Eric Van Allen
- The World Ends With You
- Final Fantasy X
- Mass Effect 2
I enjoyed my time with GreedFall, but it's already failed to leave a lasting impression on me. Its best moments shine bright and show how much potential Spiders has to develop in this style of RPG, but it isn't cohesive enough to work in concert. GreedFall is certainly worth checking out if you're aching for the old days of BioWare, but it's a tough sell for most others.
Elsinore is simple and focused, aimed squarely at avid readers who want to manipulate Hamlet with their own hands. It succeeds at this, building a wonderfully meta-textual world that's fascinating to unravel and earns a good few gasps, laughs, and tearful moments, but the long waiting periods and frustration between different events overlapping can grate on after a while. Elsinore is time-looping <em>Hamlet</em>, and that premise is what will likely hook you or not.
Samurai Shodown captures the spirit of the older games, veering towards a mix of older and newer series entries. In terms of single-player, but it's a a far cry from Mortal Kombat 11 or even what recent games like Dead or Alive 6 have offered. On the multiplayer side, it offers a solid core, but not much else. It's nice to see SamSho back in the spotlight, but we wish it had a little more to keep us playing beyond just fighting other players.
Whether you’re a longtime fan or just looking for a story mode to grind, or even just interested in learning a little more about fighting games outside of simply mashing the buttons, there is something for everyone in Mortal Kombat 11 — or at least, everyone who can stomach the extreme violence and gore.
Through those Joy-Con controls, the Switch version also offers a surprisingly refreshing and altogether more interesting mode of playing through the game: co-op. Instead of your partner being relegated to pin duty, a second player with a second Joy-Con can command them, using a small assortment of base pins to do different moves. This way of playing is not only intuitive and easy to pick up, but it adds a new layer to the game. Now, you have to coordinate your pin assaults with your roommate, significant other, or random stranger on the plane sitting next to you. Instead of splitting your brain in twain, you're now coordinating with someone else, only getting a good cross combo if you can figure out how to make your pin attacks work in unison. It's a fun way to replay The World Ends With You, and even feels a bit more thematic to the game's message.
When class trials get heated up and I'm staring at a screen, trying to piece together in my head how or why something could have happened, what could possibly disprove an airtight alibi, what deus ex machina allowed for this series of events to unfold, it feels like the Danganronpa I know and love. Danganronpa V3 still gives me those moments, if only a little less frequently than I would have liked.
Yakuza 0’s overarching faithfulness to its time and place in history provides fascinating insight into the time, and its over-the-top cutscenes and climactic fights quickly endeared me to the series. A hefty batch of side-games and engaging, well-paced combat roped me in and sold me on my first ever Yakuza experience, but the vibrancy of its semi-fictional Japan will be what I remember most. Yakuza 0 doubles-down on series’ signature combination of hyperbolic action and self-aware comedy, while providing an honest window into a major period in recent Japanese history, and does so flawlessly.