Mahokenshi will test every logical and strategic bone in your body. A mix of deck builders and board games, Mahokenshi pushes the player to try different strategies, and the game is not shy about smacking down your pitiful attempts until you get it right. Come prepared for a unique experience, and put on your toughest armor, and you may get hours of enjoyment from this one. Just don't take it personally when you find yourself face down in the mud.
The weirdest Marvel game is also one of the best. With an enormous number of complementary systems, a simple but deep combat system, and a mountain of delightful character moments to explore, Midnight Suns shines a brilliant light into one of Marvel's lesser-known corners. This is a huge game, but also a comfortable and warm game for strategy and Marvel fans alike. Possibly the best release of the holiday season, and one of the strongest games of the year.
Far Cry 6: Lost Between Worlds feels like a bit of a wash, echoing too much of what came prior in the base game and DLCs. With required repeated runs through the same environments and a new combat mechanic that doesn't amount to much, this expansion doesn't provide much players haven't seen before outside of a strange new story for Dani Rojas.
Camouflag has put an extraordinary amount of work into the Quest 2 port of Marvel's Iron Man VR, solving many of the issues that held back this extraordinary game upon its initial PSVR release. What is left is the best superhero sim on the market, with amazing flight and combat and a pretty great Marvel story. VR fans should not hesitate to grab this game; it's quite simply one of the best VR titles ever released.
Evil West in fun in the moment, but largely forgettable due to the poor writing and level design. While the combat is stellar and intuitive when in the heat of battle, the glue holding those battles together could use some love. With a boring protagonist and stilted dialogue, Evil West feels more low budget than it likely really is. Luckily, there is a solid core here to build upon for the inevitable sequel, and punching dudes with electricity never gets old.
Whether you are using it for exercise or to laugh at family gatherings, Just Dance 2023 simply can't be beat. Accessible for beginners but requiring real skill if you want to top the leaderboards, Just Dance 2023 comes out swinging with a great group of new routines, delivered with a noticeable increase in production value. Though the World Dance Floor is sorely missed, the other improvements to the UI, multiplayer, and suggestion algorithms pull the franchise into the modern era.
As the strongest entry yet, Devil in Me is a great finale for Season One of The Dark Pictures Anthology. With an original story and some showstopping sequences, the game is a step up for the series, despite some minor technical and animation issues. Fans of the franchise and horror in general should not hesitate to pick this one up, as Supermassive shows the true potential of its anthology experiment.
Pentiment is a slow and deliberate novel of a game. Though quite lively at times, this is still a game that asks players to read long, intricate conversations and remember scores of characters in a historic setting. The mystery is interesting, and the history is fascinating, but if these aren't enough to pull you through, you might want to look elsewhere. For patient players, Pentiment is a game like no other, teaching lessons on history, community, and the nature of life itself.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a delight for players of all ages, regardless of the platform you play on. With amazing visuals and a stellar soundtrack, Sackboy delivers one of the most creative platformers in years. PC gamers can of course maximize their experience to their system's best ability, but regardless of the power of your rig, Sackboy is worth a look.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection gathers two of the best action/adventure titles of all time, and presents them in the best possible light. Limited only by your gaming PC's capabilities, both the performance and content of these titles are nothing less than stellar. Laughs, thrills, and gorgeous presentation; beyond recommended, this collection is a must.
Full of body horror and psychotically twisted imagery, players will have a variety of reactions to Scorn, but they are unlikely to be bored. While the game's world building and puzzle design are top-notch, the combat and a punitive checkpoint system may turn some players off. Regardless, the big swing by developer Ebb Software definitely pays off. There are no other games on the market quite like Scorn.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway is a perfectly competent kart racer, which is elevated by an insane number of levels, characters, and configuration options. Far better than I expected, Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3 blasts players in the face with a slime-hose of options and game modes, offering hours of entertainment to kids and parents alike. Bottom line is, my kids like it, I like it, and we aren't going to stop playing it any time soon. I can't think of a better recommendation for a title of this nature.
Do you like ABBA? Do you like singing along with ABBA songs? Then you will love Let's Sing Presents ABBA, which is really just the same Let's Sing game we've been playing for years, this time with ABBA songs. Personally, I've been having a blast with this one, as the track list is deep, the songs are catchy, and the singing – as always – is bad. Nothing revolutionary, but good times all around.
Dyschronia: Chronos Alternate moves MyDearest's living-anime games forward several steps by adding a greater degree of interactivity to the already excellent storytelling. Though the slow burn may put some players off, those with patients will find an intriguing mystery in a fabulously built sci-fi world. Well worth a look for anime fans; Dyschronia: Chronos Alternate hints at some great things to come, both from this series and this developer.
Voice of Cards: The Beasts of Burden hits with just enough originality to distinguish itself from the other games in the Voice of Cards series. This game is all about story and mechanics over presentation, though what is there will feel familiar and welcoming to long-time JRPG fans. With a great narrative, The Beasts of Burden is a great place to jump into this series and learn it's not-too-complicated ropes.
Jack Move is an abbreviated JRPG that feels as satisfying as some of the longest classics in the genre. With a great, nuanced battle system and a well-developed cyberpunk world, Jack Move shows that you don't need 50 hours to deliver a great story with memorable characters. This is a game for fans of the 16-bit era of JRPGs, who should not hesitate to pull the trigger.
Circus Electrique is complex and daunting at first glance. But when approached with an unhurried mindset, this RPG/management hybrid can be deeply rewarding. While the steampunk story elements are a bit light, the game more than makes up for it with strategic gameplay mechanics that I simply haven't encountered elsewhere. If you can settle in for the long haul, you will find yourself swept up in this rich and unique experience.
Fishing game, open world adventure, gorgeous nature simulator – whatever bar you want to set for Call of the Wild: The Angler, it succeeds at meeting your criteria. Quiet but never boring, graphically beautiful, and with rich and entertaining fishing mechanics, The Angler is one of those rare games that creates a class all its own. You have never played a game like this, and it is likely rare that you have played one this good at accomplishing what it sets out to do. Highly recommended, even for those that might not think they would like fishing games.
Volition's gamble to reset and reground Saints Row pays off generously. A visual delight, with plenty of gameplay mechanics to keep players goofing off for days, and the Santo Ileso setting is one of the best in video game history. Sure, the shooting gets redundant after a while, but with so much to see and do you can go hours in between gun battles. Saints Row manages retain what players loved while feeling fresh and new. Other reboots, take note – this is how you do it.
Crushingly difficult. Glacially paced. Graphically challenged. And yet there is something hypnotic and impressive about the scope of Way of the Hunter and it's devotion to maintaining a realistic hunting experience, for better or for worse. Go into this one expecting realism - and I mean real-life, semi-boring realism - and you will be in the right frame of mind.