NBA 2K23 represents one of the biggest steps forward for the franchise in recent years. The abundance of modes will keep players entertained throughout the NBA season, and the on-court gameplay continues to be improved. It's just a shame that microtransactions continue to be as woven within the fabric of the game as they are.
Rollerdrome certainly has its issues, but the overwhelmingly chaotic action is fun enough to compensate. I continually found myself dropping back into levels to try and chase higher scores and take out my foes with increasing style. There are elements that could have been fleshed out further, but considering the scope of the project, I'm impressed with the results.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is a true labor of love from Digital Eclipse. Although the quality of the games included may be scattershot, ultimately, there's still enough good content to appeal to fans and non-fans alike.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a great RPG, and arguably the best title in the series to date. It could still use some editing, and the problems with the Switch itself will continue to hold the franchise back. But even those issues can't put a damper on the captivating combat engine and dynamic storytelling featured here.
MLB The Show 22 is still a great game of ball, but one that is stating to slow down as it ages. San Diego Studio has been able to innovate in the past, and I hope they get around to addressing some of the weaknesses next time around. Whether that's through going full current-gen or delivering a fresh approach to Road to the Show, there is room for improvement.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land might not redefine the genre, but it's still a solid 3D platformer with a great gimmick. Kirby's duplication ability makes for some great gameplay and the much-anticipated Mouthful Mode doesn't disappoint. It's still lacking in some areas, but there's plenty of enjoyment to be had.
WWE 2K22 is a massive step up in quality for the troubled wrestling franchise. The gameplay engine is in great shape, and the mode quality is mostly solid. While there are improvements to be made going forward, I'm no longer totally hopeless about the future of the series.
Contemplative and striking, FAR: Changing Tides is an indie adventure that should be sought out. The light gameplay and sparse storytelling may not be for everyone, but it makes up for these deficiencies with its gorgeous visual design and excellent pace.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is far from perfect. The visual issues and boring opening stretch make that clear. However, the title is still a majorly fun and exciting evolution of the franchise. Getting out there in the world and interacting with the Pokémon has never felt better. I'm excited to see where Game Freak goes from here, which is not something I would have necessarily said after prior entries.
I enjoyed my time with Reverie Knights Tactics, and I think there's a solid foundation of a strategy title here. However, the disappointing finish to the quest, and lack of gameplay depth outside of combat cast a cloud over the entire experience.
Shin Megami Tensei V is an excellent, although quite punishing, RPG. The brutal challenge it possesses and bleak story may not make it a crowd favorite. Finding the right balance between Law and Chaos is not as clear as you may think. However, it's due to their uncompromising decisions that Atlus continues to be one of the best RPG developers around.
Call of Duty: Vanguard is another solid entry in the popular franchise, but far from an excellent one. The campaign struggles in the story department, but a good base of multiplayer options and a fun, if underdeveloped, Zombies mode help save the day.