Virginia is, at its best, a gaming mechanism that provides slightly more immersion than watching a movie -- and at its worst, a failed walking simulator with a convoluted ending. Because it is a scripted experience light on interaction and choice, I'm not entirely sure I can recommend it as a game. There may be an inkling of promise in its budding story, but for many I imagine it will be hard to read between the lines and even harder to consider it a worthy experience.
This is the Police presents situations that aren’t deep enough to invoke social commentary, yet it still takes the opportunity to arbitrarily throw them out in the open. It’s missing key storytelling elements that allow for that kind of messaging, and in the mundane yet slur-sprinkled missions those ideas fall apart. However with its interesting gameplay mechanics, pretty packaging, and plans for a sandbox mode it has a lot of future promise which I hope they deliver on.
The only true merit of Mario Party: Island Tour is the ability to play Mario Party with your local friends on the 3DS. As long as they have a 3DS and are close-by, playing via Download Play is fairly quick and painless. However, the lack of online play and the overall single-player experience is a pretty big bummer. Unless you’re desperate and need a quick Mario Party fix on the go, stick with a console version if you can.
It's sad to say, but I can only recommend Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star if you're either a) extremely bird to death over the holidays, B) extremely drunk over the holidays, or ideally, c) extremely both. Fans of the original game may enjoy seeing the same birds in new situations, but the lack of any choice or gameplay (even compared to the first) is just downright owlful. Those looking for an actual game may want to sparrow themselves the pain.
Overall I felt as if Daylight was made as a jump-scare machine with a loosely tacked-on plot. I never felt invested in Sarah or cared much for the mysterious man rambling through her phone. In fact, I was more concerned with getting Miss Ghost off my back so she'd stop screaming, more so out of annoyance than fear. Daylight would have benefited from a fresh set of spooks rather than intermittent scares and muddy plot lines, but at the end of the day if you're looking for a cheap thrill you've found it.
Although its premise was simple and delightful at first, playing through FEIST was a trying experience and one that I would not want to repeat. Others who have a penchant for unforgiving games like the Souls series may find joy here, and if you're looking for something more thoughtful or forgiving, keep walking.
At the end of the day, it takes more than fun mini games to make a good Mario Party game. It's also about carefully crafting a meaningful game experience that allows you to screw over your friends in the most skilled, fair way possible (with a dash of luck, obvs). Hopefully Nintendo can keep the series alive and perfect the spirit of Mario Party for the Switch, but for now I think Mario Party games are officially dead for the 3DS.
As much as I love PaRappa and his quest to find love with Sunny Funny, the experience was significantly marred with the visible lag and the lack of calibration options. For a remastered rhythm game, this is practically a must-have given calibration difficulties with modern televisions. I still enjoyed my time with the updated, clean-looking PaRappa, but I might just go back to playing the PSP version if I got the funky flow...
Despite my qualms, I had fun playing Just Dance 2016 -- but then again, it's hard not to. It's still a favored party game and one that has almost perfected the fun-for-all game model. Heck, it's reached a point where it's thrown in some mediocre new modes and a subscription model just to keep itself fresh, so in some cases you can call this a success. However you can also say that Just Dance is a dying breed, one that is taking its last breath to capitalize on the streaming craze that's enveloped our little gaming world. I say we don't think about it too deeply, and just dance.
I liked that the levels and enemies were randomly generated, but I found there was still something left to be desired. Perhaps the game could have benefited from more enemies, events, discoveries, or more unique items. The neon charm was always a pleasure to play through, but overall I felt Heavy Bullets wore thin over time. If you're a huge fan of rogue-like dungeon crawlers it's worth a shot, but not six bullets.
There is also a subtle beauty to this game, and one that I can relate to. The constant battle of light versus dark, of fear and loneliness, building yourself back to where you need to be -- these are struggles that most humans face at some point, and Sym allows you to play through that emotional roller coaster in a visual way. I enjoyed its thoughtful nature and its ability to evoke feelings that I only thought were available in darker moments. However, Sym's atmosphere transcends its loose gameplay and controls, which unfortunately creates a frustrating experience and stifles the impact of its message.
There aren't many games that can offer a camaraderie aspect to the survival horror genre, and Friday the 13th delivers in that regard. It could certainly use a lot more fine tuning and adjustments, but for now, it delivers on a solidly campy experience.
However, even if you're one to stomach these triggers in some way, you must also be open to the power of storytelling over gameplay. If you're looking for a jump-out action packed horror game, The Town of Light is not for you. But I urge you to open your mind and consider it a separate learning experience.
Armikrog does not surpass The Neverhood, but just like a successor to any celebrated piece of media, that would have been an impossible task. However, it does contain a unique charm in its own right which fans of The Neverhood or other old-school point-and-click adventures will especially appreciate. Those followers will likely forgive its faults for a taste of nostalgia, but others new to this realm may find it too outdated and unpolished.
Fans of the Justice League (or DC comics in general) will get a lot of enjoyment out of this game, but I wouldn't recommend playing if you're looking for a Batman adventure. There's simply too much fun to be had in the DC universe to give it all to one man. As far as Lego games go, it's not perfect, but it delivers a solid story and a plethora of DC characters to play around with, which is more than ICE can ask for.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid Jackbox pack, if not one of my favorites. There were some issues with the Switch edition that I hope will be cleared up soon -- not just with Champ'd Up, but it also took quite a while for some of the other games to connect. Otherwise this was a really solid mix of games, with much more thought put into the "personality" of each game (always love a good theme song).
Despite the great storytelling mechanics, I can't help but wish there was a little more to the game. When all was said and done it wrapped up in a handful of hours at most and I was left craving more. It's especially a let down because the game invents such new ways of thinking about the horror genre, and it left so much to be expanded on. However, I honestly have to applaud the team for delivering a concise and complete story in that amount of time, and one that is so unique to the horror realm at that.
Broken Age: Act 1 was so perfect that perhaps my expectations were inflated when playing through the second half. However, despite the challenges Broken Age is still very much a beautiful game with a heartwarming story. The puzzles, as frustrating as they are, come from a place of creative invention that defines the point-and-click genre. I choose to treasure its high points-- the charming characters, ingenious dialogue, and silly childlike whimsy.
And what a fantastic experience it is, despite its flaws. Super Motherload is simple enough so that anyone can pick it up and play, but complex enough for mining veterans to keep coming back to fully upgrade characters or even risk playing in hardcore mode. The sci-fi '80s vibe is delightful and the perfect setting for this ridiculously addicting game. I find myself coming back to it at the end of every day, ready for a new adventure underground.