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.
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.
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.