Windjammers is a fun and fantastic multiplayer arcade game and the Nintendo Switch version takes advantage of that strength. The classic Neo Geo game passes that aforementioned 10-second rule while still giving the player more to learn after they know the basics. However, if I didn't have anyone to play with, I don't know if I would want to play at all. This is meant to be played with others, in the same room, playing on a couch screaming at the TV after a long and intense volley. If you know some people interested in that type of experience, purchasing Windjammers is a no-brainer.
Overall, Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a solid foundation if Ubisoft wants to make this into an ongoing franchise. Allowing you to play with or without the toys was a smart call, especially since if you're playing on the Switch and don't want to bring a bunch of toys with you. The world and characters they've created are intriguing enough for me to want to see more of it. If there was just a bit more variety, Starlink could be a fantastic franchise for both kids and adults alike.
This puts me in a weird spot. For better or worse, I really think WWE 2K19 really captures the current WWE product very well while also commending those who have made their way to the squared circle in years past. It presents some solid ideas that are really needed to make this series worthwhile. Unfortunately, like almost every iteration before this, those ideas are not executed well. This is primarily due to gameplay. While there are some great implementations like the payback and overcharge abilities, it is still the same ol' gameplay you know from the series. Yet again, if you are into the WWE, you may find some enjoyment. Anyone outside of the WWE universe may find it hard to hit the ropes on this one.
FIFA 19 is another great entry in EA's long-running football series. With the addition of the Champions League and improved gameplay mechanics, it provides enough realism to its presentation while still being fun to play. The Journey: Champions and FUT may not be considerable deviations from last year but it still gives players more to do; it also helps that both of these modes are This iteration isn't one that completely changes the game, instead makes a few adjustments to make the most enjoyable FIFA yet.
Playground Games have done it again. Forza Horizon 4 is another excellent entry that maintains the series' previous features and formula while still managing to bring in some new meaningful additions. If you own an Xbox One, there is no reason not to check it out.
In the end, any progress made, whether it's leveling up my player or regaining control of my court, just feels aimless. If I'm simply being rewarded with cosmetic options, I don't see the point of furthering my character's career. If my Icon path is linear, why make me go to a menu to activate those perks? Why play the mid-range game if driving straight to the hoop while getting double teamed will still grant me the 2 points I need? It's questionable decisions like this that sets NBA Live 19 just below the bar of greatness.
Just as deep as its creation tools is its gameplay, allowing you to create a moveset that fits your playstyle. It is unfortunate that Fighting Road isn't as great as it could have been but it does give you the option to play a narrative-driven experience that, at the very least, will provide you with a few laughs. For anyone who has the patience, Fire Pro Wrestling World is a game that will appease any pro wrestling fan.
The Messenger is not just a brilliant love letter to the 8-bit and 16-bit games that inspired it. It's proof that even in a market saturated with retro-style platformers, there are still clever ways to approach the genre. It is one of the most well-designed games I have ever played on both a gameplay and storytelling level. Sabotage really created something special here and I can't wait to see what they come up with next.
So far, World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is a solid addition to the long-running MMORPG. Currently, I am trying to increase my item level so I can be ready for the raid in a few weeks. The grind to do that is a long one, requiring a lot of time that not a lot of people have. It is the one crux of this game. When you start World of Warcraft, you have to stay committed. If you're serious about playing and want to enter the raid on the first day of release, missing just one day is a loss of progress. However, if you do commit and you have a group of people to play with, as it is right now, Battle for Azeroth has plenty of content for you to enjoy with a lot more to come.
Mothergunship has its problems. The repetitive environments and enemy types, long load times, and forgettable dialogue are its most unlikeable attributes. Luckily, its diverse gameplay, fun and frenetic shooting, and deep gun crafting make Grip Digital's latest enjoyable and replayable. Mothergunship is worth seeing through once but I'm sure you'll want to tackle the campaign at least one more time.
Sure, I can fly a plane as high as I can then drop from the sky as a car and continue my path to nothingness but the fun of that can only last so long. I wanted The Crew 2 to be the new pillar for arcade-style racers. Instead, we are presented with a missed opportunity.
Mario Tennis Aces may have you bashing your head against the wall but Nintendo brings another great game to the Switch. Adventure Mode is a bit underwhelming; despite its infuriating difficulty spike, the story can be completed in just a few hours. Adventure Mode and COM Tournament mode are great precursors to the real highlight, the online tournaments. Going in, I did not think I'd be getting this incredibly enjoyable hyper-competitive experience. Playing people online is addicting giving you that “one more match” mentality that will keep you playing for hours. Mario Tennis Aces is the tennis game we've been waiting for.
Tennis World Tour is a disappointment, plain and simple. It's one thing to not have key features at launch, but the absence of solid gameplay puts the final nail in the coffin. It's not only dull with its weak and monotonous presentation but frustrating as you watch your generic created character not swing at a ball they could easily hit across the court. There is something to some of the RPG elements within the career mode, but my progression or “gear” doesn't feel like it affects my character's ability to perform well. Tennis World Tour had the opportunity to become the video game series players go on to play a professional tennis simulation. Instead, we are given a joyless and empty experience.
Bithell Games has created another great, focused experience once again with Quarantine Circular. It tells a fantastic and straightforward sci-fi story that keeps you intrigued throughout the couple of hours it takes to complete. The complexities of this tale come from the decisions you'll make, questioning your beliefs after every line of dialogue. There are a few issues like the disconnect between the player and the characters or the omission of any challenge, but the story and the way it is told is done exceptionally well. Quarantine Circular is worth every minute of your time.
Sea of Thieves is a mixed bag of emotions for me. It's a great social experience to play with a group of friends and sail on the prettiest water you will ever see in a video game. It's also bogged down by tedious and repetitive voyages that reward you with meager pay. When you can eventually purchase an item, it will only affect how you look. If that is the case, it seems puzzling that I can't create a character I want to flaunt to any passerby. There is enjoyment to be found in Sea of Thieves, but not enough to keep you interested in the long term.
Burnout Paradise Remastered is a breath of fresh air for the racing genre. It takes the realistic aspects of racing and throws them out the window with fast and furious driving that feels great. The sense of speed achieved as you zip through the streets of Paradise City listening to Soundgarden's ‘Rusty Cage' is truly astounding. It's both frantic and fun. There are some frustrating moments and the visual upgrade isn't as big of a leap as I would like, but there is still a lot to enjoy. After finishing a few events, you'll wonder why the franchise has been gone for so long.
Surviving Mars requires patience and experimentation that may be daunting to those new to the genre. The lack of detail on the game's many mechanics in conjunction with the intense micromanagement creates a challenging and frustrating experience. There are ways to make your colonization mission less difficult, but a well-planned strategy still needs to be in place to succeed. Despite this, once the mechanics click, the game is incredibly satisfying and rewarding. All of this is packaged with a simple aesthetic and decent soundtrack that are both stylish and fit its sci-fi theme. If you're a fan of city builders, Haemimont Games' latest is worth playing.
After playing The Fall and seeing the words “to be continued” scroll across my screen, I was interested, but not excited. It told a good story, but its questionable gameplay and puzzle design left me cautiously optimistic. After my time with The Fall Part 2: Unbound, I am not only intrigued but eager for the series' conclusion when the third part inevitable releases. The sequel does exemplify some of the gameplay flaws of its predecessor but tells a fantastic sci-fi tale and builds a world that I never imagined it would.