This isn’t a bad remake, per se. The game functions without crashing, and it’s a close approximation of what the original Secret of Mana had on offer. The problem is that in recreating the game, Square Enix forgot what the point of a remake is. Very little in this remake can have a serious claim to being “better” than the original, and in some cases, it’s arguably worse. Once the nostalgia wears off for returning players, your enjoyment with it will go downhill fairly quickly. It’s also hard to recommend to anyone that hasn’t played Secret of Mana before since there isn’t anything noteworthy you would get out of this version that you couldn’t experience in the original.
In all honesty, I think the official release of PUBG should have been delayed further to iron out its most significant issues. Connection problems, lag, rubber-banding, and a rash of cheaters are the ingredients for an online game's death sentence if left unchecked. The devs have shown a fair amount of diligence in working on these issues post-release, however, and the future of the game could still be promising. At its core, it's still a thoroughly enjoyable experience, especially if you're playing with friends, and I think it could be the best example of a Battle Royale game to date. It just needs a bit more work and polish to get it far away from the Early Access state its currently in. If you are interested in trying PUBG, just do yourself the favour of getting on PC so you're not playing an interactive slideshow.
FFXV Comrades isn't great – for now – but the development team behind the game's post-release content has a track record of improving things over time. The expansion has a mountain of technical problems, a ham-strung design in comparison to the main game, and becomes tedious and repetitive to play after only a short while. These are, however, all fixable issues, and in the immediate wake of Comrades' release, it was already receiving improvements and fixes. I have little doubt we'll see more added to it over time, likely in the form of new mission types and possibly some narrative improvements. Whatever the changes, I'm certain that this will feel and play very differently in six months time. For those interested, or burned by the initial offerings, I'd recommend keeping an eye on it and waiting.
FFXV Comrades isn’t great – for now – but the development team behind the game’s post-release content has a track record of improving things over time. The expansion has a mountain of technical problems, a ham-strung design in comparison to the main game, and becomes tedious and repetitive to play after only a short while. These are, however, all fixable issues, and in the immediate wake of Comrades’ release, it was already receiving improvements and fixes. I have little doubt we’ll see more added to it over time, likely in the form of new mission types and possibly some narrative improvements. Whatever the changes, I’m certain that this will feel and play very differently in six months time. For those interested, or burned by the initial offerings, I’d recommend keeping an eye on it and waiting.
Monster Hunter Stories definitely isn’t as engaging or as action-oriented as its predecessors, but that doesn’t really seem to be its goal. There are definitely some obvious ideas not implemented into the game, for whatever reason, that might have made it more fun for players familiar with the series. At its core, however, MHS is a stepping stone for younger players into a more extensive series. The fact that it managed to hold onto the personality of the world Monster Hunter takes place in while making it more accessible is a major success for the game, which isn’t something every developer can say of their work. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back to having the Monster Hunter World trailer on an endless loop.
I think that Pokkén Tournament is a solid game that languished in relative obscurity due to the failing status of the Wii U by the time it was released. Pokkén Tournament DX doesn’t really change anything from the original design, so based on that alone it’s still a good game, regardless of what you may or may not think of the new content. While I have issues with the timing of some content’s inclusion, it only improves the game in the end, signalling the potential for continued support and content updates in the future. It certainly stands to have a better life on the Switch than it did on the Wii U, particularly if it receives some post-release love from the developers. They can start with putting the correct Pokemon into the roster lineup. If you enjoyed the Wii U version, or you wanted to play and never got around to it, it’s worth picking this up for a second go around.
When I first saw the leaks for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, my mind was immediately filled with images of Shadow the Hedgehog holding a gun. It seemed like an idea that just wasn’t going to work. Now that it’s here, however, I’m pleasantly surprised that Ubisoft managed to basically knock it out of the park. Mixing some of Mario’s familiar exploration and puzzle elements with a simple but robust combat system has resulted in a short but enjoyable detour off the regular track for Mario. I do have a couple of gripes about how the team is assembled at many points of the game, but it’s not the worst thing to ever happen. That aside, there’s very little to fault with the game – I’d even go as far as saying that I’d love to see a sequel.
At the end of the day, XCOM is not a game that’s meant to allow the player to feel powerful. It’s a struggle, you’re always supposed to feel like you’re on the back foot even when things are going well, and at best you merely survive to fight another day. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen remains faithful to this idea by curating its content to be an extra layer on what’s already present; a new challenge added into the mix for veteran (or masochistic) players. There’s an enormous amount of content that enhances the game overall, as opposed to being an exceptional footnote at the end of a separately good game, which makes this the best kind of expansion. I feel like the Chosen were handled poorly narratively, starting out strong before fizzling into nothing, but that isn’t a complete deal breaker. That said, more than a year after release, the game still has a lot of problems with visual and technical bugs, which is disappointing considering WOTC is their third major expansion. If you’re a fan of XCOM 2, you’ll want to give this a crack, and any who were sitting on the fence about whether or not to play should consider this expansion a green light.
I’ve compared Agents of Mayhem to Saints Row a lot in this review, and perhaps some of you reading might think that unfair. I think it’s entirely appropriate, however, since at their core they are essentially the same game, and there’s even some canon crossover happening between the two. Agents of Mayhem is just a stripped down Saints Row with less charm and character, less willingness to embrace its own silliness, and dreams of being something like Crackdown. There are too many player characters with not enough customisation, and little point to there being so many for the lack of unique content in this title. Well done, Volition, you spent four years making a terrible version of one of your most beloved franchises. Please don’t do this with whatever comes next for Saints Row.
It took me a long time to get back around to finishing off The Walking Dead: A New Frontier for full review, and, honestly, it’s because I knew exactly what it was going to be like. TWD games from Telltale these days are the same as all their other titles of this “hybrid” genre. Literally, their designs are all the same with different skins; it’s boring, and they’ve been somehow getting away with it for five years now. A New Frontier is no different, and it’s disappointing as I’ve really enjoyed the Walking Dead games up to this point. However, considering the lack of direction with the narrative, and the generally unlikeable cast present in this series, it’s clear that the well of ideas for Telltale to draw from is running dry. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll probably want to play it in prep for the final season. Otherwise, this is nothing special. Perhaps it’s a good thing that the next season of TWD is the final one from Telltale.