- Skies of Arcadia
- Demon's Souls
- Devil May Cry 3
Dusty Revenge is a solid effort by PDDesignStudio, but it lacks the polish to really be put into the pantheon of brawlers. The good news is there's tons of promise, the art style is gorgeous, and as a general rule, the technical systems are in place to really make things pop with a sequel. With a little more polish, Dusty Revenge would be a pretty decent recommendation, but until then, only the hardiest of brawler fans need to apply.
If you haven't played the newest XCOM yet, now is a perfect time to do so with the Enemy Within package. For all the XCOM veterans out there, you'll find a solid amount of new activities to engage in, as well as an unprecedented amount of squad customization. In other words, this is now the definitive Enemy experience.
I wasn't too impressed by Burial at Sea Episode One, mostly because it just doesn't add a whole lot to the overall franchise outside of the last 30 seconds, and it's simply not compelling enough. While it's quite possible that Episode Two will tie everything together in a neat bow and blow us all away, Irrational Games has yet to make a legitimate case for a return to Rapture.
In fact, the only real legacy it leaves behind beyond being a serviceable Zelda game is its welcome streamlining, which I hope is carried over to future iterations. It's a great way to return to the world of Link to the Past, but outside of some welcome streamlining, it doesn't surpass it, or even meet it.
There really isn't a whole lot to Contrast throughout its roughly three hour tale. It's a perfect game to pick up on PlayStation Plus for free, but if you're a non-subscriber or you're musing on another platform, I'd wait for a sale. It does a nice job of weaving a sweet little tale of a young girl and her struggle to maintain her innocence in a (literal and figurative) dark and dreary world, but it's nothing special, and nothing you haven't really seen before.
LocoCycle tries a lot of new things thematically, while simultaneously paying homage to classic arcade racing shooters. It doesn't succeed in everything it sets out to do, but if you're looking for a decent arcade shooter to toy around with on your new Xbox One, LocoCycle is it. For everyone else, you'll have to wait until it hits the Xbox 360.
Although it sacrifices a tad of its loveable camp factor and neon style in favor of a few other advancements, the outcome is a much stronger, more involved Dead Rising game. For once, I actually felt overwhelmed in a zombie outbreak, which is a real example of how next-gen technology can be used to do more than simply "make things look better." Out of all the launch titles I've played on both new consoles, Dead Rising 3 is my personal favorite, bar none.
Crimson Dragon was a pleasant surprise. As a massive fan of the Panzer series, I was worried that this wouldn't quite honor it, but there's plenty here for gamers who have been longing for an entry since 2003's Orta. There are some mechanical problems, but any old-school rail shooter fan will be able to handle them.
There was a moment where I was taking in the beautiful soundtrack, hovering over a tricky jump as cat Peach, and watching the glistening water below where the game really came together. It was then that I realized that Super Mario 3D World had achieved a level of platforming design that's close to perfection, and there was almost never a moment where I didn't have a smile on my face. This is the unequivocally the best Mario game since Galaxy 2, and it shows up anything the "New" series has ever done, and then some. Good work, Nintendo.
In the end, Powerstar Golf isn't particularly special, but it'll win over the hearts of golf fans for sure. If all you're looking to do is whack a ball down a course on a next-gen system with the occasional bit of positive reinforcement, Powerstar is your huckleberry.
In fact, the promising arena mode is the only saving grace of Ryse. The campaign may as well not even be there, and having to fight the same handful of enemies over and over on top of a trite, stereotypical narrative is not an example of a good time. Ryse looks great and has a lot of great ideas, but it falls flat in nearly every respect in regards to its core story. If you're a hardcore action fan you may get some satisfaction on the highest difficulty setting, but even then I'd wait for an equally hardcore price drop.
Zoo Tycoon has a distinct lack of depth, but if you're capable of sitting down with this simplistic simulator, you'll smile more times than you can count. The simulator fan in me was a bit disappointed by the ease of it all, but the child in me couldn't help but enjoy myself.
Killer Instinct may not be the new king of fighting games, and it feels a bit rushed in terms of content, but it is very solid and far exceeds my expectations for it. With a pricing scheme that doesn't feel exploitative and a balanced character roster, the well developed mechanics will keep you busy until the new content drops next year. It'll be interesting to see what the community at large thinks of it over time, but in my living room, it's a welcome addition to my fighting game roster.
Fighter Within is a lazy tech demo with a poor story, unimpressive fighting engine, and a forgettable cast. Maybe one day we'll have a cool Kinect fighting game, where everyone at EVO is flailing around with some semblance of strategic value. But this is not that day.
Although its core campaign is far too short, the game is a blast with other players, and the wide variety of challenges should keep you playing for hours. Despite the fact that my time with these tiny adora-creepy critters was rather brief, I'd love to see them again in a sequel someday.
Doki-Doki Universe is a very odd, very cute, and very simple game. There isn't a whole lot to it, so don't go in expecting a deep and rewarding adventure title. So long as you don't mind spending an afternoon helping a tiny snowman bond with his father, Doki-Doki will be more than adequate.
There's also a peculiar "store" button on the main menu that is currently closed at the time of this writing, which implies some form of DLC is in the works. While we don't really know what that could entail, there's the distinct possibility of new characters and levels on the horizon, which could be a good way to extend Peggle 2 in the same way Peggle Nights did -- I just hope microtransactions don't creep their way in eventually.Peggle 2 is ultimately the same basic concept as the original set of games, but it's still most definitely worth playing if you're a series fan. PopCap could have done so much more than they did, especially when you consider the generational leap, but the good news is Peggle fans will eat this up and fall in love all over again.
Samurai Gunn will no doubt have a more limited audience due to a lack of modes, but for those of you who appreciate a deep fighting game, you'll get hours of competitive entertainment out of it. Every time I play it I feel like I've mastered a new piece of the physics engine, or a new nuance to wall-jumping. It's one of those games that keeps on giving years later due to a solid foundation, so long as you have the company to enjoy it with.
The Walking Dead: All That Remains surprised me, although when I saw the initial reveal of Clementine's return I had little doubt that Telltale would deliver in some form. They still even know how to sell a "next episode" preview, as a casual "I thought you were dead!" line is delivered by Clementine upon a mysterious off-screen figure. Yep, I can't wait for the next episode.