I can honestly say that I enjoy Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires more than Dynasty Warriors 9. You may attribute this to the sorry state of the latter when it first launched. Although, I must affirm that I am a big fan of the simulation genre and empire management. The fact that battles affect the grand campaign, and vice versa, makes all the interactions in this installment meaningful. To what extent is up to you. Sadly, apart from a decent graphical upgrade, there’s not enough here to call it a fully realized sequel. The franchise is competing against itself. Unless the updated hack-and-slash gameplay and expanded character roster are enough to tie you over, consider this empire incomplete.
Drill Land’s few but varied problems, most of them, stem from the fact that it’s a 2002 game in 2021. It gets repetitive and dull within an hour of playtime, which is a caveat to its design and age. Pick it up, play, set it down and wait for the itch to come back. In the long term, one may call it a game that has outlived interest… or not. Being nearly two decades old, it has survived the attention span of one generation, but it may be ready for the next. The endless dig suffices for short bursts of fun, but it’s also more compelling when played competitively. Unfortunately, at the time of this review, online matchmaking is rather desolate. Because it’s so different from today’s console titles and part of a retro genre that’s more akin to modern mobile games, the time might be ripe for re-release.
Boss battles engage that cerebellum, but I wouldn’t call them the central pillar of Evertried. The experience is really a deceptively fun way to improve situational awareness, a charming little escape with a hint of addictiveness. It’s not exactly designed for long sessions, however. An hour into gameplay, the freshness depreciates. Truly, the rogue-lite randomness and small game board levels work for when the mood strikes. There’s no elaborate campaign or page-turner, storybook adventure. But if you enjoy some strategy and rogue-lite retro goodness, Evertried makes for great satisfaction on a whim.
While it may seem like Insurgency: Sandstorm has built-in anchors, it might be the best type of FPS for how it creatively builds on top of hurdles. There are no shortcuts to the objective, but scores of players would prefer it that way. To survive, you must be adept at the FPS genre. To thrive, you must be studious at the briefing and in the field. There’s nothing quite like a successful mission borne of organization and good teamwork. That’s why triumph on the battlefield alongside your fellow squadmates makes all the challenges seem worth the hassle. Hell, sometimes there’s no fun without it.
The ever-changing labyrinth, brimming with creative design choices, renders Crown Trick greater than the sum of its parts. There is only ever a dull moment when the player gets very, very unlucky. Otherwise, the game is a revolving door of “wow” encounters, colorful combat, and epic loot drops. It’s the amalgamation of turn-based RPGs, Chess, and dungeon crawlers in one erratic rogue-lite package. So if you want to exercise that brain matter, feel free to give this experience a go.
Where the Heart Leads falls into a short, unique list of titles that lead you to ponder things long after the credits roll. The narrative holds a mirror to the player, cornering them against realistic in-game situations and forces them to investigate their values. It’s not preachy, by any means, but it uses realism in a way that made me want to get my own life in order. If such was the goal, Armature Games has succeeded through and through.
Many titles share the core gameplay loop of mining, crafting, and conquering the world. So, what sets a sandbox like Rust apart? Almost nothing. It is a dynamic, immersive survival sandbox with none of the charm of other games in its genre. Its heart and soul lie in its unforgiving, player-driven, immersive environment. As a result, the world is utterly unpredictable, so no two servers will share a state of decay. Which is to say, if you like having no idea what’s gonna happen, this easily stands apart.
Despite its style and engagement, it is still pretty formulaic in its execution. Though it lends its own spin to a classic video game genre, fans of the 2D platformer will notice some cues going back to the SNES days. If you love this stuff, there’s every reason to give Foregone a shot. But if you suffer from platformer fatigue, there may not be enough here to rekindle that spirit. If you’re new to the genre, you could do a lot worse than Foregone.
In the end, Monster Prom's charm stems from its thematic elements. Fantastic interactions, its satirical narrative, and the monster theme offer a unique spin, even if it doesn't deviate all that much from known formulas. But, it does bring a little more to the table, a party for daters who are in it more for the ride than the destination.