Omega Force’s graphical changes and additions to the main gameplay mechanics end up getting the job done for Samurai Warriors 5. The visuals pop off the screen a lot more, the reimagined warriors you’ll unlock over time all look great, and the two new combat options keep the Musou battle royale formula from feeling stale. The usage of the series’ legacy sound effects for combat is a bit of a letdown, however. Plus the problems that come with utilizing the lock-on camera can definitely be a buzzkill. But overall, Samurai Warriors 5 offers a largely engrossing journey through the Sengoku period in playable form.
As a brand new IP, Scarlet Nexus succeeds as a worthwhile experience for curious action RPG fans and anime diehards. Its overall package offers a compelling storyline, a visually splendid presentation, strong English voice work, and a soundtrack full of enjoyable tunes.
The bare-bones mode structure and the lack of any new fighters is a letdown, for sure. But everything else this update has to offer makes it worth returning to or diving into for the very first time. VIRTUA FIGHTER IS OFFICIALLY BACK, BABY!
Outriders ends up being a surprisingly addictive experience that mixes in intense shootouts, a unique mix of class-based abilities, a healthy loot system, and a fun approach to upgrading your skills/gear. Exploring every nook and cranny of Enoch brings you to an assortment of different climates and locales, plus you’ll come to enjoy most of the personalities you’ll interact with within each one.
Ryza’s new onfield actions, the improved battle mechanics, and the deeper alchemy systems also impress in this quality sequel. Minor annoyances tied to the map layout and the more complex features attached to the alchemy system hamper the game’s overall experience a bit. But all in all, Ryza’s return is a lighthearted pleasure that is entertaining from start to finish.
Godfall had a lot going for it. It was unveiled as the very first PS5 release, adopted the moniker of a looter slasher, and looked to be the equivalent of Warframe when it first launched on PS4. Unfortunately, it fails to stand out as a must-play killer app for the newly released PS5. Boredom quickly sets in as you run around gorgeous yet incredibly lifeless locales, embark on tiresome quests, and get treated to a storyline that’s entirely forgettable. Godfall’s quality combat mechanics, healthy offering of cool looking loot, and slick looking Valorplate armors are sadly stuck within a lackluster shell of a game.
Capcom managed to fulfill fans’ biggest requests for DMC5 and also freshen up its overall experience with the inclusion of new modes and visual enhancements. Vergil’s gameplay adds a new layer of excitement to all the demonic destruction thanks to his signature attacks and brand new skills. And getting to play around with his and the original trio’s flashy maneuvers in Turbo and Legendary Dark Knight Mode is an experience you’ll never forget. Having to leave your prior save progress behind and start anew is pretty disappointing, of course. But first-time players and returning veterans will get an equal amount of enjoyment out of this excellent special edition.
As a playable teaser for Bright Memory: Infinite, Bright Memory sadly underwhelms. Some of its default control methods feel unwieldy, your foes take far too much damage to put down, and the completion time tied to it is extremely short. While its combat mechanics and graphical output shine, the litany of issues present within Bright Memory will keep you from enjoying yourself for too long. Here’s hoping that Bright Memory: Infinite irons out all the kinks and realizes its full potential in 2021. You might be better off watching a playthrough of this teaser and waiting for the full release instead of ruining your hype for it by playing this disappointing first episode.
As a remaster, this one falls a bit below today’s standards in two key areas. The graphics don’t look that much better than they did back in 2010. And the unchanged open-world free roam option is still a total waste of time. Hot Pursuit Remastered has a ton of fun things to do and feels great when it’s time to hit the road. It’s just a bit of a letdown when it comes to its graphical enhancements and the fact that its longstanding issues remain intact.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon largely succeeds at moving the series forward in a bold new direction. Kasuga and his band of unlikely heroes are incredibly interesting and make it so easy to care about their crazy antics. The new main locale is massive and plays host to so many compelling things to do. Getting wrapped up in everything Like a Dragon has to offer is worth it and you’ll easily pour 30+ hours into its captivating tale. The turn-based battle system works in parts, but its annoying character placement issues and faulty summons system keep it from being a total victory. Like a Dragon is still worth hopping into if you’re looking for an amazing parody of RPG tropes, however. It’s a Yakuza sequel that signals a bright future ahead for the beloved franchise.
The game’s demanding difficulty can definitely increase one’s salt levels, though. Some of the game’s latter stages and all of the Flashback Tapes fall into the realm of overly punishing at times. But Crash 4’s high fun and replayability factors will keep you in the race, even in the face of the game’s toughest challenges. This fresh Crash adventure is just too damn fun to pass up and stay mad at.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is another shining example of Activision’s dedicated effort to properly revive its most beloved IP’s. Vicarious Visions not only improved upon the first two games’ visual and audio aspects but it also threw in a wealth of modes and changes that make it approachable for both past and modern-day gamers.