There's a golden glow around memories that gets brighter with age, but it also tends to distract from old frustrations. If you're ready for a quick trip — and I mean quick — down memory lane, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy doesn't disappoint. Vicarious Visions' faithfulness to the series satisfies some nostalgic cravings, but once the novelty wears off, the cracks can't help but show.
Hellblade is not an Orphean quest to retrieve a dead lover from the underworld. It's not some epic tale of revenge. It's an education and contextualization of being psychologically different in the time of Vikings and Celts. Nearly every facet of the game — whether it's combat, puzzles or exploration — is deliberate, pointing back to the overarching theme of what people called “cursed” during that time. Hellblade successfully weaves metaphors of grief and loss into fundamental game mechanics and rich folklore, and through these I felt like I truly was able to understand how someone else sees the world.
Moss is not so much a game as it is an experience. Polyarc sets an immensely high bar for storytelling in VR, exuding careful and deliberate artistry in every aspect — sound design, lighting, camera, visuals — to create a world worthy of straining your back to see the area in 360 degrees. In every sense, I felt like I was inside one of those beautiful, gilded storybooks. The only thing missing was the smell of the forest and old paper.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy retains the magic of what made the franchise such a hit in the late 90s and early 2000s. There’s a timelessness that lives in the core of the Spyro games, proving that the franchise can easily contend with other big names in the nostalgia wave.