I’m not sure whether to recommend Happy Game or not. I think most people will be disappointed with its short play time and easier puzzles. Any fan of Amanita will definitely find joy in this new direction for the studio but will maybe be let down in comparison to past titles’ puzzles. In short, Happy Game is good, people should play it, but wait for a sale.
The Eternal Cylinder is a fever dream of a title that satisfies a lot of my tastes: exploration, puzzles, survival, lots of different abilities, truly alien landscapes, geometric shapes that desire uniformity through destruction of all of life, and hoarding. Oh, and quite a bit of heart. Nothing here feels so alien that I can’t feel something for this world except the familiar but nightmarish servants that stand out in this world. I think ACE Team has something really special here and I really can’t think of anything else that does all of what The Eternal Cylinder as good as The Eternal Cylinder does.
I simply don’t think this stands as tall as Super Metroid, Zero Mission, Prime, Fusion, or even Samus Returns. But to a Metroid fan it is worth playing and realize that these are problems I found with the game; other people haven’t had the same issues. However, to anyone who has never played a Metroid game before, I don’t think this is the place to start. I think it feels too different from the rest of the series (neither a good or bad thing) and the moments in the story that hit really well only do so because of everything that has happened before in previous titles.
All in all, EDF World Brothers is good, but it is also just EDF with a new coat of paint and I don’t need one every year or two. I want these titles to be special and had I not had an EDF title in the last five years (let alone two) I think World Brothers would have been more exciting to play. However, as a fan of EDF it is just another EDF game and honestly had I not been reviewing it I would have likely skipped it because past the coat of paint and new mechanics, it is just shooting giant bugs and monsters. With that I will basically say that this game is on par with EDF 5. It is still fun but nothing special.
I know Space Invaders is an important title and it still holds up extremely well, but I would have hoped Taito and Gotch Technology would put a little more effort into making a museum quality collection like those from M2 rather than just some titles that padded out a release. At least Space Invaders Extreme is still great.
It contains a wonderful story, one of the most satisfying final battles, some of the best humor in any Zelda game, plenty of completely optional side content, and some really unique gameplay that only Skyward Sword has offered. I have never been happier to say I was wrong about a game.
I don’t think anything is gained by playing either Famicom Detective Club that can’t be gained by watching a playthrough because the puzzles are at best throwaway and at worst barely present. These are inherently flawed games, but if somehow the idea of slogging through menus isn’t a turn off there are absolutely two great, down to Earth murder mysteries to be experienced here.
So it is easy to recommend this to fans of the original game and it is easy to recommend this to fans of Pokémon, but what about people who may have no interest in Pokémon’s main series? Well, if photography is a passion then I think there’s definitely fun to be had here because New Pokémon Snap does feel like a fantasy animal safari where the whole goal is to capture the best photos. The interactions between Pokémon feel natural and while they do things that no animal equivalent does, I think that makes them all the more interesting. New Pokémon Snap is like nothing else on the market and proves that this spin off series should have never been gone for this long.
I am thoroughly impressed with It Takes Two. I went from begrudgingly taking this review because I was now seemingly the Josef Fares reviewer on the site to actually being excited to see what he and Hazelight do next. The hardest part of recommending this game is that it is mandatory co-op, meaning that some people are going to have a difficult time finding the time to play a 12 hour game alongside a partner who can devote that much time as well. If that isn’t the case though and there is someone to play with, definitely give It Takes Two a shot. There’s nothing else like it.
Pacer is a good game on its own merits but it is nothing special, and when Wipeout HD Collection is still being sold for half the price of Pacer (and the other titles I mentioned at the beginning of this review are also less than Pacer) it is extremely hard to say this game that is just “good” is worth your money when competitors are out there for less. Pacer does not exist in a vacuum, and therefore I can not recommend it over other Wipeout inspired titles, which there is at least one on every current platform.
I said Override 1 was great and I still think it is. There was a real charm to it despite not being the most polished experience; I had just wished that there was more single player content. I also assumed that maybe some licensed content would bring in a crowd but clearly, I was wrong as Ultraman DLC seemingly failed to bring people in. I’m really disappointed, as the mech design is just so good but this game is so boring. I think Override 2 killed all the goodwill I had from the first game; I really don’t care to try out a half-baked single player game attached to a dead multiplayer game again. It works fine and that’s the best I can say about this game.
Overall I think Little Hope is just alright. I don’t think there’s anything special to be found here. The twist in the story has been done way better as well as the gameplay by the same studio from all accounts. I guess that the good news is that if like me this is your first Supermassive game it apparently only gets better from here.
Overall Olija is a good game. I just wish it was longer. I finished a fair portion of the game in around 5 hours and I can’t imagine I would have spent much longer had I decided to get all the collectibles. However, I think $15 is the perfect price for Olija; I much rather have a short good game than a long mediocre one and being left wanting more is a much better problem to have than never wanting to touch a game again. Just know that Olija is a concise but strong experience and a great way to start off 2021.
Anyone who enjoys point and click adventures absolutely should not skip Sam & Max Save The World. The humor is unmatched in its cynicism and outlandishness. What other game has a statue of Lincoln come to life and fight one of the main characters for presidency, and child stars trying to help a television has-been take over the world? It’s surprisingly fresh over a decade later, and its timeless point and click gameplay delivers it all well. My inner teen is really happy Sam & Max has escaped the fall of Telltale.
Despite my griping about Serious Sam 2 not getting any love in this collection, I do think it is a great place to start with Serious Sam. Not only is it a set of great games, but there’s also multiplayer and co-op. This is a set of games anyone who has loved the new Doom games should at least try, and at the regular price of $30 there’s very little reason not to. Serious Sam 3: BFE still goes for more than this collection on PC by itself, no DLC. It’s a steal, especially if you can grab a friend to play the whole campaign with.