Despite a few minor flaws here and there, Monster Hunter World is a blast to play. The combat is exciting and varied, the spectacles are fascinating, and the aesthetics are on point. Whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran of the series, I highly encourage picking this up.
I was a fan of the original Catherine, and I’m pleased to find the changes are mostly for the better. If you like puzzle games, specifically ones about finding patterns through the noise, and don’t mind potentially uncomfortable questions about mature topics, I highly recommend picking up Catherine: Full Body.
If you want a game that’s more of an experience than simply something to kill time, if you want something that showcases how artistic games can be, if you want an action platformer with plenty of approaches to combat, I can’t recommend enough that you pick up Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
Nioh 2 is a refinement of an already great game. The biggest flaw in my opinion of the previous title was that it was difficult to hop into. Truly getting to know a moveset required an investment that wasn’t always easy to recover, and trying to put together a build felt foolish for anything you’d replace down the line. Now it feels a lot more open to experimentation.
While it’s true the target audience is a bit niche, at its core Winds of Change is a thrilling fantasy visual novel about the oppressed and downtrodden finding hope and doing everything they can to change their world for the better, a story everyone can enjoy.
Fuga: Melodies of Steel is perhaps one of the most impactful games I’ve ever played. The story and gameplay both serve to complement each other, with the story adding so much importance to your decisions, but with the horrible impact of firing the cannon entirely within your power to prevent if you pay attention to all your options. I don’t know if my experience will match everyone else’s, but I sincerely and genuinely felt something from this, and sometimes it just feels good to have something connect with you even as it hurts.
In Sound Mind feels like a call back to yesteryear, in a good way. A style of game design not often seen these days, more of a niche title but one that hits that niche VERY well. It’s easily the best psychological horror game I’ve ever reviewed here, and the amount of polish and sheer heart help it stand out even outside of the niche. Above all else, In Sound Mind is fun. The horror and melancholy of what’s going on in the plot is balanced out by light-hearted camp, the levels are all interwoven exploration puzzles where a new tool invariably makes you realize several new areas you can discover, it’s all so easy to just get lost for hours and hours until next thing you know it’s 3AM.
Infernax keeps the things that worked from the nostalgic classics of yesteryear while changing what didn’t. I haven’t had this much fun with a game in a while. It’s just a perfect blend of difficulty and discovery from start to finish. It’s basic, sure, but sometimes shaving off the excess parts is how you polish something down to its core.
Some minor issues aside, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology was immensely fun to play, and I found myself having trouble putting it down. While the new additions may not be worth a $40 price tag on their own if you’re already familiar with the original, if you happened to miss out on it before, do yourself a favor and pick this up.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux takes a classic game model, polishes it up to a mirror shine, and stuffs it full of things to collect and complete for those of us who love to tick off boxes. An extensive RPG with in-depth mechanics and a wonderfully dark storyline. The only downsides I can really find are that it can be a little grindy at times, and some of the mechanics can be a little obtuse at times, especially demon fusion.
For newcomers to the series, or those who just missed out on the Vita version, this new port is a fine way to enjoy Ys: Memories of Celceta, but for those who’ve played it before there’s not enough new content to justify a second purchase.
One of the things I love about 2D action games is learning a level like the back of your hand, and what I love about roguelikes is picking a starting build and trying to go as far as you can with it. This marries the two into something that, while it may not be for everyone, is definitely for me.
Overall, Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is a blast for fans of either the Persona or Etrian Odyssey series. What few complaints I had have their workarounds, and even when I was level grinding, the music and battle system made it a joy.
Little nitpicks aside, I love this game. It juggles a bunch of interconnected systems well, combined with a light-hearted sense of humor and plenty of little bits of polish here and there that really show the love the developers put into the game.
If you have NOT played the original Rune Factory 4 however, I highly recommend picking this up. The writing is charming, the gameplay is a wonderful blend of pleasant and exciting, and all the interconnected systems mean even if you’re not directly working on your favorite aspect, you’re still working towards what you love.
Tadpole Treble Encore is certainly what I would call “content dense.” It’s not a long game by any stretch – one of the unlockables is a mode where you go through the whole game in one life with no saving – but it delivers a lot in the time that it has.
Whether you’re an old fan of the series, looking for a fun visual novel about courtroom intrigue, or just saw a few of the series memes flying around and want to know what it’s all about, you owe it to yourself to pick up The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.
NeverAwake is a truly polished gem, an absolute pleasure from start to finish. The short levels, simple controls, and satisfying challenge all combine to make it oh so tempting to play “just one more level” until you’ve binged the whole game. While there are certainly a few areas here and there that feel less polished, they really focused on the core that makes for a great shooter.
It has its flaws, but still proves to be a very enjoyable game that I had trouble putting down (as the sparse nature of this review can testify.) If you’re a fan of the series or picking up a Dynasty Warriors game for the first time, I highly recommend this.