Kingdom Wars 2 is a solid real-time-strategy game that hits the bar squarely in the middle. It’s a fun experience, but in the most predictable of ways, and while that may bore some players it doesn’t change the fact this title is extremely well supported and under constant evolution. Although some of the visuals can become a slog, the music, voice acting, and play controls are on point. This is a good game, all that’s left is to see whether or not it’s your style.
Momodora: Revere Under Moonlight is a fantastic game, wonderfully animated, rich with accurate and sharp controls, and a worthy successor to the heyday of platformer gaming. Games like this are what made console gaming great and keep PC gaming honest, and the fact titles like these are still being made is why the industry has long-standing hope. If this game interests you enough to look at it twice, save yourself the regret and pick it up- you’ll be happier for it.
Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition is a new opportunity to own a modern JRPG classic. While its new features are largely standard fare, its real value is its preservation of what made the original great without being diluted to fit the taste of a different audience. If you were a fan of the original but sacrificed it for a more current platform, or just want a chance to own a title that snuck past you the last console generation, this a great chance to bolster your collection and indulge in a truly unique experience.
Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is not for everyone, but to its credit it doesn't try to be. This game shines with pride knowing it gave it's all to celebrate fans of the Naruto Shippuden anime and doesn't look back. At its worst Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is just as good as any of its predecessors and at its best it only made things better. It's functional, fun, and crammed full of enough different modes to satisfy anyone interested in giving it chance. Anything beyond that is just a matter of taste, but if you're even bothering to wonder about a Naruto tie-in video game, that really shouldn't be much of an obstacle.
One Piece: Romance Dawn probably won’t be the worst anime based RPG you play, but it will certainly be one of the laziest designed. The combat system may be engaging enough for fans who are already familiar enough with the story to know what to expect, but for newcomers this game is a disservice to the fun of the series. Someday, when a better title takes its place, Romance Dawn will have a respectful position for where it all began. But for now, this is just a dud of a game in the box of a collectible import.
The Playstation 4 version of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime lives up to all the thrills and expectations set by the other editions. None of the potential stumbling blocks of should-be-easy ports are observed and fans of the original should find themselves right at home. The only limitations this game contains are whatever it's inherited from original release, which is more of a matter of taste than actual quality. Gamers looking for an excruciating solo challenge or a relationship-testing co-op title, look no further.
Arslan: Warriors of Legend does a great deal more right than it does wrong, but you would likely already need to be fan of the Koei Warriors games to think so. While the improvements this entry has over typical Warriors games are a big plus and make this title more accessible to players unfamiliar with the content it's based on, they also shine a brighter light on where the developers are not evenly spreading their attention to detail. The right combination of patches and DLC could possibly make this one of the best Warriors games yet, but the unlikelihood of that happening makes this just another example of action game mediocrity; albeit an exceptional one.
Sword Art Online: Lost Song, while polished in some areas and definitely a great buy for a fan of the anime, is only mediocre in it's own right. Its solid play mechanics and interesting characters are quickly overshadowed by a convoluted and self-referential narrative that only the most dedicated enthusiasts of the franchise could really appreciate. If you are just looking for an anime-like title to spend some time with, better options are out there. Sword Art Online: Lost Song was really only built with fans in mind.
Valhalla Hills is a well built title easily capable of fulfilling a short term RTS fix. It's complex without being complicated and rewards players with dozens of unlockables for clever and calculated play. Valhalla Hills' only real drawback is the lack of a tutorial system that allows players to learn and take advantage of all the things it has to offer. RTS hardcores should find little difficulty with this potential caltrop, but moderate and casual players might have a very hard time.
Stella Glow isn't reinventing the wheel here, but to its benefit it's not trying to. It's trying to be a fun, engaging, and relatively brief tactical J-RPG that signs the end of Imageepoch's tenor with a franchise they started. The story is anime-solid. The combat and social mini-games are enjoyable, and what few irritants the game does have are easily bested by any invested role-playing gamer. Stella Glow has a talent for keeping you engaged all the way through, which is a rare trait for the increasingly niche world of Japanese Role Playing games.
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Rising Tide is a well developed, superbly balanced, and refined evolution of the original. It's a classic example of what can be accomplished when developers and gamers learn from one another to make the best experience possible. If I had known that buying the original could have lead to this, I may have done so twice. Even if you only liked the first one you're going to love this.
This is an excellent and well-made title which does a lot more right than it does wrong. Strategy enthusiasts looking for something new and fun away from a battlefield will find little to complain about in this game. The execution of the 70's atmosphere and time spent outside the core gameplay is a bit lackluster, and deserving of more care and attention, but that's still not enough to deprive yourself of some truly enjoyable hours playing the part of a criminal mastermind.
The House of Wolves is easily the best of the two expansions currently available, only predicated by the fact you'll need friends to play it with to explore the full birth of its features. The free update content makes the base game much more approachable to new players or for old ones to build secondary characters, all while smoothing out a great many of the original's limitations. The narrative is lackluster at best and haphazard at worst, but if you're still playing Destiny at this point that's probably something you've grown to tolerate. All and all this a great expansion to purchase if you haven't already, and one to be proud of if you already did.
Stardrive 2 is an extremely ambitious title which I'd strongly suggest for fans of compulsively intricate gameplay. There are several different tactical genres in one here, which while varying in quality, are all filled with customization options and functional design. The only real downside is all this diversity can easily become too much for players not willing to invest the time and energy required to master Stardrive 2's numerous mechanics over and over again. This is a very niche game, and it would take playing it to know if it's right for you.
All and all, Sid Meier's Starships on the PC turns out to be a mixed bag of mostly sour elements. It's a nice distraction and even a good bit of fun depending on how much you enjoy space combat titles, but only if you go in knowing full well that this is a port a mobile game, absent of much the charm and detail we've come to expect from Sid Meier titles. In concept, this game is a fantastic way to build upon the fledgling Beyond Earth legacy, but in function, this game feels like a cheaper version of another Sid Meier's Starships that was never actually made.
Zombeer is, in all honestly, a cute idea stiffly marinated in Leisure Suit Larry sensibilities, Duke Nukem- like execution, and Stubs the Zombie inspirations. However, this title succeeds almost only in resurrecting those title's shortcomings while piling on some of its own. Stale at best and tedious at worst, Zombeer consistently feels like the guy who comes late to the party and spends the whole evening laughing at his own jokes. With its atrophied mechanics and lame narrative, you will need a beer of your own to wash away the memories of this rotted corpse.
In the end The Dark Below has some great ideas and adds to an already solid game, but what it adds does not seem to be worth 20 dollars. It is unfortunate that a game with such great gameplay is hindered by its own weight and becomes diluted by its own ambitions. The lack of new content is inexcusable and it will be interesting to see how well it holds up until the next expansion, House of Wolves.
Rollers of the Realm is just as good as when I first encountered it at this year's E3. It's an enormously fun and creative take on two genres you would never think to see in bed together. The gameplay is tight and responsive, the boards are intricate and clever, and the splendid voice acting is an added delight. Rollers is in nearly every way more than you'd expect from a typical pinball game. At just $9.99, this a great holiday buy if you're looking for a digital stocking stuffer or just want something fun and new.
There is never a lack of gamers who love a good dose of challenging and well-presented gameplay, and to those Crowntakers could be a real find. It's solid execution, simple but highly diversified play design, and light and colorful environment is welcoming and fun. However sometimes the randomly generated aspects of the game can knock it out of balance, and quickly change a light-hearted strategy experience into a mouse-smashing rage furnace. If you're the kind of gamer who likes a title that challenges your brain equally to your patience, then Crowntakers just might be for you.