It's unfortunate that Koei Temco has no intention of remaking or remastering the Fatal Frame series from the beginning. This slightly upscaled and modified port from Nintendo Wii U to current gen platforms puts forth a subpar experience that doesn't sell me on the series. It seemed to just be the most convenient installment to make available for the 20th anniversary and it shows. If you're like me and Maiden of Black Water is your first Fatal Frame game, I recommend you keep those expectations low.
My love of Doctor Who could not compel me to play another minute of this game. It feels like an extremely lazy conversion from VR to console game. It's sloppy, frustrating, and for three hours of this mess, not worth the download in its current state.
The only downside to this Roki PS5 port is that it fails to use any of the new technology available to it via the DualSense. I would have loved to hear the crunch of snow come via the controller instead of my TV, and maybe let me use the touchpad to select/drag/combine items from Tove's backpack-things that would have enhanced the experience and made it stand out from Roki's other releases. That said, this is a solid puzzle game and one I highly recommend devoting an afternoon or two to.
Up until that bizarre glitch, enjoying Alan Wake Remastered was like the best kind of deja vu. Muscle memory steered me toward the hidden caches, triggered reminders to backtrack just a little here and there or look around that corner for collectibles. Alan's somewhat stiff voice, the ancient rockers, Barry-all of these things, campy as they were, welcomed me home. Those cold waters of Cauldron Lake sure are impossible to escape.
The overall story is fine but lacks that punch to push it over the top. If it were a movie it would sit comfortably with in the B movie section next to Pooka! and The Babadook-which is damn good company, if you ask me. Depending on just how long it takes you to solve the various puzzles, In Sound Mind takes an average of 12-ish hours from start to finish. Not too shabby if you are looking for a game to run over a single weekend. Could be just the thing you want this Halloween.
Every new line of code written enhances the original experience, bringing new ways for existing players to enjoy Death Stranding again. Whether you're here for exploring the factory and playing with the new toys like I am or want to challenge friends for top spot on the racing and firing range leaderboards, odds are there is a reason for you to come back. Reworked missions will aid new players into the world more smoothly than the original release, too. I definitely felt as though the difficulty spike wasn't nearly as harsh thanks to this. Keep in mind that while the Director's Cut expands and adds delicate touches here and there, this is still a game that requires patience and time for the best results.
Tales of Arise is gorgeous. The lands are lush and vibrant, even those trapped in extreme weather patterns. Calaglia's arid landscape makes me thirsty and trudging through Cyslodia's tundra reminds me of long Canadian winters. Sadly this all seems to be lost when it's time to throw in some anime. The switch from game graphics to anime cutscenes is actually rather jarring and I'm not a fan. I like the anime separately as its own entity, just not within the game itself. If the coloring matched the game, sure. But it washes out all of the hard work the level design team put into the game. Pair this with just way too much going on with the artes system and you can see how, though a fantastic game, it falls just shy of hitting a perfect ten.
Perhaps the biggest downside is that, as of right now, Monster Harvest isn't particularly long for a farming sim game. I think I finished it in just over twenty hours or so. To be fair, I was grinding so I could write this review, but by the time I finished the first year in-game, I had already reached my maximum XP cap and unlocked the bunker. In the first week of Year Two I had fully upgraded all of my tools and had enough materials (just short on cash) to finish upgrading all of my farm buildings. In week two I beat the SlimeCo boss. If the developer doesn't have plans to make events a real part of the game or expand the story and dungeons, this unique experience just isn't worth a full price investment.
I wish Tormented Souls had a story to match the amazing visual work. I get imparting the tale via personal journals but pairing that with characters that pretty much ignore Caroline's direct questions and statements regarding it is just sloppy and uninspired. This could have been a game that left me with my hairs standing on end and delicious goosebumps. Instead, when Caroline's screams persisted through the continue screen and bled into my game it ate away my desire to pick the controller back up. Not enough morphine in the world to make me want to suffer through this again.
Greak: Memories of Azur provided me the opportunity to experience a beautiful hand-drawn world in a way that best suits my gaming time and style. As I get older and find myself more and more selective with my gaming, intimate experiences like Greak are so much more rewarding than the biennial installment of a huge triple A title. Perhaps you're noticing the same habit forming with your gaming. If so, this hidden gem might be exactly what you've been looking for, too.
Cris Tales' number one selling point is its use of time manipulation as both a plot device and battle mechanic. It's what makes the entire experience. It's a solid mid-range game, great for teens and adults looking for a fairly breezy thirty-ish hour adventure. However, there are better games out there that you should experience first, especially if you have to be more selective with your cash.
I appreciate Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed for spawning a sequel that I fondly remember. I just have an extremely hard time overlooking so many glaring problems that were glossed over to repackage and sell it in this state. Unless you really loved Undead & Undressed or just don't want a hole in your collection, this is one to pick up on sale.
Having finished Kasane's version of the story and getting ready to experience Yuito's side, I'm truly appreciative of the storytelling. Japanese sci-fi has long been a genre I enjoy. Last year players were spoiled with 13 Sentinels, and Scarlet Nexus has delivered another wonderfully woven narrative worth playing. Do not sleep on this game! JRPG July is just around the corner and the perfect time to spend 60 hours playing video games.
I don’t regret the time I put into this game. A lot of it was predictable but entertaining nonetheless. If the puzzle levels were just a little more balanced. Perhaps a tad shorter and with better riddles to solve, maybe tightened up those issues I mentioned, I’d feel more comfortable recommending this.
SMT 3 Nocturne HD Remaster is a trip down nostalgia lane, one new and returning players will sink hours into for the full experience. Whether you stick to the main story or chase down every side quest in pursuit of power, you won't be disappointed.
It may be Rhianna's name that sells you on Lost Words but it takes a talented team to bring a writer's work to life. And Sketchbook Games did such a brilliant job of it. The art is inviting, the controls are simple and intuitive. No level felt like a chore, nor did I encounter any strange bugs. I found it almost impossible to get stuck at any point. It's not so long that it will be pushed aside quickly, either; it took me a Saturday afternoon to get through the majority of it. If you have a youngster interested in writing and video games, I highly recommend nudging them towards Lost Words to encourage their creative spark.
Because I'm much more inclined to play these sorts of puzzle platformers on a console over computer, DARQ has been in various wishlists of mine for some time. I'm honestly glad that I waited for the chance to play this on my PS5, not only because my old laptop couldn't have handled it, but I feel that this complete edition is a polished final version and everything the developers wanted it to be. It runs smooth as silk, autosaves frequently, those scary moments have more impact when I witness them on a TV over a computer screen. DARQ Complete Edition has been such a positive experience for me that I'm excited to see what Unfold Games does next.
Murder on Eridanos is a great finish to one of my favorite Western RPGs in recent years. Interrogating suspects, following clues, and sussing out the twist kept me engaged and entertained. It definitely beats out Peril on Gorgon. I think you'll find this cast of characters much more appealing and the writing worlds above what Gorgon brought to the table. Better writing and better weapons to end with is the soft chocolate peppermint at the end of a delicious meal.
Maquette has its issues, but is still a solid experience. The grievances I have can be fixed if the studio has the manpower and time to do so. If you're looking specifically for puzzle games there are others I would recommend before this. But it's free for PS Plus members for March 2021, and it's hard to say no to free.