Some of the new mechanics like the rafting or manipulation of light are most welcome. So while Echoes gives up parts of what made Outer Wilds so great in the grand exploration, Echoes of the Eye is a solid companion piece to the base game. I just wish I didn’t spend nearly all of it away from my spaceship.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Astria Ascending. While parts of it felt long and grindy, the English cast is abysmal, and the dungeons design themselves left more to be desired, Astria Ascending is still a solid entry in the JRPG genre. It does what it sets out to do and at its price point it does it pretty well. While it may not quite rise to the heights of some of the forebears it tries to evoke from Square Enix’s past, its friendlier price point makes it a great entry that can steal away 25-30 hours of time. Just don’t expect it to sway you over if you don’t already like the genre. As its tendency to get grindy, and its overwrought characters may not change your mind.
All in all, Flynn: Son of Crimson is a fun and short adventure that’s pleasing to look at with a story that doesn’t get in its way. While it never quite hits the highs of Shovel Knight my time with it was pleasant, if a little too breezy at times. If you’re in need of a beautiful but short 2D adventure, spending an afternoon with your pal Dex to set the world right is an easy recommendation to make.
Overall, Dice Legacy is a fun stress machine that borrows the better parts of other genres. While it doesn’t always do everything well or necessarily telegraph its harder ideas ahead of time, it can be a tense thrill when you get further than you have before. Never before have dice been featured in a game where they’re the biggest thing that matters. If you like rolling dice then I compel you to check out this mash up. Just be ready for the challenge ahead of you.
I can’t help but wonder what King’s Bounty II could have been had it stayed isometric and relied more on written words over spoken dialog. Maybe it could have offered something wholly unique. But this is the choice the developers made and for some of you, if you’re able to get past the jank, you’ll find a pretty okay turn-based combat game in King’s Bounty II. For others who are also looking to get lost in a deep world along with the combat, you’ll be better served elsewhere.
Overall, it was hard to care for Ao and Bo’s story. The dialog was a slog. The character’s perspectives often changed too fast. And while going over their dilemmas, again and again, I found myself not wanting to play anymore. I’d rather just go out for a beer and talk to them in person and let them know life is going to be okay. High school and college are but footnotes in hopefully a long healthy story of yourself. In the end, if you find yourself at this particular time in life, it might be worth experiencing their story. But if you’re past it, you may not find much here to resonate with.
All in all, Strange Brigade is a solid romp that runs very well on Nintendo’s limited hardware. If you and a few friends are looking for a good cooperative diversion to blast through on the weekend, then you can look no further. If you’re hoping for a true successor to Left 4 Dead on the Switch, temper those expectations a bit.
As it stands I finished the game without a lot of desire to repeat the journey to flesh out the many endings (34 in total). Because while there are enjoyable moments, it’s spread across a sparse and long hallway to move through. Ashwalkers has the bones of some good ideas. I’m hoping to see more from this studio as there are unique things to be found here, Nameless XIII just never really hits their mark. There are plenty of walking simulators out there that make you forget what they are. Ashwalkers, unfortunately, is not one of them.
Desctruction AllStars had a chance to deliver some creative car combat and it mostly set it sights on being mediocre and forgettable. Granted it’s free for PS+ users so it’s not a large barrier to get into. But down the road this is not a game worth a price of admission unless they prove they can do something better. It’ll likely be forgotten in the eventual ocean of other PS5 exclusives that release down the road.