Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania is an immaculate love letter to one of its inspirations, but it still retains so much of its own identity and humour as you explore Dracula's castle as The Beheaded.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is nearly always a rush to play, and even when you're getting pummelled, it still feels as though you could overcome the fight if you just learned the attack patterns a little better, or maybe just summoned some more help.
Demeo: PC Edition lacks some of the more physical entertainment of the VR edition, but it's no less enjoyable as a game. There are few bells or whistles here; it's all about enjoying the run and trying to survive as monsters fall to your spells and attacks, and feeling incredible every time you do.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet feel like the awkward second evolution of one of its starters. It's growing into something resplendent, it's showing signs of an exciting second type, but it's got that weird vibe of a 20-something that hasn't quite figured out who they actually are. Add that weirdly stretched feeling to the constant technical oddities and you've got a game that's undoubtedly good fun, but it's still not even it's final form. I can't wait to see what Pokemon becomes, but it's not quite there yet.
Rogue Legacy 2 is a sequel with great genes. The sense of progression constantly pulls your forward, all of the new mechanics and unlocks add a lot more depth and longevity to the game, and the combat and platforming feel just as solid as they did in the first game. It's an excellent roguelite that offers a lot of stuff to do as long as you're willing to put in the time.
Nintendo Switch Sports is a fun reminder of the Wii Sports craze, bringing back some classic sports and adding some new ones that make use of the Joy-Con and motion controls in more advanced ways. It's all just a bit shallow, though, and difficult to wholeheartedly recommend unless you expect to play online a lot or constantly break it out for local head-to-head battles.
Wonderlands mixes over-the-top combat, wonderfully absurd guns, interesting classes, and fun characters to create the best version of this series I've ever played. It's weirdly wholesome, patently absurd, and frequently obnoxious, but the intent feels far purer than what you might expect. When you then add in the excellent voice acting, and the fact that you can play this through with friends and strangers, you get a really entertaining FPS RPG that I'd be happy to recommend to anyone.
Elden Ring is the game Souls fans have been waiting for. From the open world design, to riding into battle on Torrent's back, and the dark narrative woven through the world, this is a clear Game of the Year frontrunner that will have us all ensnared for a long time to come.
Sifu is a game that I wanted to love. I had high hopes for it being one of my game of the year contenders, but it left me feeling intensely deflated instead. It's a game that confuses the precise mechanical difficulty of Sekiro with a forced difficulty brought on by simply giving bosses armour. I find myself irrationally angry with Sifu. Sifu is a game that had exceptional potential, but squandered it on the wrong lessons.
I've had an absolute blast with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and I know there's plenty more for me to see thanks to their sheer size. With changes that lean mostly toward quality of life improvements, this is a firm reminder that Pokémon games can be extraordinary and one of the most enjoyable remakes I've played in a long time.
Overall I really like The Jackbox Party Pack 8. I've been enjoying messing around with it with my friends and will definitely keep delving into Job Job, Drawful Animate, and Weapons Drawn. On the other hand, I find the trivia games to be a bit dull, and I think The Poll Mine has a short shelf life, at least when it comes down to how I like to play games.
Medieval dynasty is a fun, relaxing survival RPG, even if it's not always exciting.
While I really enjoyed Lost Judgment, the mishandling of some of the core, and incredibly sensitive themes really did reduce the experience. I still think it's a good game, but my feelings about it have definitely diminished since the opening hours, which I'm rather disappointed about. Still, if you like the Yakuza series and its spin-off games in general, you'll probably love this.
Aragami 2 has lots of potential but falls into repetition, some odd story choices, and frustrating online play.
Bandai Namco combines excellent writing, stunning anime visuals, and a deep, rewarding combat system to make one of the best JRPGs of the year.
HUMANKIND is as deep as you could possibly want from a 4X strategy game, but the constant addition of new things to think about never feels overwhelming because everything's explained so well, and often with a good bit of humour too. It's an excellent game, and if you've never delved into the 4X genre before, this might be your best chance to do so.
My time with Omno was pleasant, and while I don't think it's a life-changing experience by any means, it does have a certain life-affirming quality to it. Simply put, Omno is an enjoyable journey through a magical world, where so many other games would fill such a setting with chaos.
I like playing Curved Space, but I found it most enjoyable when played in fairly short bursts. The ideas and the gameplay are both good, but the level design runs counter to the fast-paced gameplay when you simply can't find an enemy. The music slaps though, so that's a nice touch if you do find yourself enamoured with the strange mix of impossible spaces and bug shooting.
From its compelling story, to its wild enemy designs and combat, I'm kind of in awe of Scarlet Nexus. Where Bandai Namco games often have a niche appeal, I've got no reservations about recommending Scarlet Nexus. I'd definitely suggest skipping a lot of the side stories, but everything else here is the kind of anime-infused greatness that will appeal to nearly everyone.
Roguebook is a game that will feel crushingly familiar at first, but reveals itself to be more nuanced and interesting the more you play it. It's definitely a fun game, and while it feels like there have been more original roguelike deckbuilders recently, Roguebook is still good fun, and there's enough here to keep you going for a long time if it clicks with you.