Assassin’s Creed Origins is a worthy addition to the franchise and in my opinion, is among It’s best. I’d still have to say Assassins Creed 2 is my favourite, but Origins certainly has me excited for where they can go in the future. Ubisoft taking a year out after Syndicate was definitely the right move (I’ll admit I was wrong when I said they didn’t need to as Syndicate was a perfectly good game). I still say that I enjoyed Syndicate but Origins is by far a better game. If you’re a fan of the franchise then this is without a doubt a must. If you’re not a fan of Assassin’s Creed then unfortunately I don’t think this game is enough of a change to bring you on board (but then again if you don’t like Assassin’s Creed why are you reading an AC review?)
It’s a little hard for me to answer the question ‘does it live up the hype?’ as I wasn’t really hyped up for the game until just before Christmas, so I haven’t had 14 years of waiting to compare it to. That said, it’s a very polished game that is incredibly fun to play, and a game that has no loot crates or microtransactions (at the time of writing this review). A very big plus in my book (as I’m sure anyone that’s read my previous reviews of certain games will know). There is almost nothing bad that I can say about Kingdom Hearts 3. In today’s gaming world, I think that is rare and a testament to the effort put into it by the Square Enix guys. Anyone looking for a family-friendly adventure game to enjoy really needs to check this one out (and play the previous releases as well).
Trails of Cold Steel II has to be up there with the best in the genre in my opinion. Yes, it’s essential that you play the games in order, even if it’s just to make sure you get the best experience from the story. While there is a ‘recap’ section in the menu it doesn’t give you all of the information as I still found myself scratching my head at times. I will most definitely be investing in Trails of Cold Steel I and be aiming to get through that and finish part II so that when III is release I won’t be in the same situation again. I highly recommend this game to anyone who is looking for a new game (JRPG of course) to sink their teeth into and as such Trails of Cold Steel II fully deserves the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
PES 2018 is a very solid entry into the Football Gaming Genre and it ticks 90% of the boxes for me. So it's on its way to being a great game. I just can't seem to overlook the very simple things that Konami just haven't done to get over that line for it to be a classic in my opinion. It is a very enjoyable and addictive game (which is the main thing). I think people will get a lot of playtime out of it, but will be very annoyed by the same issues that seem to plague every PES release (Goalkeepers, Commentry etc.). As well as the amount of things that are identical to the 2017 release (which is much cheaper).
Snooker 19 is definitely one of the best entries into the Snooker gaming genre and as its Lab42’s first entry I definitely look forward to seeing what they can do should they decide to make more (Practice makes Perfect after all). Sure, it has a few problems here and there, but who remembers back in the day with FIFA when you could run away from the Referee forever to avoid a Yellow Card! Back then I doubt anyone would have foreseen the game becoming what it is today. It would have been nice to have included the Legends tour here, but given that Stephen Hendry is working on another Snooker title I can certainly see why it wasn’t. Some of the other Legendary players as DLC would be a nice option? I’m basing my award decision on the game being for Snooker fans. As someone who enjoys both the challenge of playing in real life as well as watching the sport on TV (Looking forward to the World Championships this Saturday!) Snooker 19 deserves a Thumb Culture Gold Award and is a must for any and all Snooker gamers.
When you look back at the origins of the Yakuza series (the original was released way back in 2005). It’s a credit to think almost 15 years later we’re still seeing fresh content and looking to explore this world with new characters. Judgment definitely ticks all the boxes to be considered a top-quality ‘spin-off’ and hopefully with a few little tweaks we will see more of Yagami and perhaps other characters. Ryu ga Gotoku Studios have certainly found a formula to produce great games and it makes me very excited to see what the future holds, both for a potential Judgment sequel as well as the rumours we may be seeing some of the previously released spin-offs here in the west. My verdict is that Judgment truly deserves the Thumb Culture Gold Award and should be a part of any PS4 collection (especially if that collection contains Yakuza games).
Shadow of War is a nice sequel to Shadow of Mordor. But, as with Mordor, some of the plot holes and annoyances are here and it stops this from becoming a great game. For me Monolith have gone out to improve the Nemesis system, which they have done very well with. But, in doing so forgot the most important part of any game. Tell a good story! If you’re a Tolkien fan and have issues with the lore being played around with, you will find yourself as rage filled as some of the orcs you’re going to be fighting. But, if you’re a casual LOTR / fantasy fan, then the story is there for you to enjoy and make the most of.
Zojoi Studios have done an excellent job bringing Shadowgate up to date without adding or removing its original appeal. I would recommend this game to anyone looking to experience either something a little different or looking to recapture that magic from their childhood. My biggest concern for this release is the attention it will get from gamers. Being a remaster of an older point & click game, I fear that a lot of people will simply overlook it in favour of other titles (I sincerely hope not). Shadowgate fully deserves the Thumb Culture Silver Award and I hope to see more of this kind of game making its way onto modern consoles.
I would put Voltron VR Chronicles alongside Batman Arkham VR and Spider-Man Homecoming VR as it’s an experience more than a game. I personally quite enjoyed the story and it’s made me curious to see the remake of the TV Show. At $15 (UK Price TBA) it’s reasonable value for any fans of the series looking to see a new story. But, that’s the only way I would recommend it (Or if you’re looking to obtain a very easy Platinum). It’s definitely enjoyable and has been put together very nicely for VR it just lacks any real gaming content