Capcom created a complete reimagining of Resident Evil 4 through this remake, which may leave some fans feeling lukewarm as it pivots further away from horror and straight into action.
For all of its strengths, Like a Dragon: Ishin is still weighed down by its cartoonish undercurrent and abrasive ending. On a mechanical and systemic level, it’s a fun jaunt, with familiar faces and more fan service than anyone could possibly ask for, in a vivid historical world. But narratively, it’s a reminder of how quickly the stories in these games can go south. And by the time the credits rolled, I remembered why I’ve had difficulty keeping up with the series over the last few entries. Ishin may be a remake of a 2014 title, but those problems have persisted throughout the interim, and each time it tries to address social issues — current or historical — it takes one step forward, two steps back. The more things change, the more they stay the same, especially in the world of Yakuza.
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is a worthy successor and end to the beloved rhythm game franchise, and serves as a love letter to its OSTs.
Technical issues aside, The Callisto Protocol is mostly forgettable.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion lives up to its legacy, setting a benchmark for Square Enix remasters going forward.
Worlds are colliding in Sonic the Hedgehog’s newest high-speed adventure! In search of the missing Chaos emeralds, Sonic becomes stranded on an ancient island teeming with unusual creatures. Battle hordes of powerful enemies as you explore a breathtaking world of action, adventure, and mystery. Accelerate to new heights and experience the thrill of high-velocity, open-zone platforming freedom as you race across the five massive Starfall Islands. Jump into adventure, wield the power of the Ancients, and fight to stop these new mysterious foes. Welcome to the evolution of Sonic games! Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a remaster of a remake. It’s a game that persists through the wheel of time as it is ported from generation to generation, breathing life into the Ogre Battle series.
SIGNALIS uses these elements to passively tell a story of an authoritarian regime extending its power beyond the stars. It speaks of exploitation and oppression using Cold War era imagery, and of the arms race that left behind nuclear waste that irreparably changed our own real-world environments by using its own analogies and visuals to create a layered experience that leaves you wanting to know and understand more.
Shadows of Rose isn’t a spectacular DLC, and it doesn’t necessarily do or say anything meaningful. It feels like a B-tier horror film, which isn’t out of place for Resident Evil, though its sometimes self-serious tone can become tiring, especially after two whole games in the decidedly grim saga of the Winters family. Those invested in their narrative will find something to chew on, and the addition of the third-person perspective makes returning to the base game an exciting possibility. But it doesn’t do anything to further the narrative. Much like Rose herself, it feels less like a stepping stone in the franchise — a gentle nudge toward more plot points that will potentially remain unresolved for years to come.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is a prime example of what a AA studio, given enough trust and resources, can accomplish. It’s a concise experience that didn’t waste my time, but it also scratched an itch I didn’t even know I had: a well-crafted stealth title meshed with folk horror elements that I had been craving since Siren: Blood Curse’s release in 2008. With an emotionally resonant script and an expert flow between stealth, horror, and exploration, A Plague Tale: Requiem feels like the sequel Innocence deserves.
The roguelike action-adventure game Cult of the Lamb wraps the grotesque in a charming little package of characters that look like they could be pulled straight from a children’s story.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is a monster of an expansion and proves the series will remain a mainstay among international audiences.
On the surface, V Rising appears to be just another survival game, slathered with a different coat of paint. In many ways, it’s hard to argue otherwise. However, it manages to layer complex systems inspired by the popular mythology of the vampire to distinguish it from the sea of survival games. While V Rising hasn't completely satiated my thirst in its current form, I’m hopeful that it will somewhere down the line.
Underneath all of these issues, it is a great game with a lot of heart. But it is unfortunately held back by lackluster presentation of what could be an interesting story and the accumulation of the general lack of quality of life issues.
And I haven't even mentioned naval travel, field bosses, or timed battles. In its sheer breadth of content, Lost Ark is gargantuan, and learning its intricate systems means being rewarded every step of the way, for a very long time. As it stands, after 90 hours, I have roughly 40% of each region completed, and have multiple characters well into the second tier of endgame content.
Elden Ring is a sprawling game, laden with mysteries and extremely challenging boss fights that will test the skill of just about any player. No doubt, it has become one of the most anticipated games of 2022. Potentially for a good reason. However, Elden Ring squanders what promise it holds by performance issues on PCs and a lack of deviation from Dark Souls in almost any regard.
Egglia Rebirth is a surprisingly dense game. The more I played, the more things began to fall into place. What I initially felt was just a mobile title ported to the Nintendo Switch quickly became a more in-depth and interesting turn-based RPG.
Ultimately, Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker marked the end of an era. Plot threads from A Realm Reborn onward come to a close. The story is rife with fanfare, paying homage to past expansions in ways that sometimes feel overmuch or hit in just the right way.
With new visuals, greater accessibility features, and a re-orchestrated original soundtrack, Final Fantasy V Pixel Remaster keeps modern sensibilities in mind while maintaining the feel of the original release.
There is just a lot to do in The Good Life, which means that players can potentially sink upwards of forty-plus hours taking pictures or running mundane, everyday tasks. And while I like life simulators, I don’t like them when they can barely run at over 3 FPS.