Once players get over the shock of its mechanical departures, Super Meat Boy Forever offers a solid and relentless auto-running experience. But there's no denying that this long-awaited sequel doesn't deliver the impact nor addictive magnetism of its predecessor. Regardless, those willing to look past this initial disappointment will discover a satisfactory time-killer, strongly adhering to the great visuals, manic presentation, and twisted humor that is the franchise's trademark.
From its shadowy story campaign to its frantic multiplayer action, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War offers the thrilling and magnetic gameplay expected of the series, shined up with solid character models, impressive vistas, and sharp visual effects. While there's undeniably room for improvement regarding innovation, Black Ops Cold War gets Call of Duty's third generation off to a strong start.
For all its themes of rule-breaking anarchy, Watch Dogs: Legion toes the line as a formulaic, though ambitious, open-world adventure. While it boasts one of the most visually exciting and stunningly authentic locales in the genre's history, Watch Dogs: Legion's gameplay is mechanical, over-familiar, and repetitive, struggling to capture the exciting promise of a fist-pumping, system-smashing revolution.
Onee Chanbara Origin remains a cathartic, bloodthirsty, and goofy bit of chaos, whose aesthetic charms have been boosted thanks to Tamsoft's excellent audio/visual upgrade. Unfortunately, the passage of time has somewhat dulled Origin's gameplay, which has been far superseded by other franchises. Offering a short campaign, above-average action, and a slim package, Onee Chanbara Origin is for franchise fans only - and not at its $60 asking price.
There's a nugget of an excellent game located deep within G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout, but this outmoded third-person shooter doesn't have the resources, scope, or variety to expand upon its unmistakable potential. With repetitive objectives, frustrating controls, and a lack of online multiplayer, G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout isn't fun enough to stand out in a crowded shooter marketplace, despite the obvious and heartfelt passion showcased for the '80s franchise.
Kandagawa Jet Girls delights with its boisterous, glowing presentation, cast of vibrant characters, and array of fun side-attractions. But the jet-ski action itself is mostly dull, struggling to offer a decent challenge or a genuine sense of speed. Jet Girls rides waves of goodwill thanks to its infectious personality, but this eventually gives way to tepid, monotonous gameplay, hampering what could have been one of Marvelous' best releases yet.
Fast & Furious Crossroads is the closest the series has come yet to delivering an experience worthy of the blockbuster movie franchise, but skids off track with dull missions, frustrating mechanics, and lonely multiplayer lobbies. Crucially, the driving itself just isn't fun, resulting in a bland experience interchangeable with any other street racing franchise.
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is built upon a highly inventive central concept and smartly dressed in an authentic audio/visual package that accurately captures the dangerous world of The Shelby Family. The inventiveness of this core element is not captilised upon, however, which results in very repetitive and robotic gameplay. Die-hard Peaky Blinders fans might find a few hours of entertainment but, overall, Mastermind is a missed opportunity.
When it comes to gameplay and longevity, Death Come True suffers from the exact same issues as many titles in the FMV genre without breaking new ground. But Izanagi's engrossing tale of love, regret, and murder redresses the balance with superb performances, dramatic twists, and a genuinely impassioned climax. It's a short, somewhat expensive trip, but one worth taking when it hits your personal price-point.
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is a masterclass in how to re-energise a classic title. There's no denying that the 25-year-old gameplay doesn't quite hold up to its modern contemporaries, but with over 100 missions, progressive options, revamped multiplayer, and full mod support, C&C Remastered is both a solid package and a proud testament to Westwood Studios' genre-defining work. Now, about Red Alert 2...