a deep gaming experience. Additionally, the game feels right at home on the Nintendo Switch; definitely something to consider while you wait for the next Fire Emblem.
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition does almost everything it sets out to do; it breathes new life into an absolute classic, and allows us to put on those rose-tinted glasses for another long campaign across the map, dominating through any means possible and constructing an empire very few could dream of. It still suffers from a few issues that the original did, but what more can you ask from a game that is older than half the people you play against online these days? It's definitely worth purchasing, if only for the nostalgia factor.
For all its flaws, Monster Hunter: World is a game that manages to balance the expectations of newcomers while not straying too far from its roots. It is clear Capcom have tried their best to make it as accessible as they can without breaking tradition. This might frustrate new players who are expecting to have their hand held throughout the beginning, but if a newbie like me can pick it up in no time then it shouldn't be too difficult for you. Long-time fans are sure to love the tweaks and changes that have taken place, and will feel right at home getting back to what they love – slaying monsters. It remains to be seen how the game will continue once the online sessions open properly, and how this adds an extra dimension to the gameplay. With so much to explore and ways to play to suit a lot of different styles, this is definitely worth jumping into.
Despite the silly and over-the-top story, Fire Emblem Warriors takes aspects from both respective series and breathes new life into them – the elements of the Warriors series make perfect sense in the Fire Emblem world, and the features and mainstays of the Fire Emblem series bring a new depth to the Warriors franchise. While some may be put off by the fact that the game can be overly helpful, this is adjustable, and ultimately a really good addition to the musou game genre. A real gem for both Warriors and Fire Emblem fans alike.
Make no mistake – Gran Turismo Sport is fun to play and is a surprisingly fresh step (in a different direction) for the developers, but it feels like it comes at a cost for many reasons – the lack of variation in cars and manufacturers, the shallow depth in single-player (and even offline mode) campaigns, and even a lot of the tuning and adjustment features are missing from the game.
Capcom aren't going to be able to please everyone every time, but where this game makes strides in its fighting mechanics it lets down in many other facets; and while it is still a quality game to play, it leaves a lot to be desired. Don't let it sway you too much though – newcomers will find the game easily accessible and enjoy working out the best way to defeat opponents with a mix of combos and special attacks. Long-time fans of the series will take warmly to the changes that come with new techniques and will enjoy using characters they know and love, but may be left wondering what happened to the look and atmosphere of the previous games.
With a decent sized roster of characters and enough content in the game to keep even the pickiest of fans satisfied, Pokken Tournament DX is one of a growing list of worthy ports from the Wii U. With a fresh coat of paint splashed over the top, this fighting game is one for both Pokémon and Tekken fans alike; and while the combat depth and lack of hands-on training may throw off a few people, the game makes itself accessible for all those who are chasing a good fighting experience.
With the 3DS nearing the end of its lifespan, games like this are often left to the wayside; but for loyalists and those not quite ready to upgrade, Monster Hunter Stories is definitely a game worth picking up. With a fun battle system that doesn't rely on grinding to level up, and a bright and open world to explore, Monster Hunter Stories takes its namesake in a completely different and impressive direction.
Despite its flaws, Sonic Mania is the type of game that players can keep going back to over and over. It has the replayability of the classic Sonic games with minor modernisations for current day gamers, and is sure to appeal to old and new players alike. For a franchise that for a while seemed to flounder and suffer from subpar titles, it offers hope to fans that there will be more to return the series to its former glory.
Matterfall is the kind of game Housemarque does best – easy to learn, but a little harder to master. Achievement hunters will find themselves speedrunning and shooting through for the high score points, while other players will have loads of fun with the zero-G and Matter mechanics. Matterfall's quick and frantic gameplay won't be for everyone, but for those who really dig sci-fi and shooters, it is definitely a must-get.
Overall, Splatoon 2 is more of the same goodness that the original provides, with some graphical and gameplay improvements and additional game modes and maps. New players will find the game quite easy to adapt to without being out of their element, and experienced players will be able to dive straight in and get shooting.
At its core, Tekken 7 manages to prove that the series still has a place after 20 years, showing no signs of slowing down. Newcomers will find their way into the game quite easily, and experienced players will be able to jump back into it and find most of their favourite characters ready to go and familiar to play with.
While it won't be for everyone, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a fun remake that showcases the history of the series with a brand new look. Seasoned fans of the games will find themselves slightly out of it with missing mechanics, but as the game's difficulty has been toned down since the original, it will appeal to more players. A fitting last instalment for the 3DS, the game is worth a look for those craving tactical RPG battles, or for long-running fans wanting to see the evolution of the series.
With its smooth and bright visuals, catchy soundtrack and easy gameplay, LocoRoco Remastered is a great way to unwind and play something a little less serious. Not much has changed in eleven years since its initial release, but that goes to show how simple and solid a game it was at the time of release. Prepare to get stuck with earworms over the soundtrack though!
Digimon World: Next Order excels with a fairly easy combat system and simple gameplay mechanics, but I was let down by the repetitiveness of the world and environments, as well as some pretty unresponsive controls (mostly in dialogue sitations). The nostalgia factor and the excitement of evolving my digital partners was what kept me playing, but the drawn-out travel methods and consistent grinding in training didn't impress me too much. Digimon World: Next Order is a bit of a mixed bag – die hard fans will likely love it, but newcomers may be turned away by some of the gameplay mechanics and extreme grinding.