They Are Billions does a lot of things great. The survival twist of a city-builder is unique, and lots of fun. Dealing with the huge waves is always as fun as it is stressful, including the huge final waves. Things that hold the game back are difficulty playing a computer game on console controls, and various UI and graphics issues as well as slowdown. This being said, it's a solid and unique RTS title.
A curious example of a title being both more refined, but also less good than its predecessor. The action is smoother, better, and overall much more engaging. Purely as a platformer it is great fun, can be picked up cheap, and is only marred by simplistic, one-way levels and its short length. As an entry it is inferior to its predecessor with the removal of various gear, crafting, and challenges, making it a one-trick pony.
It's hard to recommend this to any but the most hard-core and starved puzzle lovers. Despite its 'fun' graphics, the game does not have much charm, and the levels are repetitive and rely far too much on just trying random things until something finally works. Despite how fun older games like this once were, it does not stack up to modern puzzlers in the slightest.
Showing clear evolution over the previous games, as well as including some of the best features from the fifth entry, this remake is very good for fans that might have missed this the first time, those who want to come back with everything included, or for even first time players. Even those not looking for the massive post-game grind, the main story is funny enough to earn a recommendation for JRPG fans on that merit alone. It is a great overall package.
Great graphics, a compelling experience, and overall heart, paint the general picture of this adventure game. While some aspects of the story go unexplored and the animal-shifting aspect largely goes under-utilized, these are not enough to distract from a positive experience. Gamers need to know going in that Lost Ember is a very casual-friendly experience, but one that is still well done. The only thing holding it back is a lack of truly diving into the mechanics presented, or truly investigating the story themes brought forth.
Big booties aside, the easiest way to sum up Atelier Ryza is: an absolutely great game framework, waiting for a game. The battles are interesting enough, the gathering okay, and the alchemy very good, but it all fails to connect on a purposeful or coherent level. With no driving narrative or reason, pretty rapidly the whole point becomes to simply battle, gather, alchemize, repeat; all of which fails to pull the player into something deep or meaningful. The is a great casual-friendly title, but it lacks any serious staying power.
With the pedigree and ideas going into this, Phoenix Point should have been much, much better than it is. The cool ideas are overshadowed by ever-present bugs, glitches, and hiccups that constantly get in the way of the player. Even excusing these, the ideas and presentation come off as incredibly bland very soon into the adventure. Little customization, little options, and little reason to care about your soldiers or base, round out reasons this is in need of massive updates and overhauls if it is to be saved.
The core of the game is a very old-school RPG/dungeon crawling experience, for all its positives and mostly negatives. Unless not having a map and spending hours trying to re-roll viable characters sounds like fun, this one is better off left alone. The anime portraits look nice, but they are just dressing on a framework of something that simply does not stack up to better options in the genre.
Technically competent, and surprisingly well done, the simple lack of depth prevents this from doing any better. It can actually be completed in a few hours at max. Having a friend or playing online can extend the fun, yet the lack of content becomes obvious fairly quickly. The developer has promised more updates, which will hopefully come through, as the game has a good base to work with.
There are some really cool ideas here, and potentially a really good game hidden under a mess that seems like it needed several more months of playtesting and hammering things out. There are just too many things like a lack of polish, a mess of a UI, the camera is hard to control, and bugs/glitches make the experience frustrating. It is sad because, while there are some cool things in here, it simply is not ready for release at this point. It needed way more time actually making sure the core experience is enjoyable, rather than fighting through nearly everything except for enemies.
Even one amongst the games included is very enjoyable to play through, and having two in the package makes it that much better. Despite the huge battles of so many characters, it actually goes quick and, gives a much more chaotic yet satisfying experience rather than the "perfect" style Fire Emblem requires to play. This lacks many newer conventions, like managing relationships, as an example, and feels somewhat aged, but despite all this, it is still fun to play. The bundle is just so polished, that it's hard not to recommend.
Great ideas and some outright fun is far too often marred by technical glitches, a maddening GUI, and simply overwhelming amounts of numbers and terms with very little information as to what any of it does. The originality of the game is cool but there are too many ideas were packed in without actually making sure they all work together coherently.
The series on the whole is a great throwback to the older Mana Khemia series. Ayesha is the weakest entry, graphically, story and gameplay wise, but things improve drastically with Escha and Logy, with a serious, "cool" factor to Logy, with the series coming to a very refined closure with Shallie. For JRPG fans that have any interest in those, they are a great pickup together. While not quite "traditional" RPG quests, they are very similar to the JRPGs that really first started getting popular in the West many years ago.
There is little to recommend about this game. The gameplay is not engaging, with mindless clicking in boring gameplay loops, and the story feels like an endless scolding for something no one alive today even did, accompanied by an undercurrent of shame for supposed parallels to modern politics. Some interesting art is overshadowed by how outright simple and stupid most of the characters look. The not-so-hidden political agenda and modern criticisms to the game are so ham-fisted, it is very tough to recommend this unless one is in the mood for a moralizing diatribe.
Stellaris is going in a dangerous direction, even though this DLC adds some pretty cool things to its current state. The Origins are a fun addition, and federations are cool with their bonuses. The problem is the game is very quickly starting to become bloated, and with various changes, patches and more DLC, the "core"' of it all is rapidly being lost. It is losing its 4x status and slowly morphing into a type of MMO/RPR-type game that many of its original fans will likely not be a fan of.
For a RTS where you do not attack the other player with units, there is a lot going on here. The raw amount of things to keep track of and options available, are in some ways overwhelming. The core of it all is great fun, and it is completely novel for a RTS to avoid just massing units and rolling out. The amount of stuff happening takes away some of the enjoyment, as playthroughs quickly get away from players if they are not using every option available to them. Finally, the pace is so fast that there is no enjoyment about surviving on these hostile planets.
There is nothing surprising here about MouseCraft. What you see is what you get, and unless the simplistic gameplay appeals to you, it is unlikely that there will be much here that the average gamer is interested in. Some of the puzzles are nice and all for a while, but ultimately, there are no true clever ideas or anything beyond just dropping varied blocks into holes and waiting for the mice to hopefully make it.
Jackbox Party 6 has some great mini-games, and some decent ones. Far more adult oriented, its major downside is the higher degree of involvement and lesser payoff for some of the games. That being said, every single one in here is good, and some of them get some serious group laughs. Not as beginner friendly as some others, even a moderately committed group of people will find great fun somewhere in the five different games here.
Invisigun succeeds in providing a good party, as well as single player experience. The gimmick of being invisible is not as important or prevalent as it might seem and given the nature of this, leads to a potential huge skill difference that takes away from a casual game it might otherwise provide. Graphically a little weak, it also does not have the same simple magic a game like Mario Party or Bomberman would have in drawing in casual players. With a group dedicated to learning its intricacies, it could be great fun, but it's a little too... out there for some plain fun.