Anthem is not “for me”, yet Anthem is trying desperately to be “for everyone.” It is a slow, sometimes terribly frustrating game with nonetheless incredible flying mechanics and adequate shooting. It is the future of videogames, built to be played forever and yet somehow forgettable—the sustenance meal of the online shooter-looter genre, inexplicably buoyed by a company known for legendarily good writing forced to hide its own characters behind mission talk-overs and loot notifications.
Which is why I find myself not angry with, but disappointed in YIIK. Where other games that draw heavily from the most celebrated of surreal ‘90s RPGs feel suffused with caring characters that carry the player through a harsh and weird world, YIIK comes off as callous, ignorant and (when the story finally begins picking up steam in its sixth or seventh hour) simply too late to be the groundbreaking experience that it so tries to be.
Overall, Call of Cthulhu is just average. Its decent story and adequate horror elements struggle against extremely hit-and-miss writing and game design that often throws the player into subpar stealth sequences. It's not without its merits, but for a game that promises Lovecraft in its most pure, most uncut Lovecraftian form to feel “competent,” at best, is its own sort of horror.
Given its focus on unity, it's not surprising that the game always returns to ideas of harmony. It's a game about music, after all, so the motif fits. And while playing Wandersong, I also felt like harmony was that much closer, that the greatest evils were defeatable if only we could rally together. And that's a powerful thing for a game about a humble lil bard.
You never feel like an army, and that's to the game's benefit. This isn't a game about a war, even though it is set against the backdrop of one. Battletech is a game about battles, in all their sad and joyous desperation, and the machines that they so lovingly destroy.
Perhaps that's the issue. Deep within all of this stuff, under layers and layers of outdated game design carried by the Lego brand, is a promising game. The writing and character direction is, by and large, excellent. At its best, the game is a celebration of Marvel, putting together characters from lore deep-dives with big-screen names like Captain America and Star-Lord. At its worst, it is a vague, opaque slog through hundreds of identical enemies and bad level design. Sadly, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is more “stepping on lego bricks” than “excelsior.”
I didn't go into Battle Chasers: Nightwar expecting much of anything, given the development studio's relative youth as a company and the spotty record of Kickstarted games. However, Nightwar's focus on style and character, coupled with a mostly excellent combat system, kept me hooked for much longer than I had imagined. Whatever your familiarity with its source material, this game builds a beautiful world with a surprising amount of depth just beneath the surface.
When Full Throttle works, it's a delight—a well-paced, funny story with only a few cringeworthy moments (the final scene between Ben and Maureen being possibly the corniest of them all) and a brief, but satisfying run-time. As far as strict remasters go, you can't do much better than Full Throttle: Remastered.