However, when a game is purposely difficult solely due to the amount of overpowered enemies it can throw at you, it makes for an unsatisfying experience. This blended with clunky gameplay only amplified my disappointment. I would not be surprised if someone stopped playing twenty minutes into Ruiner with its uninviting gameplay. Despite my outlook, if you're a fan of dystopian sci-fi revenge stories, Ruiner may be worth checking out.
There is something about Hob that I really enjoy. I'm not quite sure if it's the cartoonish art style, clever puzzles, or an amalgamation of the two, but my overall experience was quite pleasant. However, frequent frame rate drops, mindless combat, and its open-world facade hindered my amusement and often relinquished any feeling of consequence while exploring the game's dangerously portrayed world. Similarly, the unspoken and symbolic mystery that unfolds begins as an interesting tale, but quickly becomes shallow when there are no other factors to create a meaningful and emotional conflict. Hob boasts a lot of promising ideas at the outset, but ultimately fails to fulfill those promises by the game's end.
WWE 2K18 is an upgrade from the previous iteration. It improves on the game's core gameplay, graphics, and creation tools giving wrestling fans a fun experience they will enjoy. However, like previous iterations, the game poses a ton of excellent ideas that fall flat. MyCareer, Road to Glory, and Universe Mode are all fantastic features on paper, but lacks the depth players would want. This is a game built for the WWE Universe; it is for fans of all generations. However, if you play WWE 2K18 without an appreciation for the sport, it would be hard to convince you that it is entertaining.
The Sims 4 attempts to bring genuinely happy moments throughout your Sim's lifespan; occasionally, you will even find yourself smirking. However, those moments are quickly bogged down by tedious goals, a terrible HUD and menu navigation, and gameplay that is outright boring. Life events like a date or wedding put less emphasis on the occasion and more on completing monotonous objectives. These goals wouldn't be too dreadful if the commands given to the Sim would actually follow through. However, there were too many times where the Sim would completely ignore what I wanted them to do. All of these gameplay problems are bundled up in a poor performing port that chugs more than it should. The Sims 4 is an unsatisfying experience right from the start.
Since finishing Lost Sphear, I can't stop thinking about it. The game does not break the mold by any means — in fact, it attempts to fit the mold of the 90s JRPG — but it does excel in certain facets. While aspects of its gameplay do falter, I never felt discouraged from pressing forward and uncovering the mystery behind the lost phenomenon. Lost Sphear is a beautiful game that even the newest JRPG player can enjoy.
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.
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.
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.
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.