I played the 2nd level of Sifu so many damn times trying to grind my way through unlocking more moves that I’m sick of it. I get that there’s a grind to it, but I think most games like this put a carrot on the end of the stick. Grinding through Sifu felt like just being beaten with a stick. I think it's also worth noting that Sifu was developed by an all-white European development team and some aspects of the game do come off as culturally tone-deaf. I suggest checking out this article by Khee Hoon Chan for more about that aspect of Sifu. There are so many games out there that do what Sifu does only better. Honestly, if you want a punishing grind where your efforts will actually pay off you’re probably better off just taking a Kung-Fu class in real life.
All things considered, it took me a little over an hour or so to see just about everything that Cruis’n Blast has to offer. The Nintendo Switch racing scene has been dominated by Mario Kart and I feel like Cruis’n Blast had a chance to make a real case for bringing other classic Nintendo racers back into the scene. But if lackluster graphics and mediocre racing mechanics are all we’d get it might be better to leave our precious memories in the past. Cruis’n Blast isn’t unplayable though and would probably make an enjoyable experience for someone with kids or younger siblings. Everyone else should probably head to the arcade and hope they have a much more enjoyable arcade experience available to try out.
I think by now it’s clear that Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut looks somehow even better than the original. If you have been sleeping on it, now is definitely the time to check it out. If you’ve already played through what the core game has to offer, Iki Island is a reasonably priced expansion (as is the PS5 upgrade). I do wish it had just a little bit more to offer, but I will take it over nothing. If you loved what this game already had to offer, how could you turn down more of it? The story is compelling enough to keep you playing and Iki itself, as I’ve already said profusely, is total eye candy. It’s time to hop back on that horse and get to the slashing, samurai.
While I like the look and overall vibe of Black Future ‘88 there was never anything that really compelled me to keep playing, leveling up only unlocked things that I might find in Skymelt and while I found one playable character while exploring, I have no idea how I unlocked the second one. It's the little things like that make me feel Black Future ‘88 needs more polish and more carrot to live up to its full potential.
Even with a few technical flaws though Night School Studio’s Afterparty feels like a masterpiece of narrative gaming. And if you're wondering how it compares to Oxenfree, I'd suggest just letting Afterparty stand on its own as its own story and piece of work.
In the case of Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, in particular, the good definitely outweighs the bad. I love this game and I will probably be playing it until the next one comes out, which could be a bit since we just got EDF 5 and Iron Rain about four months apart.
What this game is really about is fan service and I must admit that it succeeds in offering folks up a hefty chunk in that department. Jump Force knows that it’s really for the Shonen Jump fans and if you are a fan there’s plenty to like here. One would probably be better off focusing on the core fighting game aspects though.
While I wouldn’t put this latest entry on the same pedestal, this is still a very solid game with a lot of what we’ve all come to love about the series thrown into a melting pot. I don’t think Nintendo would ever put out a “bad” Mario, honestly. There’s plenty here to keep fans and next of kin busy and entertained for quite some time.
Even with it's inherited flaws, this is still one of the best installments yet for the series. EDF 5 makes no apologies for what it is and is more accessible than its predecessors. The game has just the right blend of cheesiness and action-packed gameplay that makes for a cult hit.
Overall, SNK 40th Anniversary Collection has titles that old school arcade gamers are sure to appreciate and also does an impressive job of diving deep into the company’s four-decade history. However, this may be even more of a niche collection than the Capcom Beat’em Up Bundle, which could work against it in the end..
While Capcom Beat'Em Up Bundle does have some online multiplayer issues it's still a ton of fun overall. These are some great games for fans of retro games or the beat'em up genre and it will probably cost you less to purchase the whole collection would cost to beat using quarters in an arcade, and you still own them after you beat them, so that's a plus as well. Here's to hoping they're saving some of the titles missing from this collection for volume two.
The big picture looks great from a distance, but those flaws become very apparent when you look closer. Still, if you're looking for something easy to pick up, play and have a good time with, you could do a lot worse than Lego DC Super-Villains.